Weekly update - 23 July 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 22 July 2020, moderate rainfall was recorded across the west and south of Western Australia, likely supporting ongoing pasture and crop growth in these areas.
  • It is expected that further cooling in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean will occur and a La Niña-like pattern could emerge, potentially contributing to the above average late winter and spring rainfall outlook for parts of Australia.
  • There is a high chance that rainfall between August and October will be sufficient to sustain crop and pasture development across much of southern Australia. Across most of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 50 and 200 millimetres between August and October 2020.
  • Over the next eight days, a low pressure system is expected to bring rainfall to south-eastern Australia. Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 25 millimetres is expected in eastern and northern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland. Rainfall totals of between 1 and 10 millimetres is expected across Victoria, parts of South Australia, southern Western Australia and the remainder of New South Wales and Queensland.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased between 15 July 2020 and 22 July 2020 by 163 gigalitres (GL). The current volume of water held in storage is 11,486 GL which represents 45 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah choke decreased from $350 per ML on 16 July 2020 to $250 per ML on 23 July 2020. Prices are lower in the Goulburn-Broken and regions above the Barmah Choke, due to binding Goulburn intervalley trade limit and the Barmah Choke trade constraint.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 22 July 2020, a cold front and several troughs moved over southern Western Australia bringing rainfall. High-pressure systems restricted the movement of further rain-bearing systems over Australia for the remainder of the week. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across parts of the west and south of Western Australia, western Tasmania and isolated parts of far southern Victoria and north-western South Australia.

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across much of Western Australia. Little to no rainfall was recorded across remaining cropping regions during the week ending 22 July 2020.

These falls were very timely in many regions across Western Australia. Winter temperatures have been warmer than average boosting growth rates but this has led to a rapid drying of the soil moisture profile. These falls now mean that these rapidly developing crops now have some moisture under them going into spring. This will likely support average crop yield potential and pasture growth across much of south-western Western Australia.

Rainfall for the week ending 22 July 2020

weekly_rainfall_20200722.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 22/07/2020

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 start to the winter cropping season in Australia, there is interest in how the remainder of winter and early spring 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 winter and spring rainfall across southern Australia. If La Niña conditions were to eventuate as forecast by a range of international climate models, this key climate driver would become the major influencing factor for spring rainfall across eastern Australia.

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

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently neutral and likely to remain neutral for the remainder of winter. It is expected that further cooling in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean will occur and a La Niña-like pattern could emerge, potentially contributing to the above average late winter and spring rainfall outlook for parts of Australia.

Monthly sea surface temperature anomalies for NINO3.4 region

enso_outlook_20200721.png

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral and the Bureau’s model suggests it is likely to remain neutral. Two of the six international models surveyed suggest a negative IOD could develop in late winter or spring and persist through spring. A negative IOD typically brings above average rainfall to southern Australia during winter and spring.

Monthly sea surface temperature anomalies for IOD region

iod_outlook_20200721.png

The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is currently negative and expected to become positive by the end of July. 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 winter, this band of westerly winds is further south than normal. This allows for more east coast lows to develop and more rainfall in the east, however it also reduces rainfall across parts of the far south and reduces snow in alpine areas.

Southern Annular Mode (SAM) daily index

sam_outlook_20200721.png

The Bureau of Meteorology’s ENSO Outlook remains at La Niña WATCH. This means that while the El Niño-Southern Oscillation is currently neutral, the chance of a La Niña forming during the southern hemisphere spring has increased to around 50% - twice the normal likelihood.

While the cooling trend in the tropical Pacific Ocean eased during June, cooling appears to have resumed. All surveyed international climate models suggest the cooling will approach or exceed La Niña thresholds in spring.

Difference from average sea surface temperature observations 13 July to 19 July 2020

20200719_ssta_global_weekly.png

A La Niña WATCH is not a guarantee that a La Niña will occur; it is an indication that some of the typical precursors of an event are in place. The potential impact of a La Niña event on agricultural production across southern Australia decreases if the event forms during spring or summer, as it has a shorter time to strengthen and will persist for a shorter time before it decays in late summer. If a La Niña event was to eventuate during spring, it is unlikely to create more favourable seasonal conditions for winter crop production than those embodied in the ABARES June 2020 edition of Agricultural commodities.

