Weekly update - 7 September 2017

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 6 September 2017 an extensive cloud-band brought rainfall to southern Western Australia, southern South Australia, most of Victoria, south-eastern New South Wales and much of Tasmania.
  • For the week ending 5 September 2017 maximum temperatures were generally average across Australia. Minimum temperatures were below average across parts of northern and south-eastern Australia. The remainder of the country recorded generally average minimum temperatures.
  • Rainfall for August 2017 was close to average in southern states and across northern Australia, but remained below average in central and northern New South Wales, central South Australia, central and southern Queensland and southern Northern Territory.
  • The national mean maximum temperature during winter 2017 was the highest on record for Australia, at 1.90°C above average. This was 0.30°C above the previous record set in 2009.
  • Upper layer soil moisture for August 2017 was generally above average for large areas of southern Australia and parts of northern Australia. However, upper layer soil moisture remains below average for large areas of central and northern New South Wales and southern Queensland. Lower layer soil moisture for August 2017 was well below average in central and southern Queensland and large areas of New South Wales, eastern Victoria and northern Western Australia.
  • Rainfall is expected to be restricted to western and southern parts of the country during the next eight days. Totals between 5 and 50 millimetres are forecast for the central coast of Western Australia, eastern Victoria, south-eastern New South Wales and western Tasmania. Rainfall totals are forecast to exceed 50 millimetres in western Tasmania.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 7 September 2017 by 87 gigalitres (GL) to 16,697 GL and are at 74 per cent of total capacity. This is 4 percentage points or 914 GL more than at the same time last year.
  • A number of New South Wales and Victorian catchments received allocation increases ranging from 6 per cent for New South Wales Murrumbidgee general security to 65 per cent for Victorian Bullarook.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin declined in the week up to 7 September 2017 in most systems. Average prices across the whole southern system decreased slightly to $124 per megalitre. This is a decrease of $3 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $131 in August across the whole southern MDB.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 6 September 2017 an extensive cloud-band brought rainfall to southern Australia. Rainfall totals between 5 and 50 millimetres were recorded in southern Western Australia, southern South Australia, most of Victoria, south-eastern New South Wales, an isolated area in south-eastern Queensland and much of Tasmania. Rainfall totals exceeded 50 millimetres were recorded in south-eastern South Australia, southern and eastern Victoria and western Tasmania. The highest recorded weekly total was 123 millimetres at Falls Creek in the Victorian Snowy Mountains. Little to no rainfall was recorded in the rest of Australia.

Rainfall - week ending 6 September 2017

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 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 6/09/2017

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

During the week ending 5 September 2017 maximum temperatures were generally average across Australia, the main exceptions being central Western Australia and south-east Queensland where they were slightly above average and southern Western Australia they were slightly below average. Minimum temperatures were below average (2°C to 8°C) across parts of northern and south-eastern Australia. The remainder of the country recorded generally average minimum temperatures.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 5 September 2017

Map showing maximum temperature anomalies in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 5/09/2017

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 5 September 2017

Map showing minimum temperature anomalies in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.] 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 5/09/2017

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 their long-term averages. Temperature anomalies are calculated using high-resolution gridded datasets from 1911 onwards. For further information go to Daily maximum temperature for Australia.

Monthly rainfall

August 2017 rainfall was close to average in southern states and across northern Australia, but remained below average in central and northern New South Wales, central South Australia, central and southern Queensland and southern Northern Territory.

In cropping regions, August 2017 rainfall was generally average to above average in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia–an increase from the severe deficiencies in June and July 2017. However, rainfall was below average to average New South Wales and Queensland. Although August rainfall is likely to have increased soil moisture levels, improved prospects for winter crops and benefited pasture growth in southern Australia, it may have been too late for winter crop production in northern cropping regions.

Rainfall percentiles for August 2017

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

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Note: Rainfall for June to August 2017 is compared with rainfall recorded for that period during the historical record (1900 to present). For further information, go to Australian Water Availability Project

Seasonal rainfall

Rainfall during winter 2017 was well below average across much of eastern, western and southern Australia. In cropping regions, winter 2017 rainfall was below average to average in Victoria, South Australia and southern Western Australia and severely deficient to well below average in New South Wales, Queensland and northern Western Australia.

Rainfall percentiles for winter 2017 (1 June to 31 August 2017)

Map showing rainfall percentiles for winter 2017. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Note: Rainfall for June to August 2017 is compared with rainfall recorded for that period during the historical record (1900 to present). For further information, go to Australian Water Availability Project

Seasonal temperature

The Bureau of Meteorology report that Australia’s maximum temperatures during winter 2017 were the warmest on record for Australia. The national maximum temperature was 1.90°C above the average maximum temperature and 0.30°C above the previous record set in 2009. The warmth was especially evident in the northern half of Australia, with Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia also recording their warmest winter maximum temperatures on record. Minimum temperatures were generally above average in northern Australia and below average in southern Australia (Bureau of Meteorology, ‘Australia in winter 2017’, 1 September 2017).

