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La Niña signals wet summer across the country

15 October 2020

Key points:

  • Above average rainfall forecast for all states in the coming months
  • First significant La Niña since 2010, which brought widespread flooding
  • Predicted rainfall expected to support national herd and flock rebuild

The Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) latest climate outlook released last week confirmed a La Niña weather event is expected over the coming months. A La Niña cycle results in increased rainfall, a greater number of tropical cyclones in the north, and generally cooler daytime temperatures but warmer nights. Australia’s last significant La Niña event was reported in 2010, with widespread and substantial rainfall resulting in flooding across parts of the country.

From November to January, all states are likely to record above average rainfall. Regions in western Queensland, south-east SA, western Victoria and south-western NSW have been forecast a greater than 80% chance of exceeding median rainfall over the next three months. With no significant rainfall since the beginning of the year in widespread areas of Queensland and WA, these regions will be relying on summer rainfall to replenish soil moisture levels and improve pastures.

As producers anticipate La Niña, this could result in a further tightening of domestic livestock supply, with increased retention of productive breeding stock across both cattle and sheep markets, lending support to the national herd and flock rebuild.

View the latest outlook video

© Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, 2020