Weekly update - 17 August 2017

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 16 August 2017 rainfall was recorded across southern Australia, with totals between 5 and 50 millimetres in south-western Western Australia, southern South Australia, Victoria, southern New South Wales, and Tasmania.
  • For the week ending 15 August 2017 maximum temperatures were well above average across most of mainland Australia. Minimum temperatures were above average in western, central and southern parts of Australia, and below average in parts of eastern and northern Australia.
  • Starting in August 2017, the Bureau of Meteorology will be issuing climate outlooks twice-monthly, rather than monthly. The mid-month issue will provide an early outlook for the months and season ahead.
  • The mid-month climate outlook indicates that spring (September to November 2017) rainfall is likely to be below average for western parts of Australia. The remainder of the country has roughly equal chances of above or below average rainfall during this period.
  • During the next eight days rainfall is expected to be restricted to southern parts of the country. Totals between 5 and 50 millimetres are forecast for south-western Western Australia, south-eastern South Australia, most of Victoria, southern New South Wales, and western Tasmania. Rainfall totals are forecast to exceed 50 millimetres in western Tasmania, and alpine regions of New South Wales and Victoria.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week 17 August 2017 by 291 gigalitres (GL) to 16,074 GL and are at 71 per cent of total capacity. This is 12 percentage points or 2,705 GL more than at the same time last year.
  • New South Wales Department of Primary Industries - Water announced General Security water allocations in the NSW Border Rivers, Lachlan, Murrumbidgee and Macquarie and Cudgegong systems. The Northern Victoria Resource Manager announced increases in allocations in all catchments except the Campaspe.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin increased slightly in the week up to 17 August 2017 to $143.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 16 August 2017 a series of cold fronts and low pressure systems brought rainfall to much of southern Australia. Rainfall totals between 5 and 50 millimetres were recorded in south-western Western Australia, southern South Australia, Victoria, southern New South Wales, and Tasmania. Rainfall totals exceeded 50 millimetres in south-western Western Australia, western Tasmania, and in alpine regions of Victoria and New South Wales. The highest recorded weekly total was 173 millimetres at Perisher Valley in New South Wales’ Snowy Mountains. Little to no rainfall was recorded in northern and eastern Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland, and most of South Australia and New South Wales.

Rainfall during the first half of August 2017 is likely to improve yield prospects for winter crops in the southern states. When compared to the monthly average for August, rainfall totals for August-to-date are now average to above average in the cropping regions of Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria. However, August-to-date totals remain below average in New South Wales’ cropping zones.

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

Rainfall - week ending 16 August 2017

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 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 16/08/2017

Temperature anomalies this week

During the week ending 15 August 2017 maximum temperatures were between 2°C and 8°C above average for most of mainland Australia. Maximum temperature anomalies were particularly high (6°C to 8°C) in south-western Queensland, northern South Australia and southern parts of the Northern Territory. Minimum temperatures were above average (2°C to 6°C) in western, central and southern parts of Australia, and below average (-2°C to -4°C) in parts of eastern and northern Australia.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 15 August 2017

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 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 15/08/2017

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 15 August 2017

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 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 15/08/2017

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

Starting in August 2017, the Bureau of Meteorology will be issuing climate outlooks twice-monthly, rather than monthly. The mid-month issue will provide an early outlook for the months and season ahead. The end-of-month issue will contain a more comprehensive look at the current influences on Australian climate.

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 outlooks

Both of Australia’s major climate drivers, the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), are at neutral levels. The current climate outlook is more likely to be affected by localised influences, such as moderate shifts in the location and strength of the sub-tropical ridge and local sea surface temperatures. Cooler sea surface temperatures off the coast of Western Australia are likely to be decreasing moisture flow and influencing the drier outlook for western parts of Australia.

There is strong consensus amongst climate model that neutral ENSO and IOD levels will continue for the remainder of 2017.

Rainfall during September 2017 is more likely to be below average in south-western Australia and above average in southern Queensland, north-eastern Tasmania, and central parts of the Northern Territory. The remainder of mainland Australia has roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average September (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 17 August 2017).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall September 2017

Map showing chance of exceeding the median rainfall. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

The rainfall outlook for spring (September to November 2017) indicates that rainfall is more likely to be below average for parts of Western Australia. The remainder of the country has roughly equal chances of above or below average rainfall during this period (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 17 August 2017).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall September to November 2017

Map showing chance of exceeding the median rainfall. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

The temperature outlook for spring (September to November 2017) indicates that maximum temperatures are more likely to be above average for most of Australia. Chances are highest in northern and south-eastern Australia, where there is a greater than 80 per cent chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature.

Minimum temperatures are more likely to be above average for most of Australia, except in central and southern Western Australia, and South Australia, where there are equal chances of above or below median minimum temperatures (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 17 August 2017).

Chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature September to November 2017

Map showing chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature September to November 2017

Map showing chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Rainfall is expected to be restricted to southern parts of the country during the next eight days. Totals between 5 and 50 millimetres are forecast for south-western Western Australia, south-eastern South Australia, most of Victoria, southern New South Wales and western Tasmania. Rainfall totals are forecast to exceed 50 millimetres in western Tasmania, and alpine regions of New South Wales and Victoria.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 17 to 24 August 2017

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 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 17/08/2017

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week 17 August 2017 by 291 gigalitres (GL) to 16,074 GL and are at 71 per cent of total capacity. This is 12 percentage points or 2,705 GL more than at the same time last year.

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 2000 to 2017, 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 17 August 2017 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.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries - Water announced allocation increases of:

  • 3.1% for NSW Border Rivers General Security B entitlements to 11.1%
  • 2% for NSW Lachlan General Security entitlements to 2%
  • 3% for NSW Murrumbidgee General Security entitlements to 23%
  • 2% for NSW Macquarie & Cudgegong General Security entitlements to 38%

The Resource Manager for Northern Victoria announced seasonal determination increases of:

  • 9% for Victoria Broken High Reliability on 15 August, 2017 to 15%
  • 68% for Victoria Bullarook High Reliability on 15 August, 2017 to 100%
  • 35% for Victoria Bullarook Low Reliability on 15 August, 2017 to 35%
  • 5% for Victoria Goulburn High Reliability on 15 August, 2017 to 45%
  • 5% for Victoria Loddon High Reliability on 15 August, 2017 to 45%
  • 4% for Victoria Murray High Reliability on 15 August, 2017 to 70%
Allocations at 17 August 20177 August 2017

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

13%

97%

13%

97%

NSW Murrumbidgee

23%

95%

20%

95%

NSW Lower Darling

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Macquarie and Cudgegong

38%

100%

36%

100%

NSW Hunter

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Lachlan

2%

100%

0%

100%

NSW Lower Namoi

7%

100%

7%

100%

NSW Upper Namoi

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Gwydir

11%

100%

11%

100%

NSW Border Rivers

100%(a)/11.1%(b)

100%

100%(a)/8%(b)

100%

NSW Peel

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria

Low reliability

High reliability

Low reliability

High reliability

Victoria Murray

0%

70%

0%

66%

Victoria Goulburn

0%

45%

0%

40%

Victoria Campaspe

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Loddon

0%

45%

0%

40%

Victoria Bullarook

35%

100%

0%

32%

Victoria Broken

0%

15%

0%

6%

South Australia

 

Class 3a/3b

 

Class 3a/3b

South Australia Murray

 

100%

 

100%

(a) General Security A class. (b) General Security B class

Water markets

Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin increased slightly in the week up to 17 August 2017 in most systems. Average prices across the whole southern system climbed to $143. This is increase of $1 or half a per cent from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $124 in July and $32 in June across the whole southern MDB.

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 Thursday 17 August 2017. 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: 11/08/17 - 17/08/17

$143.68

$122.00

$183.91

$121.60

$145.32

$144.62

Last week: 04/08/17 - 10/08/17

$142.89

$131.69

$148.44

$145.55

$146.88

$142.57

July 2017

$124.67

$111.64

$191.30

$107.76

$118.65

$117.80

July 2016

$157.33

$229.63

$240.60

$115.56

$181.01

$208.58

Current indicators – 17 August 2017

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate16-AugUS$/A$0.790.790%0.773%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf15-AugUS$/t206209-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1927%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 Gulf16-AugUS$/t153155-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1511%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg15-AugUS$/t421425<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.4103%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index16-AugUSc/lb78.980.7-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.79.7-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract16-AugUSc/lb13.214.0-6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.19.9-34%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicatora13-JulAc/kg clean1,5221,524<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,31116%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicatora11-AugAc/kg clean1,6061,5702%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,39715%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, SA15-AugA$/t223227-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2230% chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW16-AugA$/t252262-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2367%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW16-AugA$/t236246-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.18329%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.14-AugA$/t502505<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.4873%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW16-AugA$/t312309<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.21942%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 Indicator10-AugAc/kg cwt559574-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.692-19%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), Vic11-AugAc/kg cwt4243928%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.4035%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator10-AugAc/kg cwt6045961%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.633-5%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 & sellers04-AugAc/kg cwt2742740%377-27%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)31-JulAc/kg cwt6476470%57413%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia05-AugAc/kg lwt3303203%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.345-4%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 East07-Aug$/head14012710%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.nana chart

Global Dairy Trade weighted average pricesa

Dairy – Whole milk powder15-AugUS$/t3,1433,155<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,69517%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder15-AugUS$/t1,9681,966<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2,028-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese15-AugUS$/t4,0053,9322%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,15727%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat15-AugUS$/t6,1996,289-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.4,14849%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

a The Australian Wool Exchange remains on recess for the Eastern Market, week prior price for Western Market Indicator is from 14 July.
b 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:
18 Aug 2017