Issued on 8 July 2014
Rainfall deficiencies continue in Queensland and northeastern New South Wales
June rainfall was below average for the western half of Australia, parts of Tasmania and areas of coastal northern New South Wales and southeast Queensland. Above-average rainfall in northern Queensland and around the Gulf of Carpentaria largely missed areas experiencing rainfall deficiencies for the longer 21-month period. An area of southwestern Queensland received above-average monthly rain while in the remainder of the affected areas totals were generally near-average. Above-average rain also fell in coastal South Australia, much of Victoria and parts of southeastern and central New South Wales, halting the development of deficiencies at shorter timescales in parts of the mainland southeast.
7-month rainfall deficiencies
Rainfall deficiencies for the 7 months from December 2013 to June 2014 have increased in extent over southeastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales, remained similar to the December to May period in southeastern Tasmania, and increased along the southern coast of Western Australia. June rainfall has stalled developing deficiencies from the mainland southeast. Serious to severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records) are present along the coast of eastern Tasmania and southern Western Australia between about Busselton and Esperance, a large area of northeastern New South Wales and areas of greater southeastern Queensland as well as isolated pockets in other parts of Queensland and a small area in the central Top End.
21-month rainfall deficiencies
Rainfall deficiencies for the 21-month (October 2012 to June 2014) period have increased in Western Australia in the region near Shark Bay, decreased in central Victoria and increased slightly in Queensland and adjacent areas.
Serious to severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records) remain in an area spanning much of Queensland away from the eastern coast and also in smaller areas in adjacent parts of the Northern Territory and South Australia, and in an area inland of the Great Dividing Range extending from southern Queensland into northern New South Wales. The area of deficiencies on the coast of Western Australia near Shark Bay has increased in size compared to the previous Drought Statement. In Victoria areas of deficiencies in the central region and inland west remain, but have decreased in extent since last month.
More generally, rainfall for the 21-month period ending June 2014 has continued to be below average over the eastern mainland and parts of Tasmania. Long-term deficiencies also remain for periods greater than two years starting from the end of the 2010–2012 La Niña.
Upper layer weekly soil moisture for the week ending 29 June is below average along much of the eastern seaboard between the South Coast district of New South Wales and Queensland's Capricornia District, as well as in parts of southeastern Tasmania. Large parts of the Northern Territory and Western Australia are also experiencing below-average soil moisture in the upper layer. Soil moisture is above average for areas around the south of the Gulf of Carpentaria and across the mid-Cape York Peninsula, very much above average for northwestern Tasmania, and in a broad band along the southern coast of South Australia and Victoria, extending inland through much of Victoria and reaching the alpine regions of New South Wales.
Lower layer weekly soil moisture for the week ending 29 June is below average across parts of inland and southeastern Queensland, northern and eastern New South Wales, the interior of the Top End and along the west coast of Western Australia between the Pilbara and Central West District, extending inland through the Central Wheat Belt District. Soil moisture is above average for part of the Cape York Peninsula extending well inland from Cooktown, from south of the Gulf of Carpentaria through the central Northern Territory and much of the western half of Western Australia excluding the Kimberley, and then from the Nullarbor Plain through coastal South Australia and much of the mainland southeast as well as northern Tasmania and the Bass Straight Islands.