Weekly update - 8 October 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 7 October 2020 rainfall was associated with troughs extending from northern Western Australia, through the Northern Territory into eastern Australia and a cold front behind the troughs which swept over southern South Australia and south-east Australia. Moderate falls across parts of south-eastern Australia cropping regions are likely to support current yields, benefit pasture growth and boost soil moisture, particularly in South Australia.
  • The Bureau of Meteorology’s ENSO Outlook has moved to “LA NIÑA”, indicating La Niña is established in the tropical Pacific. A La Niña during spring and early summer is likely to generate the favourable seasonal conditions that were central in developing ABARES winter and summer crop production forecasts embodied in the ABARES September 2020 editions of the Australian crop report and Agricultural commodities. The enhanced probabilities of a wetter than average spring rainfall will likely also benefit spring pasture growth across eastern and northern Australia, summer crop production and an early northern rainfall onset.
  • There is a high chance that rainfall between November 2020 to January 2021 will be sufficient to sustain above average crop and pasture production through the remainder of spring in areas where soil moisture is close to average or above average. With the exception of parts of Western Australia, these highly probable rainfall totals – if realised - represent an excellent finish to the 2020 winter growing season across southern Australia and start to the 2020-21 summer cropping season and wet season across northern Australia.
  • Over the next eight days, an intense low pressure system is expected to bring rainfall to parts of far south-eastern Australia, with onshore flow expected to bring rainfall to parts of north-eastern New South Wales and eastern Queensland. Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 1 and 10 millimetres is expected across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and parts of southern Western Australia. Little to no rainfall is expected across remaining cropping regions in Western Australia during the next eight days.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased by 47 gigalitres (GL) between 30 September 2020 and 7 October 2020. The current volume of water held in storage is 13,998 GL, which represents 55% of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah Choke decreased from $280 per ML to $248 per ML between 1 October 2020 and 8 October 2020. Prices are lower in the Goulburn-Broken, Murrumbidgee and regions above the Barmah Choke, due to binding of the Goulburn intervalley trade and Murrumbidgee export limits, and the Barmah Choke trade constraint.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 7 October 2020 troughs extended from northern Western Australia, through the Northern Territory into eastern Australia and a cold front behind the troughs swept over southern South Australia and south-east Australia, bringing rainfall to parts of Australia. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across scattered areas of New South Wales, southern Queensland, southern Victoria, southern and northern Western Australia, the south-east and north- west of the Northern Territory and much of South Australia and Tasmania. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded across parts of central South Australia, the south-east and north- west of the Northern Territory and much of Tasmania.

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 5 and 25 millimetres were recorded across parts of southern and northern New South Wales, and the far south-western Queensland and Victoria. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across most cropping regions in South Australia. Little to no rainfall was recorded across remaining cropping regions during the week ending 7 October 2020.

These substantial falls in South Australia and parts of New South Wales and Victoria are likely to support yield prospects, benefit pasture growth and boost soil moisture, particularly in South Australia.

Rainfall for the week ending 7 October 2020

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 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 07/10/2020

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 http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/rainfall/

Climate Drivers

Following a generally favourable winter cropping season-to-date in Australia, there is interest in how the remainder of the growing season may pan out. To gain some insight it is important to look at the major climate drivers—the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO)—that influence spring rainfall across southern Australia.

The Bureau of Meteorology has declared that a La Niña has established in the tropical Pacific. A La Niña during spring and early summer is likely to generate the favourable seasonal conditions that were central in developing ABARES winter and summer crop production forecasts embodied in the ABARES September 2020 editions of the Australian crop report and Agricultural commodities. The enhanced probabilities of a wetter than average spring rainfall will likely also benefit spring pasture growth across eastern and northern Australia, summer crop production and an early northern rainfall onset.

If a negative IOD were to eventuate as forecast by a range of international models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology, this key climate drivers would also become the major influencing factor for the late spring and early summer rainfall outlook across eastern Australia.

Cool anomalies in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean have strengthened and extended along the eastern tropics south of the equator. All of the eight surveyed climate models suggest the La Niña will persist until at least January 2021.

