Weekly update - 31 January 2019

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly ​Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 30 January 2019 rainfall was recorded across isolated areas of central Australia, eastern New South Wales and large areas of northern Australia.
  • Rainfall totals in excess of 50 millimetres were recorded across vast areas of tropical northern Australia with the arrival of the monsoonal trough.
  • In summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 1 and 10 millimetres was recorded across the eastern and northern growing regions in New South Wales and northern growing regions in Queensland during the week ending 30 January 2019. Little to no rainfall was recorded in other summer cropping regions.
  • For the week ending 29 January 2019, maximum and minimum temperatures were between 2°C to 10°C above average across vast areas of central, western and south-eastern Australia.
  • The latest rainfall outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology indicates that a drier than average February is more likely for much of Western Australia, and parts western South Australia and the north of the Northern Territory.
  • The rainfall outlook for February to April 2019 indicates that a drier than average three months is more likely for much of western and southern Australia, and parts of eastern Queensland and the north of the Northern Territory. For the remainder of the country there is roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier three months.
  • During the next eight days, rainfall is expected to be restricted to the far south-east and the north-eastern quarter of Australia.
  • The tropical north of Queensland is in for more very wet weather over the next eight days as the monsoon continues to strengthen.
  • In summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 50 millimetres is expected across northern cropping areas of Queensland.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased by 175 gigalitres (GL) between 21 January 2019 and 30 January 2019. The current volume of water held in storage is 10,614 GL, which represents 42 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin decreased from $459 per ML in the week ending 14 January 2019 to $444 per ML in the week ending 28 January 2019.

Climate

[expand all]

Rainfall this week

During the week ending 30 January 2019 rainfall was recorded across isolated areas of central Australia, eastern New South Wales and large areas of northern Australia. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across scattered areas of eastern and southern New South Wales, northern Queensland, northern Western Australia and the north of the Northern Territory. Higher rainfall totals in excess of 50 millimetres were recorded across vast areas of tropical northern Australia with the arrival of the monsoonal trough.

Monsoonal rain has inundated parts of central and northern Queensland during the last 7 days, pushing dams to capacity as rivers experience major flooding. The southward moving monsoon trough caused widespread falls of between 100 and 300 millimetres between Ingham and Mackay during the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday 30 January.

One of the heaviest falls in the region during this 24-hour period was 370 millimetres at Paluma, to the north of Townsville. This torrential rain has resulted in Paluma Dam reaching 106 per cent of its capacity at 7am local time on Wednesday. North of Mackay, Sandy Plateau received 375 millimetres during the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday, which brought their two-day total to an impressive 763 millimetres.

Unsurprisingly, a number of rivers are experiencing major flooding and the Bureau of Meteorology have issued numerous flood watches. A flood watch also remains in place for coastal catchments from Daintree to Mackay, the western Cape York Peninsula and eastern Gulf of Carpentaria catchments.

In summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 1 and 10 millimetres was recorded across the eastern and northern growing regions in New South Wales and northern growing regions in Queensland during the week ending 30 January 2019. Little to no rainfall was recorded in other summer cropping regions.

Rainfall analysis for the week ending 30 January 2019

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 2019, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 30/01/2019

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 29 January 2019, maximum and minimum temperatures were generally well above average across much of the country. Maximum and minimum temperatures were between 2°C to 10°C above average across vast areas of central, southern and eastern Australia. Average (-2°C to 2°C) minimum and maximum temperatures were recorded across parts of eastern Queensland, the tropical northern Australia and much of Western Australia.

Maximum temperature anomalies for the week ending 29 January 2019

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 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 30/01/2019

Minimum temperature anomalies for the week ending 29 January 2019

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 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 30/01/2019

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

Although the sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean are currently neutral, there is still a chance of El Niño developing during autumn 2019. An El Niño typically results in warmer and drier than usual conditions, and a later autumn break for southern and eastern Australia, and this is influencing this latest climate outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Other climate influences relevant to this latest outlook relate to temperature of the oceans surrounding Australia. In the Indian Ocean, the central and western tropics are warmer than normal. This pattern tends to move the focus of rainfall away from Australia, and reduces the amount of moisture in the air that travels over western and southern Australia. Higher pressures and reduced westerly winds over the Southern Ocean are also reducing the chance of rainfall in parts of southern Australia. 

