Issued on 7 May 2012

No Drought Statement issued for May

It was drier than usual across most of southern Australia in April, although rainfall was above average across most of the country from October 2011 to March 2012, partly due to the 2011-12 La Niņa event (which ended in March). Consequently there are currently no significant short-term rainfall deficiencies across the country.

In southwest Western Australia, rainfall in late 2011 helped to ease short-term rainfall deficiencies but long-term rainfall deficiencies remain. 2010-2011 was the driest two-year period on record for small areas of southwest Western Australia, following the region's driest year on record in 2010 and average to below average for much of January to September 2011.

For more information on dry periods over Australia and extreme rain events see the Special Climate Statements issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, especially a statement on the heavy rainfall event in southeast Australia at the end of February and early March. A statement on Australia's wettest two year period on record, and what this means for long-term rainfall deficiencies was issued in early February.

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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