Saturday, December 16, 2006

Talking about the weather

Sciencewoman has been posting about the autumn rains in the Pacific Northwest recently, so for those people who are sick of rain, I have a somewhat different perspective: The Australian spring.

Below is a rainfall map for Aug-Oct of this year:

A map of the deviation from median rainfall is below:

(via the Bureau of Meteorology)

Canberra is the little blob in southern NSW, on the lower edge of the second largest red area. Obviously, this diagram does not say everything. After all, it’s a big continent, and the various regions have vastly different mean rainfalls and standard deviations from the mean. Additionally, many areas of Australia get little or no rainfall in some years, so it only takes a single storm to give them above average precipitation.

Never-the-less, it has been rather dry. The wheat harvest is looking to be 30-40% below average, the Murray River is in danger of drying up, and the Victorian bushfire alone have thus far consumed 550,000 hectares (860 square miles). So if anyone out there has any precipitation excess to their requirements, send it on over.


ScienceWoman said...

Thanks for the contrast! It was a little surprising to see(at first glance) NW Australia looking so much wetter than the east coast, but then I enlarged the image and looked at the caption. And doesn't the Murray River dry up on a somewhat regular basis (at least in parts?)

C W Magee said...

Yes, the image is deviation from mean. I may try to get the total precip if I can find it for further explanation.

The Murry River outlet silts over from time to time, but the river itself doesn't dry up. Yet.

ScienceWoman said...

Excellent. Thanks!