Weekly update - 5 December 2019

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 5 December 2019 rainfall was restricted to scattered areas of southern, eastern and northern Australia.
  • Across cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 5 and 25 millimetres were recorded across parts of northern and southern New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the south and north of Queensland. Little to no rainfall was recorded across remaining cropping regions in New South Wales and Queensland, and cropping regions in Western Australia.
  • Rainfall for November 2019 was well below average across large areas of Australia, ranking this November as the driest out of the 120 Novembers on record.
  • Much of eastern, western and central Australia recorded well below average rainfall during November, with rainfall totals less than 25 millimetres across most regions. These low rainfall totals in November, along with above average temperatures and evapotranspiration rates, are expected to adversely affect yield prospects for both winter and summer crops. The planting of dryland summer crops in New South Wales and Queensland has also been limited due to hot and dry conditions persisting through November.
  • Spring 2019 rainfall was extremely low to well below average across much of Australia, ranking this spring as the driest out of the 120 springs on record.
  • Lower layer soil moisture in November was low to very much below average across cropping regions in much of New South Wales, Queensland, western and central South Australia, and southern Western Australia.
  • The northern rainfall onset has occurred in small parts of south-eastern and central Queensland, and the far north of the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Elsewhere, a delayed formation of a monsoon trough in the southern hemisphere and the prolonged positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are likely contribute to a delayed onset of the Australian monsoon.
  • Over the next eight days, rainfall is likely to be restricted to isolated areas of eastern and the far north of Australia.
  • Across Australia’s cropping regions, little to no rainfall is expected during the 8‑day forecast period.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) decreased between 27 November and 4 December 2019 by 126 gigalitres (GL). Current volume of water held in storage is 9,382 GL which represents 37 per cent of total capacity. This is 25 percentage points or 3,116 GL less than at the same time last year.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray Below the Barmah Choke decreased from $870 per ML on 27 November 2019 to $820 per ML on 4 December 2019.

Climate

[expand all]

Rainfall this week

During the week ending 5 December 2019 rainfall was restricted to scattered areas of southern, eastern and northern Australia.

Across cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 5 and 25 millimetres were recorded across parts of northern and southern New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the south and north of Queensland. Little to no rainfall was recorded across remaining cropping regions in New South Wales and Queensland, and cropping regions in Western Australia.

Rainfall for the week ending 5 December 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: 5/12/2019

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

November 2019 mean maximum temperatures were above average for much of Australia. Mean minimum temperatures were above average across parts of western and northern Australia and cooler than average for large areas of central, north-eastern and southern Australia. The national mean temperature was tenth-warmest on record at 1.12 °C above average. Mean maximum temperatures were the sixth-warmest on record for October at 2.09°C above average and mean minimum temperatures were 0.36°C above average.

Maximum temperature deciles for November 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: 01/12/2019

Minimum temperature deciles for November 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: 01/12/2019

Note: Maximum and minimum temperatures for August 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

High-pressure systems persisted over the west and centre of Australia for much of November , restricting movement of rain bearing systems. Rainfall was well below average across large areas of Australia, ranking this November as the driest out of the 120 Novembers on record. Rainfall totals for the month were amongst the third-lowest on record for November for the Western Australia and The Northern Territory as a whole, and the forth lowest on record for Queensland. In contrast, rainfall was above average for this time of year across small parts of north-western New South Wales, western Tasmania and in the north-west of Western Australia.

January to November 2019 rainfall has been below to very much below average across much of Australia. Nationally, this has been the second driest January to November period on record and the driest since 1902. It has also been the driest January to November for South Australia and amongst the third driest for New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

After below average rainfall during winter and the start of spring for much of Australia, timely and sufficient rainfall during November was required to boost crop and pasture production. Unfortunately, cropping regions across Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia have recorded well below average rainfall during November. The low rainfall totals in November, along with above average temperatures and evapotranspiration rates are expected to adversely affect yield prospects. The planting of dryland summer crops in New South Wales and Queensland has also been limited due to hot and dry conditions persisting through November.

Rainfall totals greater than 25 millimetres were limited to parts of New South Wales, southern and eastern Victoria, southern and northern Queensland, the far south-west and north-east of Western Australia, isolated parts of the tropical north and much of Tasmania. These falls are likely to have been sufficient to support some pasture growth and may have benefitted winter crops that were still ripening in southern growing regions.

Rainfall percentiles for November 2019

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Note: Rainfall for November 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

Seasonal rainfall

Spring 2019 rainfall was extremely low to well below average across much of Australia, ranking this spring as the driest out of the 120 springs on record. Rainfall for the season was severely deficient to well below average for large areas of New South Wales, northern Victoria, Queensland, southern Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

The dominant climate driver during spring was a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which typically brings drier conditions to much of southern and central Australia.

Following a favourable start to spring for most cropping regions in Victoria and South Australia during September, rainfall was largely below average in October and November. Spring 2019 rainfall was severely deficient to extremely low for most cropping regions in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and parts of central South Australia. Spring rainfall was well below average to average for much of Victoria and remaining cropping regions in South Australia.

