Last week the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) released its summer 2017/18 report saying this past summer has been the nation’s second hottest.
This summer was 1C above the long-term average, which BoM reports was due to “prolonged, widespread, low-intensity warm weather rather than individual heatwaves.”
We have to look back to October 1975 when as a nation we broke the coldest national temperature record.
Agriculture Victoria’s seasonal risk agronomist Dale Grey explained at the 2017 BCG Trials Review Day, that areas of the Wimmera and Mallee from the start of November to the end of January, experienced closer to 3C and 4C higher than average maximum temperatures.
“Growers need to be mindful that these intense heat periods as they will have resulted in some evaporation, causing soil moisture levels to decrease,” Mr Grey said.
The Agriculture Victoria soil probe network is one place growers can go to get a better understanding of the soil moisture levels in their district. This information can be accessed via intelliweb.mait.com.au, username dpi, password dpi, or by following Agriculture Victoria’s Dale Boyd (@daleboyd2) on Twitter.
Rainfall over the summer period have been quite variable with parts of Western Australia and the Top End of the Northern Territory, both areas experiencing above average rainfall.
Western Australia experienced their tenth-wettest summer on record. Rainfall resulting from tropical cyclone Joyce and Kelvin saw Broome surpassed its highest annual rainfall record.
This is in contrast to most of eastern Australia that have experienced below average rainfall. Overall, nationally it was a near average rainfall period.
BoM has also released their autumn forecast last week indicating that the models are predicting warmer than average day and night temperatures. BCG and the Bureau of Meteorology are working together on a number of projects including Rural Research and Development for Profit.