La Niña conditions increase chances of wetter January

22 December 2017

January is likely to see higher than average rainfall in WA, eastern NSW and southeast Queensland due in part to La Niña conditions that have developed in the Pacific Ocean. Although the event is predicted to be short lived and weaker than the last La Niña event in 2010-2012, the Bureau of Meteorology’s recently released rainfall outlook indicates that most parts of the country should experience a wetter January – March period.

La Niña systems are associated with increased rainfall, cooler maximum temperatures, decreased frost risk as well as a greater number of tropical cyclones. The association between rainfall and La Niña strength is closely connected, with the strongest events seeing widespread flooding throughout Australia.

Maximum temperatures are predicted to be cooler than average for most of eastern and western Australia, however south eastern and south western areas of the mainland as well as Tasmania have a good chance of a warmer January – March period.

The forecast of above average rainfall may maintain demand for young cattle in the short term and underpin momentum in herd rebuilding, particularly in northern regions. This in turn will aid a lift in supply of slaughter-ready cattle, which, combined with greater available numbers, may put downward pressure on price.

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