Issued on 2nd October 2012 by the National Climate Centre
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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For more information regarding this rainfall deficiencies statement, please contact the following climatologists:
Glenn Cook (WA) (08) 9263 2222
Alex Evans (SA) (08) 8366 2663
David Jones (National) (03) 9669 4085
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.