Weekly update - 13 February 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 12 February 2020 widespread rainfall was recorded across northern, eastern and western Australia. While the heavy storm rainfall along the eastern coast provided relief to some fire affected areas, it also resulted in extensive flooding across parts of New South Wales.
  • Most of the summer cropping regions have recorded rainfall between 50 and 200 millimetres for February to date, which is between 25 and 100 millimetres above the February average. In contrast, while similar February to date rainfall totals have been recorded across northern Australia, monthly rainfall totals are currently tracking at between 25 and 200 millimetres below average for the month of February for much of tropical northern Australia.
  • While the rainfall in cropping regions will support summer crops and provide a good base for winter cropping, several months of above average rainfall would be needed to provide a sustained recovery from current long-term deficiencies that persist across large areas of Australia.
  • The rainfall outlook for March to May 2020 suggests that across most of Australia, there is no strong shift towards a wetter or drier than average three months. Parts of northern New South Wales, southern Queensland and northern Western Australia are slightly more likely to be drier than average. In contrast, parts of far northern Queensland are slightly more likely to be wetter than average.
  • It was Australia's driest and warmest year on record in 2019, with particularly prolonged dry conditions across eastern and southern Australia. While above average January 2020 rainfall slightly eased deficiencies in parts of Australia, long-term rainfall deficiencies still persist across much of the country.
  • Over the next eight days, rainfall totals of between 15 and 100 millimetres are forecast for parts of northern and eastern Australia.
  • Across summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 50 millimetres is expected across much of Queensland and northern New South Wales during the next 8 days.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) decreased between 5 February 2020 and 11 February 2020 by 40 gigalitres (GL). Current volume of water held in storage is 7,729 GL which represents 31 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah Choke decreased from $650 per ML on 6 February 2020 to $530 per ML on 13 February 2020.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 12 February 2020 widespread rainfall was recorded across northern, eastern and western Australia. While the heavy storm rainfall along the eastern coast provided relief to some fire affected areas, it also resulted in extensive flooding across parts of New South Wales.

These falls are likely to provide significant follow up moisture and benefit plant growth, build soil moisture levels and provide useful inflow to farm water storages across tropical northern Australia and large areas of eastern Australia.

In Australia’s summer cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 25 and 100 millimetres were recorded across much of Queensland and northern New South Wales. Heavier falls of between 150 and 200 millimetres were recorded across scattered parts of New South Wales and eastern Queensland during the week ending 12 January 2020.

Rainfall for the week ending 12 February 2020

weekly_rainfall_20200212.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 12/2/2020

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 Weekly Rainfall Update.

Most of the summer cropping regions have recorded rainfall between 50 and 200 millimetres for February to date, which is between 25 and 100 millimetres above the February average. In contrast, while similar February to date rainfall totals have been recorded across northern Australia, monthly rainfall totals are currently tracking at between 25 and 200 millimetres below average for the month of February for much of tropical northern Australia.

While the rainfall in cropping regions will support summer crops and provide a good base for winter cropping, several months of above average rainfall would be needed to provide a sustained recovery from current long-term deficiencies that persist across large areas of Australia.

Rainfall anomalies for the period 1 to 12 February 2020

Rainfall anomalies for the period 1 to 12 February 2020

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 12/2/2020

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 Weekly Rainfall Update.

Temperature anomalies this week

For the week ending 11 February  2020, maximum and minimum temperatures were 2°C to 8°C above average across parts of south-western and northern Australia. In contrast, maximum temperatures were 2°C to 8°C below average across parts of south-eastern Australia. Average (- 2°C to 2°C) minimum temperatures were recorded across the remainder of the country.

Maximum temperature anomalies for the week ending 11 February 2020

Maximum temperature anomalies for the week ending 11 February 2020

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 12/02/2020

Minimum temperature anomalies for the week ending 11 February 2020

Minimum temperature anomalies for the week ending 11 February 2020

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 12/02/2020

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 the average over the 1961 to 1990 reference period. For further information go to Daily maximum temperature for Australia.

National Climate Outlook

The rainfall and temperature outlooks presented here 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. 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 about the climate outlooks.

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are currently neutral and expected to remain neutral until at least the end of autumn 2020. Likewise, the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is currently neutral.

With these climate influences neutral, the likelihood of drier conditions has weakened somewhat. Abnormally warm sea surface temperatures in the western tropical Pacific Ocean and around Australia may also be contributing to some changes in weather patterns over the continent.

The latest rainfall outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology suggests that during March there is no strong shift towards wetter or drier than average rainfall for much of Australia. Parts of north-western New South Wales, south-western Queensland, eastern Victoria, eastern South Australia and northern Western Australia are slightly more likely to be drier than average during March. In contrast, parts of far northern Queensland are slightly more likely to be wetter than average (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 6 February 2020).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall March 2020

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall March 2020

Source: Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 06/02/2020

The Bureau of Meteorology’s climate outlooks are given as a probability (or chance) of exceeding a specified rainfall or temperature threshold. In the case of the Bureau’s rainfall outlook, it is represented as the chance of rainfall being above median, expressed as a percentage. While this probabilistic forecast indicates that there is no strong shift towards a wetter or drier than average three months for much of Australia, several months of above average rainfall would be needed to ease current long-term deficiencies.

