Drought in general means acute water shortage. The drought map below highlights the areas in Tasmania considered to be suffering from serious or severe rainfall deficiency. These classes are assigned by first examining rainfall periods of three months or more for selected places throughout the state to see whether they lie below the 10th percentile (lowest 10% of records). The terms serious and severe are defined by:
Serious rainfall deficiency - rainfall lies above the lowest five per cent of recorded rainfall but below the lowest ten per cent (decile 1 value) for the period in question.
Severe rainfall deficiency - rainfall is among the lowest five per cent for the period in question.
A map showing drought (serious or severe rainfall deficiency) affected areas in Tasmania can be found on the Bureau of Meteorology website at http://www.bom.gov.au.
Droughts in Tasmania
Droughts have not plagued Tasmania to the same degree or severity as the mainland states of Australia. However, there have been several episodes of drought in the history of Tasmanian settlement that have had serious consequences. Drought in Tasmania is generally not widespread: it is not unknown for one part of the state to be suffering very low rainfall, while in another the rainfall is considerably above normal.