Australia has recorded its driest ever September on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s latest drought report.
It showed for Australia as a whole, September rainfall was 70.8 per cent below the 1961–1990 average, making it the driest September recorded since 1900.
“Rainfall in September was below average for most of the southern two-thirds of the country,” the report said.
It means areas of rainfall deficiency have developed in all states and territories, the worst being in large areas of southwestern Western Australia and along much of the southeast of Australia.
September soil moisture also dipped into the lowest 30 per cent of all years since 1911.
“For Victoria, it was the driest September on record since observations began, with statewide rainfall 67.1 per cent below average,” the report said.
“For NSW as a whole, September was the second driest on record, 82.6 per cent below average, while for South Australia it was the seventh driest September on record.
“Only small areas of Australia received above average rainfall for the month — parts of Eastern Cape York Peninsula (Queensland) and the far northeast corner of the Top End (Northern Territory).”
The long-range forecast, released by BOM on Thursday, shows the situation is set to worsen as we head into summer.
From November to January, below median rainfall is more than 80 per cent likely for much of Australia, while small areas of NSW, including the Upper Western, North West Slopes and Plains and Riverina districts, and southern Queensland are a 60-80 per cent chance to have above median rainfall.
But BOM also predicts significant rainfall in eastern Victoria and parts of southeast NSW in the first week of October is likely to ease localised rainfall and soil moisture deficiencies.