Weekly update - 7 February 2019

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 6 February 2019 rainfall was recorded across vast areas of northern Australia, as well as parts of south-eastern Australia.
  • Rainfall totals in excess of 50 millimetres were recorded across much of northern Australia associated with a persistent low-pressure system and the monsoonal trough.
  • After receiving more than a year's worth of rainfall along the north Queensland coast during the past week, many farmers and graziers are now starting to consider what the falls will mean for their businesses.
  • In summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 1 and 25 millimetres was recorded across northern growing regions in Queensland during the week ending 6 February 2019. Little to no rainfall was recorded in other summer cropping regions.
  • January 2019 was an exceptionally warm month. It was the warmest January on record for Australia in terms of mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures. The national monthly mean temperature was 2.91 °C above average.
  • Overall, area-average rainfall in January 2019 was below average for Australia. Rainfall for the month was below average across northern New South Wales, south-eastern and western Queensland, most of Victoria, large areas of southern South Australia, much of southern Western Australia, Tasmania and most of the Northern Territory.
  • January rainfall was generally very much below average for most summer cropping regions.
  • For most summer cropping regions, lower layer soil moisture was generally very much below average to lowest on record for this time of year.
  • During the next eight days, rainfall is expected to be restricted to eastern and northern Australia.
  • In summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 1 and 25 millimetres is expected across northern and eastern cropping areas of Queensland.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased by 152 gigalitres (GL) between 30 January 2019 and 4 February 2019. The current volume of water held in storage is 10,249 GL, which represents 40 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin increased from $445 per ML in the week ending 21 January 2019 to $487 per ML in the week ending 28 January 2019.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 6 February 2019 rainfall was recorded across vast areas of northern Australia, as well as parts of south-eastern Australia. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across scattered areas of eastern and central New South Wales and Victoria, much of Queensland, northern and north-western Western Australia and the north and east of the Northern Territory. Higher rainfall totals in excess of 50 millimetres were recorded across vast areas of tropical northern Australia associated with a persistent low-pressure system and the monsoonal trough.

After receiving more than a year's worth of rainfall along the north Queensland coast during the past week, many farmers and graziers are now starting to consider what the falls will mean for their businesses. Reports have emerged of livestock losses and damage to sugarcane in flood prone catchments.

The heavy rainfall and riverine flooding is also causing concerns relating to the transport of produce and livestock. However, with falls in excess of 100 millimetres across much of northern Queensland many farmers and grazier are seeing this as a return to normal wet season rainfall, with graziers now awaiting the arrivals of some sunshine to kick-start the growth of native and buffel grass pastures.

In summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 1 and 25 millimetres was recorded across northern growing regions in Queensland during the week ending 6 February 2019. Little to no rainfall was recorded in other summer cropping regions.

Rainfall analysis for the week ending 6 February 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: 6/02/2019

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

January 2019 was an exceptionally warm month. It was the warmest January on record for Australia in terms of mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures. The national mean temperature was 2.91°C above average. Maximum temperatures were 3.37 °C above average and minimum temperatures were 2.45 °C above average. Both maximum and minimum temperatures were warmer than average across most of Australia. In terms of mean temperatures, January was the warmest or second warmest on record for all States and the Northern Territory.

Maximum temperature deciles for January 2019

Map showing maximum temperature deciles for 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: 3/02/2019

Minimum temperature deciles for January 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 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 3/02/2019

Note: Maximum and minimum temperatures for January 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 January 2019 was below above average for Australia as a whole. January rainfall was below average across northern New South Wales, south-eastern and western Queensland, most of Victoria, large areas of southern South Australia, much of southern Western Australia, Tasmania and most of the Northern Territory. Much of central to southern Queensland reported little or no rainfall during January, with large parts of the south-eastern quarter of the State receiving their lowest total January rainfall on record.

The main area to observe above average rainfall for January was along the coast of central and northern Queensland, with other small pockets also wetter than average in central northern Queensland and the Top End, and isolated areas across south-eastern New South Wales.

January 2019 rainfall was generally very much below average for most summer cropping regions.

Rainfall percentiles for January 2019

 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology
Note: Rainfall for January 2018 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 January 2019 was generally average to above average across much of New South Wales, north-eastern and south-western Queensland, much of South Australia, northern Western Australia and the north and west of the Northern Territory. It was below average to very much below average across north-eastern New South Wales, most of Queensland away from the east coast, Victoria, large areas of north-eastern and southern South Australia, much of southern Western Australia, Tasmania and much of the Northern Territory.

In summer cropping regions across northern New South Wales and Queensland, upper layer soil moisture was generally very much below average to lowest on record for this time of year.

Modelling upper layer soil moisture for January 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 January 2019. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during January 2019 compare with January conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2015). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in January 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 January 2019 was below average across most of Australia. It was average or above average along the coast of central and northern Queensland, with other small pockets also above average soil moisture across the Top End, and isolated areas across south-eastern New South Wales, western Victoria and eastern Western Australia

In summer cropping regions across northern New South Wales and Queensland, lower layer soil moisture was generally very much below average to lowest on record for this time of year.

Modelling lower layer soil moisture for January 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 January 2019. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during January 2019 compare with November conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2015). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in January 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 forecast for the next 8 days

During the next eight days, rainfall is expected to be mainly restricted to eastern and northern Australia.

Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for scattered of eastern and central New South Wales and eastern Victoria, much of north-eastern Queensland, the far north of Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Heavier falls in excess of 50 millimetres are forecast for the tropical north of Queensland and the Northern Territory and western Tasmania.

In summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 1 and 25 millimetres is expected across northern and eastern cropping areas of Queensland. Little to no rainfall is expected across other summer cropping regions of Queensland and New South Wales.

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 7 February to 14 February 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: 7/02/2019

Commodities

Current indicators – 7 February 2019

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate06-FebUS$/A$0.720.711%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.0.79-9%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf05-FebUS$/t245243<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2364%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 Gulf06-FebUS$/t171170<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1616%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg05-FebUS$/t430429<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.426<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index06-FebUSc/lb83.183.2<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.88.1-6%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 contract06-FebUSc/lb12.712.6<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.13.7-7%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator31-JanAc/kg clean1,9341,927<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,73811%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator25-JanAc/kg clean2,0922,105<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,82115%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, SA05-FebA$/t349360-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.22754%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW23-JanA$/t4404400%25374%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW23-JanA$/t3953950%28141%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.29-OctA$/t597nana53611%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW23-JanA$/t360370-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.410-12%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 Indicator31-JanAc/kg cwt469475-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.538-13%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), Vic01-FebAc/kg cwt3923628%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.403-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator31-JanAc/kg cwt662677-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.6443%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 & sellers25-JanAc/kg cwt3233230%27717%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)04-FebAc/kg cwt5865860%47823%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 Indonesia02-FebAc/kg lwt3253250%3202%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Live sheep – Live wether (Muchea WA saleyard) to Middle East03-Dec$/head108 na na121-11%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 powder06-FebUS$/t3,0272,7779%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,226-6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder06-FebUS$/t2,5342,4055%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,93231%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese06-FebUS$/t3,5653,5042%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,739-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat06-FebUS$/t5,5795,2945%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.6,581-15%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease 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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