Issued on 2 October 2012

Rainfall deficiencies continue in WA and SA

6-month rainfall deficiencies

Much of southern Western Australia, the Interior district of Western Australia, and arid regions of South Australia have experienced 6-month (April to September) rainfall in the lowest 5 per cent of records, as shown on the map. The area affected by the current event is greater than it was last month, especially in western and central South Australia, as well as in parts of southern New South Wales.

September rainfall was below average over most of the southern mainland of Australia, and in the lowest 10 per cent of records for parts of South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria (see September rainfall deciles).

Much of Western Australia along and adjacent to the west coast south of Carnarvon, extending inland to an area around Kalgoorlie, received average or above-average September rainfall. Despite this rainfall, deficiencies remain severe in large parts of southern and central Western Australia. The western half of southwest Western Australia continues to experience long-term rainfall deficiencies - see for example the most recent 36-month period. The southwest region had its driest year on record in 2010, and the two-year period 2010–2011 was the driest on record in some parts of southwest Western Australia, meaning that the below average rainfall conditions being experienced in 2012 are exacerbating pre-existing dry conditions.

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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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