Weekly update - 20 April 2017

​​​Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 19 April 2017 rainfall was recorded across the Top End and the south west of the Northern Territory, northern and central Western Australia, and isolated areas of coastal north Queensland and northern New South Wales.
  • During the week ending 18 April 2017 maximum temperatures were slightly above average across large areas of southern and central Australia, with parts of New South Wales and South Australia recording maximum temperatures of between 4°C and 6°C above average.
  • The forecast for the next eight days indicates that rainfall totals in excess of 15 millimetres are expected in Victoria, southern and coastal New South Wales, and much of South Australia. Similar totals are forecast for central Western Australia, western Tasmania, and southern parts of the Northern Territory. The highest totals are expected in parts of tropical northern Australia, with weekly rainfall totals to exceed 100 millimetres in parts of the Top End.
  • The expected falls across agricultural regions of southern New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are likely to improve conditions for the planting and germination of winter cereal and oilseed crops, with dry sowing activities already well underway in a number of regions.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 20 April 2017 by 49 gigalitres (GL) to 15,230 GL and are at 67 per cent of total capacity.
  • Dairy product prices rose following news of heavy rain in northern New Zealand.
  • Saleyard trade lamb prices reached record highs in Victoria in the week ended 19 April, supported by strong restocker demand.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 19 April 2017 rainfall was recorded across the Top End and the south west of the Northern Territory, northern and central Western Australia, and isolated areas of coastal north Queensland and northern New South Wales. Little to no rainfall was recorded across the remainder of country. The highest recorded weekly total was 134 millimetres at Milingimbi airport, 550 kilometres east of Darwin in the Northern Territory.

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 19 April 2017

This is an image of a rainfall analysis map of Australia for the week ending 19 April 2017. 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 12/04/2017

Temperature anomalies this week

During the week ending 18 April 2017 maximum temperatures were slightly above average across large areas of southern and central Australia, with parts of New South Wales and South Australia recording maximum temperatures of between 4°C and 6°C above average. Minimum temperatures were generally close to average across most of Australia.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 18 April 2017

This is an image of a map of maximum temperature anomalies recorded across Australia for the week ending 11 April 2017. 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 11/04/2017

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 18 April 2017

This is an image of a map of minimum temperature anomalies recorded across Australia for the week ending 18 April 2017. 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 11/04/2017

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.

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

The forecast for the next eight days indicates that rainfall totals in excess of 15 millimetres are expected in Victoria, southern and coastal New South Wales, and much of South Australia (see map below). Similar totals are forecast for central Western Australia, western Tasmania, and southern parts of the Northern Territory. The highest totals are expected in parts of tropical northern Australia, with weekly rainfall totals to exceed 100 millimetres in parts of the Top End.

The expected falls across agricultural regions of southern New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are likely to improve conditions for the planting and germination of winter cereal and oilseed crops, with dry sowing activities already well underway in a number of regions.

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 20 to 27 April 2017

This is an image of a map showing total forecast rainfall across Australia from 20 April to 28 April 2017. 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 13/04/2017

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 20 April 2017 by 49 gigalitres (GL) to 15,230 GL and are at 67 per cent of total capacity. This is 38 percentage points or 8,506 GL more than at the same time last year.

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

This is a image of a blue line graph depicting water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin from 2000 to 2017, measured as a percentage of the total storage of 100,000 gigalitres. 

Information on irrigation water available in the Murray–Darling Basin from 1 January 2001 to 20 April 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.

Commodities

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Market focus

Dairy

Weighted average prices of dairy products rose at the global dairy trade (GDT) auction event on 18 April 2017 following news of heavy rain in northern New Zealand regions that resulted from cyclones Debbie and Cook. The price of skim milk powder rose 7 per cent to US$2,044 a tonne, cheddar cheese by 5 per cent to US$3,462 a tonne and whole milk powder by 3 per cent to US$2,998 a tonne. The price of anhydrous milk fat remained relatively unchanged at US$5,930.

Lamb

Saleyard trade lamb prices reached record highs in Victoria at 686 cents a kilogram in the week ended 19 April. Strong restocker demand for flock rebuilding in response to greatly improved seasonal conditions supported prices, and processor and export demand has continued to be firm.

Current indicators

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Last reviewed:
14 Jun 2017