Issued on 4 January 2013

Rainfall deficiencies expand in eastern Australia

5-month rainfall deficiencies

Severe rainfall deficiencies have expanded across parts of New South Wales and in northern and western Victoria for the 5 month (August to December 2012), period with severe deficiencies also developing along Queensland's east coast and adjacent ranges. Severe rainfall deficiencies persist across most of South Australia and in southern Queensland. This follows below average rainfall across eastern Queensland, central and northwestern New South Wales in December, and persistent dry conditions over southeast Australia since August. In the Northern Territory, a poor start to the monsoon has seen severe rainfall deficiencies emerge along the northeast coast of Arnhem Land.

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9-month rainfall deficiencies

For the 9-month period from April to December 2012, severe rainfall deficiencies remain across large parts of South Australia. Serious to severe deficiencies have expanded slightly along the western New South Wales/Victoria border following average to below-average December rain in those areas. Pockets of severe rainfall deficiencies have also emerged in far northern Queensland. In Western Australia, the sixth-wettest December in southwest WA (southwest of a line from Jurien Bay to Bremer Bay) and above-average December rainfall in the Eucla has eased deficiencies in these regions, although severe deficiencies remain in an area near the border with South Australia.

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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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