[Editor: This untitled item, regarding rainfall and drought in Australia, is an extract from the “Notes” section published in Nature (London, England), 2 September 1915.]
The rainfall in Australia in 1914 is shown in a series of charts prepared by Mr. H. A. Hunt, and issued by the Commonwealth Government.
The year was noticeable for its drought, and in South Australia, the Riverina, western Victoria, and much of Tasmania it was the driest year on record. These conditions resulted in a failure of the crops over the greater part of the wheat belt, with a production only some 30 per cent. of the previous season. Tasmania suffered least of all parts of the wheat belt, but in other parts of southern Australia the deficiency of rain in the cool part of the year averaged from 25 per cent. to 72 per cent.
These conditions were related to anti-cyclones of great intensity, which kept south of their normal track across Australia, and moved very slowly, with the result that the “Antarctic” disturbances failed to reach Australia to any great extent. The weakness and failure of the winter rains were partly counterbalanced in the warmer months by unusually strong monsoons. In western Australia, Victoria, central and southern New South Wales in November and December, these rains were far above the average.
On the whole, the drought of 1914 was not so widespread as the droughts of 1888 and 1902, but was locally more intense. Queensland and tropical Australia largely escaped.
Nature (London, England), 7 October 1915, p. 153 (column 1)
per cent. = an abbreviation of “per centum” (Latin, meaning “by a hundred”), i.e. an amount, number, or ratio expressed as a fraction of 100; also rendered as “per cent” (without a full stop), “percent”, “pct”, “pc”, “p/c”, or “%” (per cent sign)
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]