The rainfall outlook for March to May 2020 suggests that across most of Australia, there is no strong shift towards a wetter or drier than average three months. Parts of northern New South Wales, southern Queensland and northern Western Australia are slightly more likely to be drier than average. In contrast, parts of far northern Queensland are slightly more likely to be wetter than average (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 6 February 2019).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall March to May 2020

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall March to May 2020

Source: Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 06/02/2020

The temperature outlook for March to May 2020 indicates that daytime temperatures are more likely to be warmer than average for much of the country, with the exception of parts of southern Australia where the chances of warmer or cooler daytime temperatures are roughly equal. Night-time temperatures are also likely to be warmer than average for much of Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 6 February 2020).

Chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature March to May 2020

Chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature March to May 2020

Source: Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 06/02/2020

The temperature outlook for March to May 2020 indicates that daytime temperatures are more likely to be warmer than average for much of the country, with the exception of parts of southern Australia where the chances of warmer or cooler daytime temperatures are roughly equal. Night-time temperatures are also likely to be warmer than average for much of Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 6 February 2020).

Chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature March to May 2020

Chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature March to May 2020

Source: Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 06/02/2020

The temperature outlook for March to May 2020 indicates that daytime temperatures are more likely to be warmer than average for much of the country, with the exception of parts of southern Australia where the chances of warmer or cooler daytime temperatures are roughly equal. Night-time temperatures are also likely to be warmer than average for much of Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 6 February 2020).

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.

It was Australia's driest and warmest year on record in 2019, with particularly prolonged dry conditions across eastern and southern Australia. While above average January 2020 rainfall slightly eased deficiencies in parts of Australia, long-term rainfall deficiencies still persist across much of the country.

For the 12-month period ending January 2020, rainfall deficiencies have decreased in severity across parts of southern Queensland, Victoria, central Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies persist across much of New South Wales, parts of eastern and northern Victoria, south-eastern Queensland, most of South Australia, southern and eastern Western Australia and the Northern Territory and eastern Tasmania.

Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies continue to persist at longer timescales, with a slight decrease in severity across south-eastern Victoria, central Western Australia and the Northern Territory. For the 22-months starting in April 2018, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies are evident across much of New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory, parts of eastern and northern Victoria, southern and south-eastern Queensland, and parts of north-eastern and south-western Western Australia and eastern Tasmania.  (Bureau of Meteorology ‘Drought Statement’, 6 February 2019).

Rainfall deficiencies for the 12-month period 1 February 2019 to 31 January 2020

Rainfall deficiencies for the 12-month period 1 February 2019 to 31 January 2020

Source: Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 06/02/2020

Rainfall deficiencies for the 22-month period 1 April 2018 to 31 January 2020

Rainfall deficiencies for the 22-month period 1 April 2018 to 31 January 2020

Source: Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 06/02/2020

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Over the next eight days, rainfall totals of between 15 and 100 millimetres are forecast for parts of northern and eastern Australia.

These falls will likely support summer crops and continue to build soil moisture across cropping regions in New South Wales and Queensland.

In summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 50 millimetres is expected across much of Queensland and northern New South Wales during the next 8 days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 13 February to 20 February 2020

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 13 February to 20 February 2020

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 13/02/2020

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 – 13 February 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

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate 12-Feb US$/A$ 0.67 0.67 0% 0.71 -6%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 11-Feb US$/t 232 231 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 241 -4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 12-Feb US$/t 171 171 0% 173 -1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg 26-Nov US$/t 423 423 0% 423 0% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 13-Feb USc/lb 76.9 77.3 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 81.2 -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 contract 13-Feb USc/lb 15.4 14.7 5%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 12.8 20%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 06-Feb Ac/kg clean 1,577 1,548 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 1,944 -19%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 06-Feb Ac/kg clean 1,709 1,683 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 2,094 -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 04-Feb A$/t 335 342 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 349 -4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW 07-Jan A$/t 442 447 -1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 455 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW 07-Jan A$/t 385 382 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 438 -12%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW 07-Jan A$/t 467 477 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 432 8%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 Indicator 06-Feb Ac/kg cwt 623 580 7%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 475 31%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18–24 kg fat score 2–3), Vic 06-Feb Ac/kg cwt 629 600 5%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 352 79%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 06-Feb Ac/kg cwt 829 809 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 633 31%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 24-Jan Ac/kg cwt 429 430 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 323 33%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) 10-Feb Ac/kg cwt 883 883 0% 588 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 08-Feb Ac/kg lwt 340 340 0% 340 0% chart
Live sheep – Live wether (Muchea WA saleyard) to Middle East 09-Dec $/head 105 140 -25%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 108 -3%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 powder 04-Feb US$/t 3,039 3,233 -6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 3,027 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 04-Feb US$/t 2,907 3,036 -4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,534 15%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 04-Feb US$/t 4,302 4,048 6%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 3,565 21%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 04-Feb US$/t 4,626 4,821 -4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 5,579 -17%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: 13 February 2020
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