Climatic contextual data
Total rainfall for July 2004 – June 2005
Sourced from Bureau of Meterology
When assessing the water availability, water use and river and wetland health
situation for AWR 2005 it is important to refer back to the climatic conditions
prevailing at the time. Below is some contextual information that provides
some background for the nation.
Apart from the heavy and, in some cases, record June 2005 rainfall over eastern
and southern coastal Australia, the year July 2004 June 2005 was very dry,
particularly in central and northwestern Australia and in far eastern Western
Australia, where the driest period on record occurred. The 2004-05 period of
rainfall deficits follows a series of average to below average rainfalls since
the severe drought of 2002-03 ( Drought Statement archive, Bureau of
Despite the heavy June 2005 rains in some regions, rainfall deficits from
the previous three years and longer that have had major impacts on water storages
and streamflows in particular still remain across large parts of eastern Australia.
There were no prolonged periods of widespread above average falls over 2004-05
to fully remove rainfall deficiencies for the year, as shown in the maps below.
As far as the Murray-Darling Basin is concerned, rainfall data indicate that,
at the end of June 2005, this region was in the midst of its worst multi-year
period of rainfall deficiencies since the 1940s. Furthermore, the effects of
rainfall deficits (lowest on record totals in many regions) have been exacerbated
by some of the highest temperatures on record. The heavy June 2005 rainfall
removed or eased deficiencies in the far northeast of South Australia and the
adjacent parts of western New South Wales , western Queensland and the southeast
of the Northern Territory. Northern Tasmania has also been severely affected,
with an area to the east of Launceston having had its driest 12-month July
to June period on record for the 2004-05 year.
Rainfall, temperature, and evapotranspiration are discussed further in the
“What is our
total water resource?” .
Further information about climatic averages can be obtained from the Bureau
Percentage of mean annual rainfall for July 2004 – June 2005
Sourced from Bureau of Meteorology