Aside from the exceptional persistent high pressure anomalies to the south of Australia during June, abnormally high maximum temperatures throughout the rest of winter occurred in the absence of Australia's most important large-scale climate drivers; both the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and the Indian Ocean Dipole were both neutral. Winter climate was however influenced by secondary climate drivers including warmer than average sea surface temperatures to the north and east of Australia, below average rainfall (resulting in lower than average soil moisture, and increased numbers of sunny days), and the long-term increasing trend in global air and ocean temperatures.

Maximum temperature deciles for winter 2017

Map showing maximum temperature deciles for Australia for winter 2017 Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: ©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 1/09/2017

Minimum temperature deciles for winter 2017

Map showing minimum temperature deciles for Australia for winter 2017 Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: ©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 1/09/2017

Recent soil moisture percentiles

The maps below show the levels of modelled upper layer soil moisture (0 to 10 centimetres) and lower layer soil moisture (10 centimetres to 1 metre) during August 2017. These maps show how modelled soil conditions during August 2017 compare with August conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2015). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in August 2017 than during the same period over the reference period. The dark red areas were much drier than during the reference period.

The bulk of plant roots occur in the top 20 centimetres of the soil profile. Soil moisture in the upper layer of the soil profile is therefore the most appropriate indicator of the availability of water, particularly for germinating plants. The lower layer soil moisture is a larger, deeper store that is slower to respond to rainfall and tends to reflect accumulated rainfall events over longer time periods.

Relative upper layer soil moisture for August 2017 was generally above average for large areas of southern Australia and parts of northern Australia, and close to average for the rest of the country. However, upper layer soil moisture remains below average for large areas of central and northern New South Wales and southern Queensland. The pattern of relative upper layer soil moisture reflects August 2017 rainfall.

Upper layer soil moisture in cropping regions in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales was average to well above average in August 2017. In northern New South Wales and Queensland, upper layer soil moisture was well below average to average. The pattern of relative upper layer soil moisture reflects August 2017 rainfall.

Modelled upper layer soil moisture for August 2017

Map showing relative upper layer soil moisture for August 2017. Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology (Australian Water Resources Assessment Landscape model)

Relative lower layer soil moisture for August 2017 was well below average in central and southern Queensland and large areas of New South Wales, eastern Victoria and northern Western Australia. It was well above average in central and northern parts of the Northern Territory and isolated parts of south-western and eastern Western Australia. It was close to average in the remainder of Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

In cropping regions, lower layer soil moisture was generally below average to extremely low in Queensland, News South Wales and average in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Modelled lower layer soil moisture for August 2017

Map showing relative upper layer soil moisture for August 2017. Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology (Australian Water Resources Assessment Landscape model)

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Rainfall is expected to be restricted to southern and western parts of the country during the next eight days. Totals between 5 and 50 millimetres are forecast for the central coast of Western Australia, eastern Victoria, south-eastern New South Wales and western Tasmania. Rainfall totals are forecast to exceed 50 millimetres in western Tasmania.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 7 to 14 September 2017

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. 

Source: ©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 7/09/2017

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 7 September 2017 by 87 gigalitres (GL) to 16,697 GL and are at 74 per cent of total capacity. This is 4 percentage points or 914 GL more than at the same time last year.

Water storages in the Murray-Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and Queensland)

Line graph showing water storages in the Murray–Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and Queensland) from 2000 to 2017, measured as a percentage of the total storage of 22,598 gigalitres. 

Information on water available in dams used for irrigation the Murray–Darling Basin from 1 January 2001 to 7 September 2017 is shown above. The top horizontal (short dash) line indicates the storage level during a similar time last year. The bottom horizontal (long dash) line indicates the amount of ‘dead’ or unusable storage.

Water storages

Changes in regional water storage for August 2017 and the previous 12 months are summarised in the table and graph below (current at 7 September 2017).

Region

Total capacity

Current volume

Current volume

Monthly change

Monthly change

Annual change

 

(GL)

(GL)

(%)

(GL)

(%)

(GL)

Murray–Darling Basin (MDB)

22,559

16697

74

914

4

1197

Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA)

9,352

6086

62

163

2

2721

Queensland MDB

186

163

88

-6

-3

63

Central Queensland

3,154

2624

83

-65

-2

37

South-east Queensland

3,517

2320

66

-38

-1

83

New South Wales MDB

13,884

9453

68

318

2

4034

Coastal New South Wales

1,074

933

87

-1

0

36

Victoria MDB

8,488

6604

78

523

6

1422

State water storages in the Murray–Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and Queensland)

Line graph showing water storages in the Murray–Darling Basin by state (NSW, Victoria and Queensland) from 2002 to 2017, measured as gigalitres (total storage of 22,598 gigalitres.) 

Water allocations

The current water allocations for the 2017–18 water trading season for licence holders in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia water systems are summarised in the following table.

