Weekly update - 15 February 2018

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 14 February 2018 rainfall was mainly restricted to northern and western Australia and coastal parts of south-eastern Australia.
  • Maximum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average across most of eastern and central Australia during the week ending 13 February 2018. The highest anomalies (4°C to 6°C) were recorded in New South Wales, southern Queensland, eastern South Australia and southern areas of the Northern Territory.
  • The mid-month climate outlook for March to May 2018 indicates that large areas of central Australia are likely to have a drier than average autumn, including parts of Western Australia, southern parts of the Northern Territory, western Queensland, eastern South Australia, and parts of western Victoria. In contrast, Tasmania is more likely to have above average rainfall during the next three months.
  • The temperature outlook for March to May 2018 indicates that maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to be warmer than average in the northeast, central and southern parts of Australia.
  • La Niña continues to decline in the tropical Pacific, with most climate models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology expecting the current event to end in early autumn 2018.
  • During the next eight days, rainfall is expected mainly in northern, western and eastern Australia.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 15 February 2018 by 271 gigalitres (GL) to 13,120 GL and are at 58 per cent of total capacity. This is 17 percentage points or 3,798 GL less than at the same time last year..
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray-Darling Basin increased in the week ending 15 February 2018 to $107 per ML. This is an increase of $3 from the same time last week.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 14 February 2018 rainfall was mainly restricted to northern and western Australia and coastal parts of south-eastern Australia. At the start of the week, low pressure troughs brought thunderstorms and rainfall totals exceeding 100 millimetres over the Top End of the Northern Territory, northern tropics in Queensland and northern Western Australia. Rainfall totals between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded in northern and western Western Australia, northern areas of the Northern Territory, Tasmania, and isolated coastal areas of New South Wales and Queensland. The highest recorded weekly total was 243 millimetres at Millingimbi Airport on Millingimbi Island, Northern Territory.

Rainfall - week ending 14 February 2018

Map showing weekly rainfall totals in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.  

©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 14/02/2018

Note: The rainfall analyses and associated maps utilise data contained in the Bureau of Meteorology climate database, the Australian Data Archive for Meteorology (ADAM). The analyses are initially produced automatically from real-time data with limited quality control. They are intended to provide a general overview of rainfall across Australia as quickly as possible after the observations are received. For further information go to Weekly Rainfall Update.

Temperature anomalies this week

For the week ending 13 February 2018, maximum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average across most of eastern and central Australia, with the highest anomalies (4°C to 6°C) recorded in New South Wales, southern Queensland, eastern South Australia and southern areas of the Northern Territory. Maximum temperatures were -2°C to -4°C below average in parts of coastal Western Australia. Minimum temperatures were above average (2°C to 6°C) across New South Wales, South Australia, southern Queensland and Northern Territory, south-eastern Western Australia, and eastern Tasmania. Minimum temperatures were -2°C to -4°C below average in far south-western Western Australia and eastern parts of Queensland.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 13 February 2018

Map showing maximum temperature anomalies in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 13/02/2018

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 13 February 2018

Map showing minimum temperature anomalies in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.] 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 13/02/2018

Note: Spatial temperature analyses are based on historical weekly temperature data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. These temperature anomaly maps show the departure of the maximum and minimum temperatures from their long-term averages. Temperature anomalies are calculated using high-resolution gridded datasets from 1911 onwards. For further information go to Daily maximum temperature for Australia.

Mid-month National Climate Outlook

The rainfall and temperature outlooks presented below show the likelihood, represented as a percentage, of experiencing wetter or drier (and warmer or cooler) than median climatic conditions for the given outlook periods. Climate outlooks are generated by the Predictive Climate Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia (POAMA), a dynamical (physics-based) climate model developed by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric research division.

For further information, go to About the climate outlook

The current outlook is showing little influence from any of Australia’s typical climate drivers, with most in a neutral phase. Other ocean and atmosphere patterns are therefore likely to determine the likely rainfall/temperature outcome. Weak La Niña conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean has had a correspondingly weak impacts on the Australian climate.

The La Niña continues to decline and is expected to end by early autumn. The breakdown of several weak La Niña events in the past (e.g., 1907, 1925, 1930, 1943, and 2009) have also led to dry conditions in some areas during autumn.

Rainfall during March 2018 is more likely to be below average across large parts of central and northern Australia, with western Queensland, and eastern and western Northern Territory having the lowest chances of exceeding the median. Tasmania and parts of south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales are more likely to have above median rainfall during March 2018 (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 15 February 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall March 2018

 

The rainfall outlook for March to May 2018 indicates that large areas of central Australia are likely to have a drier than average autumn, including parts of Western Australia, southern parts of the Northern Territory, western Queensland, eastern South Australia, and parts of western Victoria. In contrast, Tasmania is more likely to have above average rainfall during the next three months (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 15 February 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall March to May 2018

 

The temperature outlook for March to May 2018 indicates that maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to be warmer than average in the northeast, central and southern parts of Australia. Eastern New South Wales, southeast Queensland and northwest Australia have roughly equal chances of a warmer or cooler than average three months (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 15 February 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature March to May 2018

 

Chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature March to May 2018

 

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Rainfall is expected mainly in northern, western and eastern Australia during the next eight days. Totals between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for eastern parts of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and western Tasmania. Higher totals between 50 and 100 millimetres are predicted in northern Queensland and the Top End of the Northern Territory, and totals between 50 and 300 millimetres are predicted across much of northern and inland Western Australia.

