Meat & Livestock News

Australia’s October Rainfall Hits Two-Decade Low Amid El Niño Conditions

thunder storm sky Rain clouds Cracked dry land without wate

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has reported the country’s driest October in 21 years, attributing the significant decrease in rainfall to the effects of the El Niño weather pattern.

This has resulted in a challenging period of heat and dryness, impacting agricultural sectors, especially wheat production, a key export commodity for the nation.

The bureau’s drought statement highlighted that the country received 65% less rainfall than the average for October, based on the standard reference period from 1961 to 1990.

This dry spell was felt across Australia, with Victoria being the notable exception. Particularly hard-hit was Western Australia, the cornerstone of Australia’s grain export, which saw its driest October on record.

This dry trend represents a departure from the previous three years of relatively high rainfall. September 2023 was noted as the driest month since the beginning of official records in 1900.

Although there were some early October showers that temporarily mitigated the reduction in crop yield forecasts, the wheat harvest is still expected to fall by 35%, with projections of around 26 million tonnes for the year.

The bureau’s recent report also points out that the areas suffering from rainfall deficits have widened, especially in south-west Western Australia and parts of Queensland. On a more positive note, southern Victoria and eastern Tasmania have seen some alleviation in dry conditions.

The forecast for the near future, extending to January, suggests that the drier-than-average conditions will likely persist in the northern, western, and southern regions of Australia.

This climatic update comes as the country continues to adapt to the variable effects of global weather phenomena on its agricultural output.