CottonInfo: Moisture Manager, 22 March 2021
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The CottonInfo Moisture Manager

In this edition:

Latest weather and climate news:

  • Tropical La Niña moisture continues this month via warm local SSTs, despite the event reaching its peak, as the 30-day SOI retreats to near zero as the event decays before resetting on a new path in the coming months.
  • Summer conditions show a cooler maximum decile temperature for NSW and below-average rain for Qld cotton-growing areas;
  • The latest season model survey showing confidence slightly reduced from last month for our late Autumn early winter season - from April to June 2021.
  • The latest east-coast water storage levels showing recent improvements from above-average catchment rainfall, with the hope of more to come.

Australian rainfall (week ending 21 March 2021)

Rainfall maps courtesy: 

Summary of climate indicators

The Walker circulation (SOI) has retreated back to near zero in concert with SSTs in the Tropical Pacific. The 2020-21 La Niña has now peaked, and its influence will be reduced over the coming months as it resets this Autumn. The IOD is still neutral and basin-wide warming sees the indicator stable around zero before making its move in our winter season. The SAM is neutral and unlikely to influence our climate in the coming few weeks. For more information on what the climatic indicators mean, click here

2020-21 Summer rain deciles 

A fantastic year for central and southern NSW growing areas but unfortunately, SE Qld regions in a rain shadow last summer.

2021 3-month maximum temperature deciles

Daytime maximum temperatures virtually a mirror image of rainfall deciles through the summer.

Seasonal Model Survey (Apr-May-Jun)

A little less confidence for cooler / wetter conditions than last month as cotton crops approach picking.

Long-range climate driver outlook (16 Feb)

At this early stage, model guidance summary shows a neutral ENSO and slightly wetter (negative) Indian Ocean Dipole this coming winter.

MDB Water storage levels (3 March 2021)

These may look very different in a months time. Click on the link to go to the official site.

Fitzroy Valley  - Water storage level (22 March 2021)

Coming off a record low of 7% at Christmas time, recent good rains in the catchment have boosted levels, and spirits in the Emerald region. Click on the link to go to the official site.

Can't get enough climate and weather?

Each Friday, Ag Econ's team of climate analysts release a region-by-region summary of the coming monthly outlook, detailed analysis of climate conditions, expert commentary from global climatologists, the latest climate research findings, farmer climate stories, weather App reviews, heatwave monitoring and where to access the latest tools and models. In the current edition, we analyse factors influencing this year soft-season rainfall for livestock and broadacre cropping, delivered in a 20-minute podcast recorded in Narrabri's Max FM studios. In the upcoming edition, we meet climate researcher Dr Lisa Goddard, Director IRI (US) and discuss seasonal forecasting, managing climate risk in agriculture and decadal variability research findings. Visit
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