This rainfall forecast is produced from computer models. As it contains no input from weather forecasters, it is important to check local forecasts and warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 15 to 22 February 2018

Map of the total forecast rainfall for the next 8 days. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: ©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 15/02/2018

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 15 February 2018 by 271 gigalitres (GL) to 13,120 GL and are at 58 per cent of total capacity. This is 17 percentage points or 3,798 GL less than at the same time last year.

Visit the interactive Tableau data dashboard

Water storages in the Murray-Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and Queensland)

Line graph showing water storages in the Murray–Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and Queensland) from 2001 to 2018, measured as a percentage of the total storage of 22,598 gigalitres. 

Information on water available in dams used for irrigation the Murray–Darling Basin from 1 January 2001 to 15 February 2018 is shown above. The top horizontal (short dash) line indicates the storage level during a similar time last year. The bottom horizontal (long dash) line indicates the amount of ‘dead’ or unusable storage.

Water allocations

The current water allocations for the 2017–18 water trading season for licence holders in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia water systems are summarised in the following table and charts.

Water allocations in the Murray–Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and South Australia)

Allocations at

15 February 2018

7 February 2018

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

49%

97%

49%

97%

NSW Murrumbidgee

34%

95%

33%

95%

NSW Lower Darling

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Macquarie and Cudgegong

38%

100%

38%

100%

NSW Hunter

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Lachlan

2%

100%

2%

100%

NSW Lower Namoi

7%

100%

7%

100%

NSW Upper Namoi

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Gwydir

18%

100%

18%

100%

NSW Border Rivers

100%(a)/19.62%(b)

100%

100%(a)/19.62%(b)

100%

NSW Peel

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria

Low reliability

High reliability

Low reliability

High reliability

Victoria Murray

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Goulburn

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Campaspe

52%

100%

52%

100%

Victoria Loddon

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Bullarook

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria Broken

100%

100%

100%

100%

South Australia

 

Class 3a/3b

 

Class 3a/3b

South Australia Murray

 

100%

 

100%

Select water allocation percentages in the southern Murray-Darling Basin

 

 

 

 

Water markets

Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin increased in the week ending 15 February 2018 to $107 per ML. This is an increase of $3 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $104 in January across the whole southern MDB, and $66 during the same time last year.

Allocation trade activity in the southern Murray–Darling Basin

Allocation trade activity in the southern Murray-Darling Basin. The trades shown reflect market activity and do not encompass all register trades. The price line reflects locally fitted price values for the entire southern Murray-Darling Basin.  

The trades shown reflect estimated market activity and do not encompass all register trades. The price line reflects locally fitted price values for the entire southern Murray–Darling Basin. Data shown is current until 15 February 2018. Trade activity is shown as colour density.

Allocation trade prices, southern Murray–Darling Basin trade zones

 

Southern MDB

Victoria Goulburn

SA Murray

NSW Murrumbidgee

Victoria Murray

NSW Murray

Current week: 09/02/18 – 15/02/18

$106.86

$80.43

$110.30

$126.93

$108.49

$109.08

Last week: 02/02/18 – 08/02/18

$103.43

$79.89

$120.00

$124.65

$111.31

$108.11

January 2018

$104.16

$80.05

$108.62

$123.29

$111.79

$110.79

January 2017

$65.64

$66.99

$117.20

$39.52

$70.26

$71.30

Commodities

Current indicators – 15 February 2018

IndicatorWeek endedUnitLatest pricePrice week priorWeekly changePrice 12 months priorYear on year changeChart

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate14-FebUS$/A$0.780.79-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.0.771%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf13-FebUS$/t237236<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.21311%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf14-FebUS$/t1631611%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.165-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburga13-FebUS$/t430426<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.451-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index14-FebUSc/lb87.388.1<1% This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.85.82%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract14-FebUSc/lb13.613.7<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.20.4-33%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator08-FebAc/kg clean1,8181,7385%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,43727%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator09-FebAc/kg clean1,9211,8196%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,47231%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic crop indicator prices

Milling Wheat – ASW1, track quote, Port Adelaide, SA13-FebA$/t2372274%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.18230%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW14-FebA$/t2702546%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.20730%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW14-FebA$/t2742625%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.18548%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.12-FebA$/t5104875%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.525-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW14-FebA$/t3002855%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.23926%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator15-FebAc/kg cwt539538<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.637-15%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18-24 kg fat score 2-3), Vic09-FebAc/kg cwt378403-6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.445-15%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator15-FebAc/kg cwt613634-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.664-8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1-75 kg), average of buyers & sellers02-FebAc/kg cwt2772770%367-25%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1-16 kg)12-FebAc/kg cwt4784780%640-25%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia10-FebAc/kg lwt3203200%375-15%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Live sheep – Live wether (Muchea WA saleyard) to Middle East12-Feb$/head97122-20%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.110-12%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart

Global Dairy Trade weighted average pricesa

Dairy – Whole milk powder06-FebUS$/t3,2263,0107%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,314-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder06-FebUS$/t1,9321,8186%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2,608-26%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese06-FebUS$/t3,7393,4867%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,798-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat06-FebUS$/t6,5816,547<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.5,76514%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

a Global Dairy Trade prices are updated twice monthly on the first and third Tuesday of each month.

Movements in selected fruit and vegetable prices
Data attribution

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Last reviewed:
15 Feb 2018