1301.6 - Tasmanian Year Book, 2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/04/2004   
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Feature Article - Notable cases of severe droughts

In 1908 there were severe drought conditions in almost all agricultural areas, and in the summer of 1908-09 serious stock and crop losses in the east and south-east. The autumn of 1910 was also dry in the southern areas, but winter rains alleviated the problem.

A severe drought occurred, with 1914 being a very dry period in most parts of Tasmania. The drought lasted until the autumn of 1915.

Low rainfall occurred in northern districts from July 1918 to May 1920. In the south there was a severe drought from August 1919 to June 1921.

The failure of summer rains brought severe drought conditions to most of the State, especially the northern and north-western areas.

There was drought from January 1933 in the north and June 1933 in the south until substantial rain occurred in June 1934.

The drought commenced in August 1935 and lasted until July 1936. It was the most severe in north-western Tasmania.

Most of the State was affected by severe drought conditions in December 1945, with heavy stock losses occurring in the Midlands and south, until late summer rains ended the dry period.

Severe droughts developed in most districts, particularly in the south. In the winter of 1950 there were low rainfalls, even in the west. It was not until the autumn of 1952 that significant relieving rains occurred.

The drought occurred between July 1954 and March 1955, particularly in the south and east.

Droughts occurred across south-eastern Australia, with Tasmania being affected between January 1967 and May 1968.

The winter of 1972 was dry and the drought lasted until the autumn of 1973, particularly in the north-east.

After the dry winter of 1982, the failure of rains during the summer of 1982-1983 increased the drought area to include most districts of Tasmania, with the exception of the west and east coasts. It was not until the autumn of 1983 that significant rains ended what was one of the worst droughts recorded over eastern Australia.

Many areas experienced record droughts throughout both years. Relief occurred in some areas by rain and floods during April 1988.

This dry period began in March 1993 and ended with good rainfall in the period November 1995 to January 1996. Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies occurred in the north and north-east, including Flinders Island.