Weekly update - 4 April 2019

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 3 April 2019 rainfall was recorded across vast areas eastern Australia, and isolated parts of northern and western Australia.
  • In cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 100 millimetres was recorded across Queensland, northern and south-eastern New South Wales, and central Western Australia during the week ending 3 April 2019. Lighter falls of between 1 and 10 millimetres were recorded across remaining cropping regions in New South Wales and Western Australia.
  • March 2019 mean, maximum and minimum temperatures were above average for much of the country. It was the warmest March on record for Australia in terms of mean temperature. The national mean temperature was 2.1°C above average.
  • Rainfall for March 2019 was variable across Australia. March rainfall was severely deficient to well below average across western Victoria, eastern Western Australia, western and southern South Australia, eastern Tasmania and western Northern Territory.
  • March 2019 rainfall was well above average to extremely high for cropping regions in northern and eastern Queensland, and parts of eastern New South Wales. Below average rainfall occurred in cropping regions of Victoria, South Australia and parts Western Australia, with generally average rainfall in the remaining cropping regions.
  • In cropping regions, lower layer soil moisture was generally very much below average to below average across northern New South Wales, Victoria, most of Queensland, the west and east of Western Australia and South Australia. Lower layer soil moisture was average in isolated parts of southern New South Wales, northern Queensland and central Western Australian cropping regions.
  • During the next eight days, rainfall is expected across all states and territories, with the heaviest falls likely to be restricted to northern and the far east of mainland Australia, and western Tasmania.
  • In cropping regions, rainfall of between 1 and 5 millimetres is expected across much of Western Australia. Little to no rainfall is expected across the cropping regions in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) decreased between 27 March and 4 April 2019 by 140 gigalitres (GL). Current volume of water held in storage is 8,600 GL which represents 34 per cent of total capacity. This is 36 percent or 4,840 GL less than at the same time last year.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray-Darling Basin increased from $469 per ML in the week ending 18 March 2019 to $486 per ML in the week ending 25 March 2019.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 3 April 2019 rainfall was recorded across vast areas of eastern Australia, and isolated parts of northern and western Australia. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across parts of eastern and central New South Wales, eastern and southern Victoria, much of Queensland, scattered parts of the west and north of Western Australia, western Tasmania and the far north of the Northern Territory. Higher rainfall totals in excess of 50 millimetres were also recorded in parts of eastern New South Wales, much of northern and central Queensland and the far north-east of the Northern Territory.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 100 millimetres was recorded across Queensland, northern and south-eastern New South Wales, and central Western Australia during the week ending 3 April 2019. Lighter falls of between 1 and 10 millimetres were recorded across remaining cropping regions in New South Wales and Western Australia. Little to no rainfall was recorded across cropping regions in Victoria and South Australia.

Rainfall analysis for the week ending 3 April 2019

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 2019, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 3/04/2019

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.

Monthly temperatures

March 2019 mean, maximum and minimum temperatures were above average for much of the country. It was the warmest March on record for Australia in terms of mean temperature. The national mean temperature was 2.1 °C above average. Maximum temperatures were 2.4 °C above average and minimum temperatures were 1.9 °C above average. The Northern Territory and Western Australia both experienced their warmest mean monthly temperature on record for March.

Maximum temperature deciles for March 2019

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

©Commonwealth of Australia 2019, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 1/04/2019

Minimum temperature deciles for March 2019

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

©Commonwealth of Australia 2019, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 1/04/2019

Note: Maximum and minimum temperatures for February 2019 compared with temperature recorded for that period during the historical record (1900 to present). For further information go to Daily maximum temperature for Australia.

Monthly rainfall

Rainfall for March 2019 was variable across Australia. March rainfall was severely deficient to well below average across western Victoria, eastern Western Australia, western and southern South Australia, eastern Tasmania and western Northern Territory.

At the end of March two severe tropical cyclones, Trevor and Veronica, brought extremely high rainfall to large areas of eastern Australia and parts of Western Australia. March rainfall was well above average to extremely high for parts of eastern New South Wales, north-eastern Victoria, large areas of Queensland, parts of northern and south-west Western Australia, north-eastern South Australia and eastern Northern Territory.

March 2019 rainfall was well above average to extremely high for cropping regions in northern and eastern Queensland, and parts of eastern New South Wales. Below average rainfall occurred in cropping regions of Victoria, South Australia and parts Western Australia, with generally average rainfall in the remaining cropping regions.

Rainfall percentiles for March 2019

 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Note: Rainfall for March 2019 is compared with rainfall recorded for that period during the historical record (1900 to present). For further information, go to Australian Water Availability Project

Monthly soil moisture

Upper layer soil moisture in March 2019 was generally average to above average across New South Wales, eastern Victoria, Queensland, much of Western Australia, Tasmania, north-eastern and central South Australia, and much of the Northern Territory. In contrast, it was very much below average to below average across western Victoria, parts of north-eastern and south-eastern Western Australia, western and southern South Australia, and parts of the far north and south of the Northern Territory.

In cropping regions, upper layer soil moisture was generally average to above average across New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. It was generally below average across cropping regions in Victoria, South Australia and the far west of Western Australia.

