Weekly update - 23 January 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 22 January 2020 widespread rainfall was recorded across tropical northern Australia, Western Australia and eastern Australia. These falls are likely to benefit plant growth and build soil moisture levels, and provide useful inflow to farm water storage in affected areas.
  • The rainfall outlook for February to April 2020 suggests that there is no strong shift towards a wetter or drier than average three months for most of Australia. Parts of eastern and central Australia are slightly more likely to be drier than average. In contrast, parts of southern and northern Western Australia, central South Australia, Tasmania and the far north of the Northern Territory are slightly more likely to be wetter than average.
  • Over the next eight days, rainfall totals of between 25 and 50 millimetres are forecast for large areas of northern and eastern Australia. Higher rainfall totals in excess of 150 millimetres are forecast for parts of tropical northern Australia as the monsoon trough develops.
  • If these falls eventuate as forecast they will provide a timely follow-up to recent widespread falls and likely to benefit pasture growth, summer crop growth and improve soil moisture levels across northern and eastern Australia.
  • Across Australia’s summer cropping regions rainfall of between 25 and 50 millimetres is expected across Queensland and much of northern New South Wales, with lighter falls of between 5 and 15 millimetres expected across parts of western New South Wales.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) decreased between 15 January 2020 and 22 January 2020 by 127 gigalitres (GL). Current volume of water held in storage is 7,979 GL which represents 32 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah Choke decreased from $855 per ML on 16 January 2020 to $790 per ML on 23 January 2020.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 22 January 2020 widespread rainfall was recorded across tropical northern Australia, Western Australia and eastern Australia. These falls are likely to benefit plant growth and build soil moisture levels, and provide useful inflow to farm water storage in affected areas.

Across Australia’s summer cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 25 and 100 millimetres were recorded across north-eastern New South Wales and much of Queensland. Lighter falls between 5 and 10 millimetres was recorded across remaining summer cropping regions in western New South Wales during the week ending 22 January 2020.

Rainfall for the week ending 22 January 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: 22/1/2020

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 21 January  2020, maximum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average across north-eastern Australia and minimum temperatures were 2°C to 4°C above average across areas of central, western and eastern Australia. In contrast, minimum and maximum temperatures were 2°C to 4°C below average across parts of southern Australia. Average (- 2°C to 2°C) minimum temperatures were recorded across the remainder of the country.

Maximum temperature anomalies for the week ending 21 January 2020

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 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 22/01/2020

Minimum temperature anomalies for the week ending 21 January 2020

Map showing chance of exceeding median minimum temperature for the next three months 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: 22/01/2020

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 http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/about/

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation is currently neutral and expected to remain neutral until at least the end of autumn 2020. The positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which likely contributed to dry conditions across much of Australia during winter and spring 2019, has weakened to below positive IOD thresholds. Likewise, a recent persistent negative phase of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) has also weakened and is currently neutral.

With these two major drying climate influences easing, the likelihood of drier conditions has weakened somewhat. Abnormally warm sea surface temperatures in the western tropical Pacific Ocean and to the west of 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 February there is no strong shift towards wetter or drier than average rainfall for much of Australia. Parts of northern and western Queensland and the east of the Northern Territory are slightly more likely to be drier than average during February. In contrast, parts of southern South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the far north of Australia are slightly more likely to be wetter than average (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 16 January 2020).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall February 2020

Map showing chance of exceeding median rainfall during the next month in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.

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 February to April 2020 suggests that across most of Australia, there is no strong shift towards a wetter or drier than average three months. Parts of eastern and central Australia are slightly more likely to be drier than average. In contrast, parts of southern and northern Western Australia, central South Australia, Tasmania and the far north of the Northern Territory are slightly more likely to be wetter than average (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 16 January 2019).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall February to April 2020

Map showing chance of exceeding median rainfall for the next three months in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.

Chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature February to April 2020

Map showing chance of exceeding median maximum temperature for the next three months in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.

Chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature February to April 2020

Map showing chance of exceeding median minimum temperature for the next three months in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Over the next eight days, rainfall totals of between 25 and 50 millimetres are forecast for large areas of northern and eastern Australia. Higher rainfall totals in excess of 150 millimetres are forecast for parts of tropical northern Australia as the monsoon trough develops. This rainfall will likely benefit pasture growth, summer crop growth and improve soil moisture levels across northern and eastern Australia.

In summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 25 and 50 millimetres is expected across Queensland and much of northern New South Wales. Lighter falls of between 5 and 15 millimetres are expected across the remaining summer cropping regions in western New South Wales during the next 8 days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 23 to 30 January 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: 23/01/2020

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 – 23 January 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 22-Jan US$/A$ 0.69 0.69 0% 0.72 -4%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 21-Jan US$/t 237 238 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 240 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 15-Jan US$/t 172 171 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 166 4%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 23-Jan USc/lb 79.4 79.6 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 83.2 -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 23-Jan USc/lb 14.4 13.9 4%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 12.9 12%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 16-Jan Ac/kg clean 1,609 1,609 0% 1,923 -16%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 11-Jan Ac/kg clean 1,687 1,687 0% 2,083 -19%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 21-Jan A$/t 336 331 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 352 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW 07-Jan A$/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 16-Jan Ac/kg cwt 516 516 0% 478 8%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 16-Jan Ac/kg cwt 593 596 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 365 62%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 16-Jan Ac/kg cwt 738 738 0% 651 13%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 10-Jan Ac/kg cwt 430 430 0% 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) 20-Jan Ac/kg cwt 879 816 8%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 586 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 18-Jan Ac/kg lwt 330 330 0% 325 2%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 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 21-Jan US$/t 3,233 3,150 3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 2,777 16%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 21-Jan US$/t 3,036 3,026 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 2,405 26%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 21-Jan US$/t 4,048 4,015 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 3,504 16%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 21-Jan US$/t 4,821 4,929 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 5,294 -9%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: 30 January 2020
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