Issued on 4 April 2013

Rainfall deficiencies decline in the centre and inland east

March saw above-average rainfall across much of central Australia, the southwest, far north, and in northern New South Wales and parts of adjacent southern Queensland. This brought some relief from shorter-term rainfall deficiencies in the Top End, Red Centre, and inland southeast although the southern coast missed out on much needed rainfall. March rainfall was below average for western Victoria and adjacent southeastern South Australia, and for parts of the Gulf Country and central Queensland.

8-month rainfall deficiencies

Severe rainfall deficiencies for the 8-month (August 2012 to March 2013) period have contracted significantly in the Northern Territory, remaining in only a few isolated coastal areas, and in New South Wales where serious deficiencies remain in some parts of the centre and west of the State. Queensland also saw some improvement with deficiencies in the south contracting around St George, while serious and severe deficiencies remain similar in the Gulf Country. Northern South Australia and adjacent southwest Queensland have largely seen 8-month deficiencies removed. Remaining areas of South Australia and western Victoria continue to experience deficiencies, with much of this area having received rainfall below the fifth percentile during this period (severe deficiencies). Small areas have recorded their lowest on record rainfall for the eight months, especially in the Mallee in northwest Victoria.

Six-month rainfall (October to March) continues to see severe deficiencies in southeastern South Australia, western and central southern Victoria, much of Gulf Country, and parts of western Tasmania. August was the last month to record above-average rainfall across southwestern Victoria and the adjacent southeast corner of South Australia.

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12-month rainfall deficiencies

The longer term rainfall deficiencies for the 12-month (April 2012 to March 2013 period continue over much of the pastoral areas of South Australia and adjacent areas in eastern Western Australia, although they have improved in central Australia and northern South Australia. Averaged over the State as a whole, South Australia's 12-month rainfall was the third lowest on record. Deficiencies also remain in northwestern Victoria and adjacent areas of southern New South Wales, while contracting in central New South Wales. Deficiencies in northern New South Wales and the Top End have largely disappeared although a small area of severe deficiencies remains on the southwest of the Cape York Peninsula.

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Soil moisture

Soil moisture in the upper layer is below average for western Victoria and southeastern South Australia and very much below average for parts of the far north and southwestern Tasmania. Deeper soil moisture remains very much below average across the Top End, southwest Western Australia, southeast South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.

Climate

Service notice

Network problems on 8 January disrupted processing of observations, affecting some climate information. Missing data are being retrieved and will be processed into our systems over coming weeks.