Modelling upper layer soil moisture for March 2019

 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology (Australian Water Resources Assessment Landscape model)

Note: This map shows the levels of modelled upper layer soil moisture (0 to 10 centimetres) during March 2019. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during March 2019 compare with March conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2015). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in March 2019 than during the reference period. The dark red areas were much drier than during the reference period. The bulk of plant roots occur in the top 20 centimetres of the soil profile. Soil moisture in the upper layer of the soil profile is therefore useful indicator of the availability of water, particularly for germinating seed.

Lower layer soil moisture for March  2019 was below average across much of Australia. In contrast, it was average to above average across central and western Queensland, parts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and isolated areas of southern New South Wales and eastern South Australia.

In cropping regions, lower layer soil moisture was generally very much below average to below average across northern New South Wales, Victoria, most of Queensland, the west and east of Western Australia and South Australia. Lower layer soil moisture was average in isolated parts of southern New South Wales, northern Queensland and central Western Australian cropping regions.

Modelling lower layer soil moisture for March 2019

 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology (Australian Water Resources Assessment Landscape model)

Note: This map shows the levels of modelled lower layer soil moisture (10 to 100 centimetres) during March 2019. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during March 2019 compare with November conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2015). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in March 2019 than during the reference period. The dark red areas were much drier than during the reference period. The bulk of plant roots occur in the top 20 centimetres of the soil profile. The lower layer soil moisture is a larger, deeper store that is slower to respond to rainfall and tends to reflect accumulated rainfall events over longer time periods.

Rainfall deficiencies

The rainfall deficiencies presented below are sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology’s monthly ‘Drought Statement’. As short to longer-term deficiencies become evident the Bureau of Meteorology monitors these events through their lifecycle – from emergence through to their dissipation – with the time-period of analysis each month increasing from a fixed starting point to the easing of the deficiencies.

For further information, go to Drought

For the 12-month period ending March 2019, rainfall deficiencies have decreased in central Queensland, eastern South Australia and south-eastern Northern Territory. In contrast, rainfall deficiencies generally increased in severity across southern New South Wales, parts of central Western Australia, and the central and western Northern Territory. Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies persist across much of northern and western New South Wales, parts of eastern Victoria, parts of southern Queensland, large areas of eastern South Australia, parts of southern and northern Western Australia and much of the Northern Territory.

Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies continue to persist at longer timescales. For the 24-months starting in April 2017, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies are evident across large areas of northern and central New South Wales, parts of eastern Victoria, large areas of eastern South Australia, southern and central Queensland, parts of western and southern Western Australia, and central Northern Territory (Bureau of Meteorology ‘Drought Statement’, 3 April 2019).

Rainfall deficiencies for the 12-month period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019

 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2019, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 3/04/2019

Rainfall deficiencies for the 24-month period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2019

 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2019, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 3/04/2019

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

During the next eight days, rainfall is expected across all states and territories, with the heaviest falls likely to be restricted to northern and the far east of mainland Australia, and western Tasmania.

Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of coastal New South Wales, northern Queensland, northern Western Australia, western Tasmania and north of the Northern Territory. Heavier falls in excess of 50 millimetres are forecast for the Cape York Peninsula, part of north-eastern Western Australia and the far north of the Northern Territory.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 1 and 5 millimetres is expected across much of Western Australia. Little to no rainfall is expected across the cropping regions in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.

This rainfall forecast is produced from computer models. As the model outputs are not altered by weather forecasters, it is important to check local forecasts and warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 4 April to 11 April 2019

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. 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2019, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 4/04/2019

Commodities

Current indicators – 4 April 2019

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate03-AprUS$/A$0.710.710%0.77-8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf02-AprUS$/t222224<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.233-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf03-AprUS$/t164170-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.172-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg02-AprUS$/t404408<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.425-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index03-AprUSc/lb86.586.2<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.90.8-5%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 contract03-AprUSc/lb12.612.60%12.4-2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator28-MarAc/kg clean1,9471,963<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,77210%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator29-MarAc/kg clean2,0992,104<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,87112%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, SA02-AprA$/t3002961%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.24423%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW03-AprA$/t402405<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.27845%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW03-AprA$/t3653601%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.27931%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.29-OctA$/t597nana53611%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW03-AprA$/t3803800%410-7%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator28-MarAc/kg cwt49444112%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.540-9%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), Vic29-MarAc/kg cwt46441113%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.4454%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator28-MarAc/kg cwt6836476%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.61511%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 & sellers22-MarAc/kg cwt3393390%27026%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1–16 kg)01-AprAc/kg cwt6166160%47231%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 Indonesia30-MarAc/kg lwt280300-7%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.310-10%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 East04-Mar$/head105 105 0%124-15%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart

Global Dairy Trade (GDT) weighted average prices a

Dairy – Whole milk powder03-AprUS$/t3,2873,317<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.3,278<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder03-AprUS$/t2,4682,4053%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,84933%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese03-AprUS$/t4,2484,0365%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,67915%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat03-AprUS$/t5,8675,8674%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.5,8061%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.

Selected world indicator prices
Selected domestic crop indicator prices
Selected domestic livestock indicator prices
Global dairy trade weighted average prices
Movements in selected fruit and vegetable prices
Data attribution

Water

Water storages, water markets and water allocations - current week

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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