The Gladstone region was drought-declared in May.
The Gladstone region was drought-declared in May.

DROUGHT DECLARED: Region suffering rainfall 'deficiency'

DROUGHT-declared Gladstone is having one of its driest and hottest years since the early 1900s, with the desperate conditions expected to continue.

Rainfall this year is among the lowest since 1900, with the region receiving about half its long-term average.

Day and night-time temperatures are also above average and among the warmest January-to-May periods since 1910.

The Gladstone Regional Council area joined the state's expanding list of official drought-declared regions after a year of "serious" rainfall deficiencies.

The Queensland Agriculture Minister makes declarations after receiving advice from Local Drought Committees at the end of the wet season.

Gladstone was included in May, joining about 65 per cent of the state, which is now in an officially dire situation.

While the weather bureau does not make drought declarations, its drought reports analyse rainfall totals to reveal regions undergoing extreme dry.

Some parts of Queensland have recorded their lowest-ever rainfall over the past 14 months.

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Simon Grainger said Gladstone was experiencing below-average rainfall and above-average temperatures.

Mr Grainger said rainfall patterns this year were low enough to be classified as a "serious deficiency".

He said Gladstone had received only 269mm from January to May, which was about half of what typically fell between 1960-1990 and in the bottom 10 per cent of rainfall years since 1900.

Although unable to explain a cause for the dry weather, Mr Grainger said the limited rainfall was a continuation of below-average rainfall over the past couple of years.

Meanwhile, day and night temperatures were "very much above average" - at about one degree above the long-term average.

Mr Grainger said temperatures were in the top 10 per cent of all years since 1910.

He said the weather bureau's three-month projection predicted a continuation of the dry and warm conditions.

"Over much of Australia we are expecting it to be drier than average from July to September," Mr Grainger said.