Issued on 5 January 2012

No Drought Statement issued for January

Averaged Australia-wide, 2011 was Australia's third-wettest year on record. Rainfall in recent months in southwestern Australia has provided some relief to long-term rainfall deficiencies in the area. Whilst there has not been enough rainfall to totally clear long-term deficiencies as reported in the September Drought Statement, rainfall that has been received means that there are currently no short-term deficiencies.

Rainfall across Australia since late-autumn 2011 has been varied, in southeastern Australia rainfall had generally been below average since the start of winter, though not low enough to trigger any deficiency thresholds over large areas. However, in November and December, most areas across Australia received above average rainfall.

For more information on dry periods over Australia and extreme rain events see the Special Climate Statements issued by the Bureau of Meteorology. For more information on the Australian climate in 2011 see the Annual Australian Climate Statement.

Definitions

Lowest on record - lowest in the historical analysis, which runs from 1900.
Severe deficiency - rainfalls in the lowest 5% of historical totals.
Serious deficiency - rainfalls in the lowest 10% of historical totals, but not in the lowest 5%.

Very much below average - rainfalls in the lowest 10% of historical totals.
Below average - rainfalls in the lowest 30% of historical totals, but not in the lowest 10%.
Average - rainfalls in the middle 40% of historical totals.
Above average - rainfalls in the highest 30% of historical totals, but not in the highest 10%.
Very much above average - rainfalls in the highest 10% of historical totals.

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