Rainfall percentiles for spring 2019 (1 September to 30 November 2019)

©Commonwealth of Australia 2019, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 03/12/2019

Monthly soil moisture

Upper layer soil moisture for November  2019 was generally average to above average across western New South Wales, Victoria, parts of south-western and northern Queensland, northern Western Australia and Tasmania. In contrast, it was low to below average across most of eastern New South Wales, South Australia, eastern Queensland, southern and north-eastern Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

In cropping regions, upper layer soil moisture was generally average across parts of north-eastern Queensland and Victoria. Upper layer soil moisture was very much below to below average across cropping regions in eastern and northern New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, and remaining areas of Queensland. Soil moisture in cropping regions across parts of south-eastern Queensland was in the low 1% of the historical record during November.

Modelled upper layer soil moisture for November 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 November  2019. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during November 2019 compare with November  conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2015). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in November  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 November  2019 was low to below average across most of eastern and southern New South Wales, large areas of the north and south of Western Australia, parts of eastern Victoria, south-eastern and northern Queensland, South Australia, eastern Tasmania and the Northern Territory. In contrast, it was average to above average across much of eastern Western Australia, north-western New South Wales, much of Victoria, south-western Queensland and western Tasmania. 

In cropping regions, lower layer soil moisture in November was low to very much below average across much of New South Wales, Queensland, western and central South Australia, and southern Western Australia. In contrast, lower layer soil moisture was average across cropping regions in Victoria, parts of northern Queensland and eastern South Australia.

Modelled lower layer soil moisture for November 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 November 2019. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during November  2019 compare with November  conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2015). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in November  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.

Northern Rainfall Onset

The northern rainfall onset occurs when the total rainfall after 1 September reaches 50 millimetres. This is considered approximately the amount of rainfall required to stimulate plant growth. The northern rainfall onset has occurred in small parts of south-eastern and central Queensland, and the far north of the Northern Territory and Western Australia that have recorded rainfall totals between 50 to 200 millimetres from 1 September to 3 December 2019.

The positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) continues, but has weakened further in the past week. While some subtle changes have been observed across the tropical Indian Ocean in the last week or so, the latest analysis of wind patterns shows that the evolution towards a southern hemisphere summer pattern is well behind schedule. There is still no tropical trough south of the equator—a feature that is usually well established by this time of the year and is a precursor to the formation of a monsoon trough in the southern hemisphere. This suggests there is a high probability of a delayed monsoon onset for Australia in 2019–20, leading to continued rainfall deficiencies and below average pasture production across large area of northern Australia.

Number of days earlier or later than the long-term average onset date

Northern rainfall totals since 1 September to 3 December 2019

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Over the next eight days, rainfall totals of between 5 and 25 millimetres are forecast for parts of eastern and the far north of Australia. Higher rainfall totals in excess of 25 millimetres are forecast for parts of the far north of Queensland and western Tasmania.

In cropping regions, little to no rainfall is expected during the next eight days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 05 to 12 December 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: 05/12/2019

Note: 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.

Commodities

Current indicators – 5 December 2019

Indicator Week ended Unit Latest price Price week prior Weekly change Price 12 months prior Year on year change Chart

Selected World Indicator Prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate 04-Dec US$/A$ 0.68 0.68 0% 0.73 -7%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 Gulf 03-Dec US$/t 220 220 0% 235 -6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 04-Dec US$/t 167 164 2%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 an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg 26-Nov US$/t 423 423 0% 423 0% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 04-Dec USc/lb 74.5 75.6 -1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 87.2 -15%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 contract 04-Dec USc/lb 12.9 12.7 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 12.8 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 28-Nov Ac/kg clean 1,530 1,555 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 1,860 -18%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 29-Nov Ac/kg clean 1,640 1,655 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,009 -18%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic crop indicator prices

Milling Wheat – ASW1, track quote, Port Adelaide, SA 03-Dec A$/t 304 299 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 373 -18%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW 27-Nov A$/t 405 400 1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 449 -10%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW 27-Nov A$/t 353 353 0% 425 -17%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW 27-Nov A$/t 424 424 0% 440 -4%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 Indicator 28-Nov Ac/kg cwt 499 513 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 523 -5%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), Vic 29-Nov Ac/kg cwt 625 625 0% 413 51%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator 28-Nov Ac/kg cwt 726 718 1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 684 6%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 & sellers 22-Nov Ac/kg cwt 418 411 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 302 38%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) 02-Dec Ac/kg cwt 824 824 0% 548 50%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 Indonesia 30-Nov Ac/kg lwt 315 315 0% 325 -3%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 East 02-Dec $/head 140 120 17%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 108 30%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

Global Dairy Trade (GDT) weighted average prices a

Dairy – Whole milk powder 03-Dec US$/t 3,331 3,321 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 2,667 25%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 03-Dec US$/t 3,068 3,017 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 1,970 56%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 03-Dec US$/t 3,797 3,701 3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 3,184 19%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 03-Dec US$/t 4,840 5,108 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 4,755 2%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


The Tableau dashboard may not meet accessibility requirements. For information about the contents of these dashboards contact ABARES.







 
 
Last reviewed: 9 January 2020
Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks! Your feedback has been submitted.

We aren't able to respond to your individual comments or questions.
To contact us directly phone us or submit an online inquiry

Please verify that you are not a robot.

Skip