Difference from average sea surface temperature observations 21 to 27 September 2020

20200928_ssta_global_weekly.png

Atmospheric indicators are consistent with the early stages of La Niña development, with generally stronger than average trade winds, decreased cloudiness near the Date Line and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has exceeded the threshold into La Niña values for most of the past three weeks. Sustained SOI values above 7 typically indicate La Niña and for the period ending the 30-day SOI value on 7 October was 10.0 and the 90-day value on 27 September was above La Niña thresholds at 8.1.

30-day Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) values ending 7 October 2020

soi_30day_202001007.png

The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is expected to be neutral or become positive during much of October. The SAM refers to the north-south shift of the band of rain-bearing westerly winds and weather systems in the Southern Ocean compared to the usual position. When SAM is positive during spring, this band of westerly winds is further south than normal. This allows for increased moist onshore flow from the Tasman and Coral seas and more rainfall across eastern Australia and a reduced chance of extreme heat.

Southern Annular Mode (SAM) daily index

sam_outlook_20201005.png

National Climate Outlook

These climate outlooks are generated by ACCESS–S (Australian Community Climate Earth-System Simulator–Seasonal). ACCESS–S is the Bureau of Meteorology's dynamical (physics-based) weather and climate model used for monthly, seasonal and longer-lead climate outlooks.

For further information, go to http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/about/

The latest rainfall outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology suggests above average rainfall is more likely for the eastern two thirds of mainland Australia and north-eastern Tasmania during November 2020. Drier than average conditions are more likely for parts of western Tasmania. There are roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average November across the parts of northern Australia. 

The rainfall outlook for November 2020 to January 2021 suggests that wetter than average conditions are likely for mainland Australia and much of Tasmania. Drier than average conditions are more likely for parts of western Tasmania. There are roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average three months across the remainder of the country (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 8 October 2020). Bureau of Meteorology rainfall outlooks for November to January have greater than 65% past accuracy across parts of eastern and northern Australia. There is lower accuracy, less than 65%, across much of the remainder of Australia, with less than 55% past accuracy across parts western and central Australia.

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall November 2020 to January 2021

rain.forecast.median.national.season1.20201005.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology Issued: 08/10/2020

The outlook for November 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 50 millimetres across much of the eastern two-thirds of Australia and far south and north-west of Western Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 50 millimetres are likely across parts of south-eastern Australia, north-west of the Northern Territory and much of Tasmania.

There is a high chance of recording close to average November rainfall totals across most agricultural regions, with the exception of parts of southern Australia. These totals are likely to support early growth of summer crops across New South Wales and Queensland and above average pasture growth potentials across much of New South Wales, Victoria, and parts of Queensland ad the tropical north of Australia.

In cropping regions there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 25 and 100 millimetres across New South Wales and much of Queensland and southern Victoria. There is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 25 for the remainder of Victoria, South Australia and southern Western Australia, with rainfall totals between 1 and 10 millimetres across the remainder of the Western Australia wheat belt for November 2020.

Rainfall totals that have a 75% chance of occurring November 2020

rain.forecast.calib_.scenario.75.national.month1_.20201005.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology Issued: 08/10/2020

The outlook for November 2020 to January 2021 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 50 and 300 millimetres across much of northern and eastern Australia and parts of far southern Australia. Lower rainfall totals between 25 and 50 millimetres are likely across the much of inland South Australia and the west and south of Western Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 300 millimetres are likely across parts of eastern New South Wales, eastern and northern Queensland, eastern Victoria, north of Western Australia, north of the Northern Territory and western and northern Tasmania.

In many areas where soil moisture is close to average to above average for this time of year, there is a high chance of recording November to January rainfall totals sufficient to sustain above average crop and pasture production through the remainder of spring and into the early summer period.

In cropping regions, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 100 and 200 millimetres across most of New South Wales, Queensland and parts of southern Victoria and central South Australia. Rainfall totals greater than 200 millimetres are likely across cropping regions in parts of central and south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales. Rainfall totals between 50 and 100 millimetres are likely across cropping regions in north-western Victoria, much of South Australia and the southern Western Australian wheat belt between November2020 and January 2021.