The latest rainfall outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology indicates that a drier than average February is more likely for much of Western Australia, and parts western South Australia and the north of the Northern Territory. Parts of eastern Victoria and south-eastern New South Wales have an increased chance of being wetter than usual. For the remainder of the country there are roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average February (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 31 January 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall February 2018

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. 

The rainfall outlook for February to April 2019 indicates that a drier than average three months is more likely for much of Western Australia and southern South Australia, and parts of eastern Queensland and the north of the Northern Territory. For the remainder of the country there are roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier three months (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 31 January 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall February to April 2019

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. 

The temperature outlook for February to April 2019 indicates that daytime temperatures are more likely to be warmer than average for Australia. Night-time temperatures are also likely to be warmer than average for much of the country, with the exception of parts of southern South Australia and central Australia, where the chances of warmer or cooler nights are roughly equal (Bureau of Meteorology ‘Naional Climate Outlook’, 31 January 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature February to April 2019

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. 

Chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature February to April 2019

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. 

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

During the next eight days, rainfall is expected to be mainly restricted to the far south-east and the north-eastern quarter of Australia.

Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of eastern New South Wales and eastern Victoria, much of Queensland, the far north of Western Australia and much of the east and north of the Northern Territory. Heavier falls in excess of 50 millimetres are forecast for tropical northern Australia.

The tropical north of Queensland is in for more very wet weather over the next eight days as the monsoon continues to strengthen, on the back what has already been a very wet start to 2019. The monsoon trough extends from a tropical low near the southern Gulf of Carpentaria across to the eastern tropical coast of Queensland near Cairns. As winds turn clockwise around the low they are bringing tropical moisture from the Coral Sea right along the coast.

Rainfall totals in excess of 400 millimetres are likely along the coast between Cardwell and Mackay during the next eight days. Rainfall is also expected to spread further inland into central, western and north-western Queensland over the coming days, as that low remains fairly slow-moving over the Gulf Country. While the monsoon trough will start to shift slowly north, this movement is likely to coincide with a renewed burst of monsoon winds and heavier rain and thunderstorms—with those heavier falls likely to remain along coastal locations and north-western Queensland.

In summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 50 millimetres is expected across northern cropping areas of Queensland. Little to no rainfall is expected across other summer cropping regions of Queensland and New South Wales.

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.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 31 January to 7 February 2019

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 2019, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 31/01/2019

Commodities

Current indicators – 31 January 2019

IndicatorWeek endedUnitLatest pricePrice week priorWeekly changePrice 12 months priorYear on year changeChart

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate30-JanUS$/A$0.710.72-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.0.81-12%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf29-JanUS$/t2432401%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2325%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 Gulf30-JanUS$/t170169<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1597%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg29-JanUS$/t4294222%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.432<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index30-JanUSc/lb83.283.20%91.3-9%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 contract30-JanUSc/lb12.612.9-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.13.4-6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator24-JanAc/kg clean1,9271,923<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,74410%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator25-JanAc/kg clean2,0922,105<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,82115%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic crop indicator prices

Milling Wheat – ASW1, track quote, Port Adelaide, SA29-JanA$/t3603522%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.22759%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW23-JanA$/t4404400%25374%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW23-JanA$/t3953950%28141%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.29-OctA$/t597nana53611%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW23-JanA$/t360370-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.410-12%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator24-JanAc/kg cwt475478<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.531-11%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18–24 kg fat score 2–3), Vic25-JanAc/kg cwt362365<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.399-9%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator24-JanAc/kg cwt6776514%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.6337%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 & sellers18-JanAc/kg cwt323nana27418%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)28-JanAc/kg cwt5865860%48321%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 Indonesia15-DecAc/kg lwt3253250%3202%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 East03-Dec$/head108 na na121-11%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 powder16-JanUS$/t2,7772,7053%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,010-8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder16-JanUS$/t2,4051,97022%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,81832%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese16-JanUS$/t3,5043,3714%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,486<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat16-JanUS$/t5,2945,1373%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.6,547-19%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

​​
T​h​e Tableau dashboard may not meet accessibility requirements. For information about the contents of these dashboards contact ABARES.​​ ​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks! Your feedback has been submitted.

We aren't able to respond to your individual comments or questions.
To contact us directly phone us or submit an online inquiry

Please verify that you are not a robot.

Skip