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Wet winter forecast across Australia

03 June 2021

Key points:

  • Majority of Australia predicted to experience average to above-average rainfall between June and September.
  • Warmer minimum temperatures are forecast for Australia during winter that may promote pasture growth.
  • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is predicted to be negative over winter, driving increased rainfall.

The most recent Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) outlook forecasts a wetter-than-average winter for most of Australia, including for winter dominant rainfall areas where the majority of Australia’s sheep flock is located.

The main influence driving the above-average rainfall forecast is a negative IOD. In periods of a negative IOD, the Indian Ocean is warmer along the Australian coast, increasing convection and rainfall over Australia.


Warmer minimum temperatures are also forecast Australia-wide through to September. High temperatures combined with increased rainfall should translate into increased pasture growth, especially in southern Australia.

Forecast minimum temperatures June to August


For producers, increased rain and moderate-to-high temperatures are also expected to lead to higher marking rates and heavier lamb weights.

This recent outlook is encouraging for producers in central Victoria who have experienced a dry autumn. Similarly, it will be welcomed by WA producers who have endured a number of below-average seasons.

This weather forecast underpins MLA’s sheep and cattle projections that forecast both a national flock and herd rebuild in 2021. On the back of this outlook, sheep producers are expected to retain breeding ewes, both old and young, to build out their flocks.

© Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, 2021