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 likely for much of Australia, excluding the north and parts of the far south of Australia, during August. The rainfall outlook for August to October 2020 suggests that wetter than average conditions are likely for much of eastern Australia and parts of south-western Australia. There are roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average three months across the remainder of Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 16 July 2019).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall August to October 2020

chance-exceed-med-rainfall-aug-oct-2020.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 16/07/2020

The outlook for August 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 50 millimetres across south-eastern, south-western and far southern Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 50 millimetres are likely across isolated parts of south-eastern Australia, far south-western Australia and much of Tasmania.
In cropping regions there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 50 millimetres across much of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. In Queensland there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 1 millimetre in the north and 25 millimetres in the south-east for August 2020.

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

rain_forecast_calib_scenario_75_national_month1_latest_hr_0.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 16/07/2020

The outlook for August to October 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 50 and 200 millimetres across south-eastern, south-western, and parts of the central-south of Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 200 millimetres are likely across isolated parts of south-eastern and south-western Australia and northern and western Tasmania.

In many areas where soil moisture is close to average to above average for this time of year, there is a good chance of recording August to October rainfall totals sufficient to sustain crop and pasture production. In cropping regions, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 50 and 200 millimetres across most of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia between August and October 2020.

Rainfall totals that have a 75% chance of occurring August to October 2020

tmax.forecast.calib_.anom_.national.season1.latest.hr__0.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 16/07/2020

The temperature outlook for August to October 2020 indicates that temperatures are likely to be between 1°C to 2°C above the 1990-2012 average across parts of northern Australia during the daytime and parts of northern and north-eastern Australia during the night-time. 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’, 16 July 2020).

Predicted maximum temperature anomaly for August to October 2020

tmin.forecast.calib_.anom_.national.season1.latest.hr__0.png

Predicted minimum temperature anomaly for August to October 2020

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

A low pressure system developing off the east coast of Australia and cold fronts moving over south-western Western Australia are expected to bring rainfall during the next eight days. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of eastern New South Wales, south-eastern Queensland, south-western Western Australia and western Tasmania. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres is expected for the north-eastern coast of New South Wales.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 25 millimetres is expected across eastern and northern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland. Rainfall totals of between 1 and 10 millimetres is expected across Victoria, parts of South Australia, southern Western Australia and the remainder of New South Wales and Queensland during the next eight days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 23 July 2020 to 30 July 2020

forecast_rainfall_20200723_0730.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 23/07/2020

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 July 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 22-Jul US$/A$ 0.71 0.69 2% 0.69 3% chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf 22-Jul US$/t 220 224 -2% 213 3% chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 22-Jul US$/t 152 149 2% 180 -15% chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 22-Jul US$/t 369 364 1% 361 2% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 15-Jul USc/lb 70 70 -1% 75 -7% chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract 22-Jul USc/lb 12 12 -1% 12 -2% chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 08-Jul Ac/kg clean 1,134 1,116 2% 1,887 -40% chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 08-Jul Ac/kg clean 1,202 1,185 1% 2,095 -43% chart

Selected Australian grain export prices

Milling Wheat – APW, Port Adelaide, SA 22-Jul A$/t 324 331 -2% 344 -6% chart
Feed Wheat – ASW, Port Adelaide, SA 22-Jul A$/t 308 315 -2% 344 -10% chart
Feed Barley – Port Adelaide, SA 22-Jul A$/t 268 274 -2% 348 -23% chart
Canola – Kwinana, WA 22-Jul A$/t 620 630 -2% 598 4% chart
Grain Sorghum – Brisbane, QLD 22-Jul A$/t 348 369 -6% 377 -8% chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator 22-Jul Ac/kg cwt 747 747 0% 464 61% chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18–24 kg fat score 2–3), Vic 01-Jul Ac/kg cwt 600 631 -5% 464 29% chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator 01-Jul Ac/kg cwt 782 867 -10% 641 22% chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1–75 kg), average of buyers & sellers 24-Jun Ac/kg cwt 299 289 3% 344 -13% chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1–16 kg) 01-Jul Ac/kg cwt 723 723 0% 938 -23% chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia 01-Jul Ac/kg lwt 340 340 0% 290 17% 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 08-Jul US$/t 3,208 2,829 13% 3,226 -1% chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 08-Jul US$/t 2,694 2,609 3% 2,047 32% chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 08-Jul US$/t 3,762 3,631 4% 4,205 -11% chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 08-Jul US$/t 3,981 3,993 0% 6,354 -37% 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: 23 July 2020
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