During 2006 much was said and written about the “extraordinary drought” conditions here in Australia being a consequence of climate change.
I wrote various pieces suggesting that when all the data was in, rainfall for this last year, even for the Murray Darling Basin, would be within the realms of natural variability.
Well the data is now all in and here’s the rainfall graph for the Murray Darling Basin:
The Bureau of Meterology has also just published a summary for last year for rainfall with comment that:
“Preliminary data indicate that the average total rainfall throughout Australia for 2006 was about 490 mm, slightly more than the long-term average of 472 mm. However, it is unlikely that many Australians will remember 2006 as a wet year.
The near-normal all-Australian total was made up of well above average totals across the north and inland Western Australia cancelling out the well below average totals recorded in the southeast and far southwest.
Parts of southeast Australia experienced their driest year on record, including key catchment areas which feed the Murray and Snowy Rivers, as did parts of the Western Australian coast, including Perth. In contrast, record high falls were observed in parts of the tropics and inland Western Australia. It was the third-driest year on record for both Victoria and Tasmania, while for the broader southeast Australian region, which also takes in southeast South Australia and southern New South Wales, it was the second-driest.”
Here’s the graph from the Bureau’s report: