Issued on 7th May 2012 by the National Climate Centre
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.
For more information regarding this rainfall deficiencies statement, please contact the following climate meteorologists in the National Climate Centre:
Glenn Cook (WA) (08) 9263 2222
Karl Braganza (03) 9669 4344
Lorien Martin (03) 6221 2043
The Bureau of Meteorology does not make formal drought declarations as these are done by either the relevant State Governments or by the Australian Government. The Australian Government Program is called Exceptional Circumstances and it is administered by the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). General information about Australian Government drought assistance is available at http://www.daff.gov.au/droughtassist.