On 1 September, NSW DPI - Water announced allocation increases of:

  • 6 per cent for NSW Murrumbidgee General Security to 29 per cent,
  • 7 per cent for NSW Murray General Security to 20 per cent,

On the same date, the Resource Manager for Northern Victoria announced seasonal determination increases of:

  • 12 per cent for Victoria Broken High Reliability to 27 per cent,
  • 65 per cent for Victoria Bullarook Low Reliability to 100 per cent,
  • 7 per cent for Victoria Campaspe Low Reliability to 7 per cent,
  • 15 per cent for Victoria Goulburn High Reliability to 60 per cent,
  • 15 per cent for Victoria Loddon High Reliability to 60 per cent,
  • 20 per cent for Victoria Murray High Reliability to 90 per cent.

Allocations at

1 September 2017

15 August 2017

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

20%

97%

13%

97%

NSW Murrumbidgee

29%

95%

23%

95%

NSW Lower Darling

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Macquarie and Cudgegong

38%

100%

38%

100%

NSW Hunter

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Lachlan

2%

100%

2%

100%

NSW Lower Namoi

7%

100%

7%

100%

NSW Upper Namoi

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Gwydir

11%

100%

11%

100%

NSW Border Rivers

100%(a)/11.1%(b)

100%

100%(a)/11.1%(b)

100%

NSW Peel

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria

Low reliability

High reliability

Low reliability

High reliability

Victoria Murray

0%

90%

0%

70%

Victoria Goulburn

0%

60%

0%

45%

Victoria Campaspe

7%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Loddon

0%

60%

0%

45%

Victoria Bullarook

100%

100%

35%

100%

Victoria Broken

0%

27%

0%

15%

South Australia

 

Class 3a/3b

 

Class 3a/3b

South Australia Murray

 

100%

 

100%

(a) General Security A class. (b) General Security B class

Selected water allocation percentages in the southern Murray–Darling Basin

 

 

 

 

Water markets

Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin declined in the week up to 7 September 2017 in most systems. Average prices across the whole southern system decreased slightly to $124 per megalitre. This is a decrease of $3 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $131 in August across the whole southern MDB.

Allocation trade activity in the southern Murray–Darling Basin

Allocation trade activity in the southern Murray-Darling Basin. The trades shown reflect market activity and do not encompass all register trades. The price line reflects locally fitted price values for the entire southern Murray-Darling Basin. 

The trades shown reflect estimated market activity and do not encompass all register trades. The price line reflects locally fitted price values for the entire southern Murray–Darling Basin. Data shown is current until Thursday 7 September 2017. Trade activity is shown as colour density.

Allocation trade prices, southern Murray–Darling Basin trade zones

 

Southern MDB

Victoria Goulburn

SA Murray

NSW Murrumbidgee

Victoria Murray

NSW Murray

Current week: 01/09/17 - 07/09/17

$124.44

$97.42

$162.71

$128.24

$122.28

$128.83

Last week: 25/08/17 - 31/08/17

$127.26

$106.95

$161.04

$138.28

$128.13

$127.21

August 2017

$131.28

$110.68

$161.23

$127.74

$136.69

$137.07

August 2016

$111.61

$119.52

$126.31

$98.09

$147.31

$80.97

Commodities

Current indicators – 7 September 2017

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate06-SepUS$/A$0.80.791%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.0.765%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf05-SepUS$/t2031964%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.18013%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 Gulf06-SepUS$/t1511436%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.150<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg05-SepUS$/t440439<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.4166%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index06-SepUSc/lb82.179.83%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.77.07%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract06-SepUSc/lb14.114.0<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.20.1-30%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicatora13-JulAc/kg clean1,5221,524<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,31116%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicatora01-SepAc/kg clean1,6091,680-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,39116%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, SA05-SepA$/t2051993%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2050% chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW06-SepA$/t2422324%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2315%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW06-SepA$/t2312215%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.17830%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.04-SepA$/t497507-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.4872%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW06-SepA$/t2992990%20447%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 Indicator31-AugAc/kg cwt5535393%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.708-22%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), Vic01-SepAc/kg cwt40633920%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.405<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator31-AugAc/kg cwt6336182%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.5819%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 & sellers25-AugAc/kg cwt277276<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.379-27%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1-16 kg)04-SepAc/kg cwt4704573%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.578-19%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia26-AugAc/kg lwt3303203%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.360-8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Live sheep – Live wether (Muchea WA saleyard) to Middle East04-Sep$/head1111083%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.nana chart

Global Dairy Trade weighted average pricesa

Dairy – Whole milk powder05-SepUS$/t3,1003,143-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,79311%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder05-SepUS$/t1,9441,968-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,224-13%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese05-SepUS$/t4,1184,0053%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,43620%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat05-SepUS$/t6,4056,1993%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.4,76934%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

a The Australian Wool Exchange remains on recess for the Eastern Market, week prior price for Western Market Indicator is from 14 July.

b Global Dairy Trade prices are updated twice monthly on the first and third Tuesday of each month.

Movements in selected fruit and vegetable prices
Data attribution

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Last reviewed:
07 Sep 2017