Weekly update - 25 January 2018

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 24 January 2018 rainfall was mainly recorded in northern Australia and central parts of Western Australia. Little to rainfall was recorded across the remainder of the country.
  • Maximum temperatures exceeded 4°C above average across southern Queensland, and most of South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania during the week ending 23 January 2018. The highest anomalies (8°C to 10°C) were recorded in western New South Wales, western Victoria and eastern South Australia.
  • The rainfall outlook for February to April 2018 indicates higher chances of exceeding the median rainfall for most of Western Australia except the south-west. Chances are similar for the Top End of the Northern Territory, far northern Queensland and the far south-east of the country. 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 forecast in northern, central and south-eastern Australia. The monsoon trough is expected to generate significant rainfall over northern Australia, with totals exceeding 400 millimetres in some areas.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 25 January 2018 by 270 gigalitres (GL) to 14,096 GL and are at 62 per cent of total capacity. This is 17 percentage points or 3,730 GL less than at the same time last year.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin increased in the week ending 25 January 2018 to $107 per ML. This is an increase of $9 from the same time last week.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 24 January 2018, rainfall was mainly recorded in northern Australia and central parts of Western Australia. An active monsoon trough brought rainfall in excess of 200 millimetres in parts of the Cape York Peninsula, Top End, and around the Gulf of Carpentaria. Totals between 25 and 100 millimetres were observed in northern Queensland, northern parts of the Northern Territory, and in the Kimberley and inland areas of Western Australia. Little to rainfall was recorded across the remainder of the country. The highest recorded weekly total was 630 millimetres at Bing Bong Port, 450 kilometres south east of Katherine in the Northern Territory.

Rainfall - week ending 24 January 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: 24/01/2018

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

During the week ending 23 January 2018, a severe heatwave brought well above average maximum temperatures to south-eastern Australia. Anomalies exceeded 4°C across southern Queensland, and most of South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. The highest anomalies (8°C to 10°C) were recorded in western New South Wales, western Victoria, and eastern South Australia. Maximum temperatures were -4°C to -6°C below average around the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory and north-western Queensland. Minimum temperatures were higher than normal across much of southern Australia, ranging from 2°C to 6°C above average. They were 2°C to 4°C below average in north-eastern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 23 January 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: 23/01/2018

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 23 January 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: 23/01/2018

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.

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 outlook

This outlook is being influenced by weak La Niña conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean. International climate models suggest the La Niña will end by mid-autumn. La Niña events typically start to break down at this time of year, meaning there is less influence on rainfall.

The wetter signal for Western Australia is likely being influenced by warmer than average waters to the north-west of Australia. This encourages lower pressure and increases the likelihood of above average rainfall for much of Western Australia.

Rainfall during February 2018 is more likely to be above average across most of Australia, with the exception of northern parts of Queensland and central parts of the Northern Territory, which have roughly equal changes of above or below average rainfall. Western parts of Western Australia have greater than 75 per cent chance of exceeding the median rainfall. Historical outlook accuracy for February to April rainfall is moderate across much of the eastern half of Australia, western parts of Western Australia, and the Top End of the Northern Territory. Elsewhere, accuracy is generally low to very low (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 25 January 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall February 2018

 

The rainfall outlook for February to April 2018 indicates higher chances of exceeding the median rainfall for most of Western Australia except the south-west. Chances are similar for the Top End of the Northern Territory, far northern Queensland and the far south-east of the country (including most of Tasmania). The remainder of the country has roughly equal chances of above or below average rainfall during this period (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 25 January 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall February to April 2018

 

The temperature outlook for February to April 2018 indicates that there are higher chances of below average maximum and minimum temperatures in parts of western and southern Australia. There are higher chances of warmer than average minimum and maximum temperatures in parts of northern Queensland and Tasmania (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 25 January 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature February to April 2018

 

Chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature February to April 2018

 

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Rainfall is expected in northern, central and south-eastern Australia during the next eight days. Totals between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for the eastern half of New South Wales, most of Victoria except the far west, and the western half of South Australia. Similar totals are predicted for most of Western Australia except the western parts. The monsoon trough is expected to generate significant rainfall over northern Australia, with totals exceeding 100 millimetres in northern Queensland, northern Western Australia and the northern half of the Northern Territory. Higher totals (exceeding 400 millimetres) are expected in western parts of the Cape York Peninsula, parts of the Kimberley and western parts of the Top End.

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 25 January to 1 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: 25/01/2018

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 25 January 2018 by 270 gigalitres (GL) to 14,096 GL and are at 62 per cent of total capacity. This is 17 percentage points or 3,730 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 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 25 January 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

25 January 2018

15 January 2018

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

49%

97%

49%

97%

NSW Murrumbidgee

33%

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

17%

100%

17%

100%

NSW Border Rivers

100%(a)/15.83%(b)

100%

100%(a)/15.83%(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 25 January 2018 to $107 per ML. This is an increase of $9 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $101 in December across the whole southern MDB, and $82 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 25 January 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: 19/01/18 – 25/01/18

$107.06

$81.22

$105.66

$122.23

$111.82

$109.81

Last week: 12/01/18 – 18/01/18

$97.60

$80.44

$108.93

$124.54

$111.16

$112.45

December 2017

$101.08

$77.92

$114.64

$120.67

$108.41

$110.05

December 2016

$82.09

$93.83

$108.50

$57.61

$95.63

$87.36

Commodities

Current indicators – 25 January 2018

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate24-JanUS$/A$0.80.791%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.0.765%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf23-JanUS$/t225227<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2079%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 Gulf24-JanUS$/t1561560%164-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburga23-JanUS$/t422429-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.458-8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index24-JanUSc/lb93.692.12% This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.82.613%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 contract24-JanUSc/lb13.214.0-6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.20.4-35%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator25-JanAc/kg clean1,7441,801-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,41224%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator19-JanAc/kg clean1,8601,888-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,47626%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, SA23-JanA$/t224222<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.18422%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW24-JanA$/t2532482%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.20424%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW24-JanA$/t262281-7%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.17550%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.22-JanA$/t482488-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.515-6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW24-JanA$/t285314-9%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.24815%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 Indicator25-JanAc/kg cwt546556-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.653-16%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), Vic19-JanAc/kg cwt408481-15%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.428-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator18-JanAc/kg cwt623661-6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.6092%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1-75 kg), average of buyers & sellers12-JanAc/kg cwt277278<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.372-26%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)22-JanAc/kg cwt483490-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.620-22%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 Indonesia20-JanAc/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 East22-Jan$/head1221156%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.10022%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

Global Dairy Trade weighted average pricesa

Dairy – Whole milk powder16-JanUS$/t3,0102,8864%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,283-8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder16-JanUS$/t1,8181,6997%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2,612-30%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese16-JanUS$/t3,4863,3175%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,940-12%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat16-JanUS$/t6,5476,4052%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.5,52818%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:
25 Jan 2018