These high chance rainfall totals are equivalent to the seasonal median between (1990 and 2012) and represent an excellent finish to the 2020 winter growing season across much of south-eastern Australia and start to the 2020-21 summer cropping season in eastern Australia and wet season across northern Australia. 

Rainfall totals that have a 75% chance of occurring November 2020 to January 2021

rain.forecast.calib_.scenario.75.national.season1.20201005.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology Issued: 08/10/2020

The temperature outlook for November 2020 to January 2021 indicates that night-time temperatures are likely to be between 1°C to 2°C above the 1990-2012 average across much of central and south-eastern Australia. Average (- 1°C to 1°C) daytime and night-time temperatures are likely for the remainder of the country (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 8 October 2020).

Predicted maximum temperature anomaly for November 2020 to January 2021

tmax.forecast.calib_.anom_.national.season1.png

Predicted minimum temperature anomaly for November 2020 to January 2021

tmin.forecast.calib_.anom_.national.season1.png

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

An intense low pressure system is expected to bring rainfall to parts of far south-eastern Australia, with onshore flow expected to bring rainfall to parts of north-eastern New South Wales and eastern Queensland. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for much of southern Victoria, Tasmania, and parts of southern New South Wales. Lower rainfall totals of between 5 and 15 millimetres are expected across parts of parts of north-eastern New South Wales and eastern Queensland. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres is expected across northern Tasmania.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 1 and 10 millimetres is expected across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and parts of southern Western Australia. Little to no rainfall is expected across remaining cropping regions in Western Australia during the next eight days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 8 October 2020 to 15 October 2020

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 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 08/10/2020

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 – 8 October 2020

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

Selected World Indicator Prices

AUD/USD Exchange rate 07-Oct US$/A$ 0.72 0.71 1% 0.68 6% chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf 07-Oct US$/t 266 256 4% 217 22% chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 19-Aug US$/t 150 145 3% 157 -4% chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 07-Oct US$/t 377 407 -7% 371 2% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 07-Oct USc/lb 71 71 0% 74 -3% chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract 07-Oct USc/lb 14 13 1% 12 9% chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 07-Oct Ac/kg clean 1,022 996 3% 1,375 -26% chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 07-Oct Ac/kg clean 1,054 1,024 3% 1,832 -42% chart

Selected Australian grain export prices

Milling Wheat – APW, Port Adelaide, SA 07-Oct A$/t 355 353 1% 359 -1% chart
Feed Wheat – ASW, Port Adelaide, SA 07-Oct A$/t 338 337 0% 347 -3% chart
Feed Barley – Port Adelaide, SA 07-Oct A$/t 286 290 -1% 327 -12% chart
Canola – Kwinana, WA 07-Oct A$/t 661 661 0% 661 0% chart
Grain Sorghum – Brisbane, QLD 07-Oct A$/t 360 364 -1% 435 -17% chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator 30-Sep Ac/kg cwt 775 771 0% 490 58% chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18–24 kg fat score 2–3), Vic 16-Sep Ac/kg cwt 507 512 -1% 602 -16% chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator 23-Sep Ac/kg cwt 739 713 4% 889 -17% chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1–75 kg), average of buyers & sellers 23-Sep Ac/kg cwt 318 318 0% 364 -13% chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1–16 kg) 30-Sep Ac/kg cwt 818 818 0% 902 -9% chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia 30-Sep Ac/kg lwt 355 355 0% 310 15% chart
Live sheep – Live wether (Muchea WA saleyard) to Middle East 11-Dec $/head 105 140 -25% N/A N/A chart

Global Dairy Trade (GDT) weighted average prices a

Dairy – Whole milk powder 07-Oct US$/t 3,041 2,985 2% 2,883 5% chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 07-Oct US$/t 2,865 2,889 -1% 1,951 47% chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 07-Oct US$/t 3,694 3,674 1% 3,484 6% chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 07-Oct US$/t 4,131 3,910 6% 5,321 -22% 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: 8 October 2020
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