Weekly update - 27 February 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • Most of the rainfall during the week ending 26 February 2020 rainfall was recorded across parts of western and north-eastern Australia. These showers and thunderstorms were generated by several persistent low pressure troughs drawing in humid air from the northern and east of Australia.
  • Ex-tropical cyclone Esther made landfall as a category one system on Monday 24 February bringing rainfall totals in excess of 200 millimetres to parts of northern Queensland and the Northern Territory.
  • In Australia’s summer cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 10 and 200 millimetres were recorded across much of Queensland and lighter falls of between 1 and 10 millimetres were recorded across much of northern New South Wales during the week ending 26 February 2020.
  • 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 south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales are slightly more likely to be drier than average. In contrast, parts of far northern Australia and south-western Western Australia are slightly more likely to be wetter than average
  • Over the next eight days, rainfall totals of between 25 and 400 millimetres are forecast for areas of northern and central Australia. These falls are associated with Ex-tropical cyclone Esther that is tracking an unpredictable path across northern Australia and could loop towards central Australia over the next 8 days. Lighter falls of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of western and eastern New South Wales, large areas of Queensland, Victoria and the west of Western Australia.
  • Across summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 10 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 19 February 2020 and 26 February 2020 by 66 gigalitres (GL). Current volume of water held in storage is 7,872 GL which represents 31 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah Choke increased from $635 per ML on 20 February 2020 to $660 per ML on 27 February 2020.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 26 February 2020 rainfall was primarily recorded across parts of western and north-eastern Australia. These showers and thunderstorms were generated by several persistent low pressure troughs drawing in humid air from the northern and east of Australia.
Ex-tropical cyclone Esther made landfall as a category one system on Monday 24 February bringing rainfall totals in excess of 200 millimetres to parts of northern Queensland and the Northern Territory. This system weakened and transitioned to a tropical low and continues to move west through the Northern Territory.

Thunderstorms also brought falls in excess of 150 millimetres to areas of southern Queensland. The township of St George in Queensland's southern inland is at risk of flooding when the Balonne River reaches its expected major peak later today. The town's residents have been told to prepare for flooding, with the river forecast to reach around 12 metres this afternoon. More than 150,000 megalitres of water was flowing through the local weir yesterday, with all 13 gates open at E.J. Beardmore Dam. Around 200,000 megalitres is expected to be released today.

In Australia’s summer cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 10 and 200 millimetres were recorded across much of Queensland and lighter falls of between 1 and 10 millimetres were recorded across much of northern New South Wales during the week ending 26 February 2020.

Rainfall for the week ending 26 February 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: 26/2/2020

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 25 February  2020, maximum and minimum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average across parts of northern and central Australia. In contrast, maximum and minimum temperatures were 2°C to 6°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 25 February 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: 25/02/2020

Minimum temperature anomalies for the week ending 25 February 2020

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 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 25/02/2020

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

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) and the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) are currently neutral and expected to remain neutral in the coming weeks.

Abnormally warm sea surface temperatures forecast in the western tropical Pacific Ocean may draw moisture away from Australia and reduce the chance of wetter than average conditions in eastern Australia.

The latest rainfall outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology suggests that during March 2020 there is no strong shift towards wetter or drier than average rainfall for much of Australia. Parts of the north-west of Western Australia are slightly more likely to be drier than average during March. In contrast, parts of far tropical north and southern Australia are slightly more likely to be wetter than average (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 20 February 2020).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall March 2020

rain_forecast_median_national_month1_20200220_hr.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 20/02/2020

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 rainfall 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 south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales are slightly more likely to be drier than average. In contrast, parts of far northern Australia and south-western Western Australia are slightly more likely to be wetter than average (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 20 February 2019).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall March to May 2020

rain_forecast_median_national_season1_20200220_hr.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 20/02/2020

There is a significant chance that areas unlikely to exceed median rainfall will receive rainfall sufficient to sustain crop and pasture production. In summer cropping regions, for example, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 25 and 100 millimetres across northern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland between March and May 2020.

Rainfall totals that have a 75% chance of occurring March to May 2020

rain_total_forecast_75_percent_chance_national_season_20200217.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 20/02/2020

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’, 20 February 2020).

Chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature March to May 2020

tmax_forecast_median_national_season1_20200220_hr.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 20/02/2020

There is a significant chance that areas unlikely to exceed median rainfall will receive rainfall sufficient to sustain crop and pasture production. In summer cropping regions, for example, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 25 and 100 millimetres across northern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland between March and May 2020.

Chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature March to May 2020

tmin_forecast_median_national_season1_20200220_hr.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 20/02/2020

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Over the next eight days, rainfall totals of between 25 and 400 millimetres are forecast for areas of northern and central Australia. These falls are associated with Ex-tropical cyclone Esther that is tracking an unpredictable path across northern Australia and could loop towards central Australia over the next 8 days.
Lighter falls of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of western and eastern New South Wales, large areas of Queensland, Victoria and the west of Western Australia.

These falls will likely promote plant growth across northern and central Australia and continue to build soil moisture across northern and eastern Australia.
In summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 10 millimetres is expected across much of Queensland and northern New South Wales during the next 8 days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 27 February to 5 March 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: 27/02/2020

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 – 27 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 26-Feb US$/A$ 0.66 0.67 -1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 0.71 -7%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 25-Feb US$/t 228 231 -1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 225 1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 26-Feb US$/t 167 170 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 173 -3%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-Feb US$/t 371 374 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 384 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 27-Feb USc/lb 77.1 77.3 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 81.0 -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 27-Feb USc/lb 15.4 15.2 1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 13.2 17%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 20-Feb Ac/kg clean 1,581 1,568 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 2,027 -22%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 13-Feb Ac/kg clean 1,667 1,709 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,101 -21%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 20-Feb Ac/kg cwt 702 662 6%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 450 56%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 20-Feb Ac/kg cwt 681 690 -1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 419 63%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 20-Feb Ac/kg cwt 911 905 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 665 37%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 14-Feb Ac/kg cwt 425 429 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 329 29%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) 24-Feb Ac/kg cwt 893 893 0% 588 52%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 22-Feb Ac/kg lwt 360 360 0% 340 6%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 18-Feb US$/t 2,966 3,039 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 3,022 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 18-Feb US$/t 2,840 2,907 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,580 10%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 18-Feb US$/t 4,526 4,302 5%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 3,667 23%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 18-Feb US$/t 4,379 4,626 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 5,620 -22%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: 27 February 2020
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