World Grain - November 2019 - 66

FEATURE

GLOBAL WEATHER GOES

STAGNANT
Dryness issues linger in numerous regions across the world
by Drew Lerner

T

his column could have been written in early
September. That is how long it has been since
WKHUHZDVDVLJQL¿FDQWFKDQJHLQZRUOGZHDWKHU
As they say.... "Is this the new normal?" There is
nothing new about it. The same areas that were dry at
the end of August and early September are still that way
as of this writing in late October. The bigger question
is when will it change? In the meantime, the only thing
that can be said about "new normal" is to fasten your
seatbelt because there is more wild weather coming.
We just have to give the atmosphere a little nudge and
the wheels of extreme will start anew.
Eastern Australia is now in its 34th month of drought
and for some areas it is a record drought. Queensland
and New South Wales have been at the center of this
dryness, but earlier this winter and spring (Southern
Hemisphere) there was more dryness from one end
of the south to the other slashing winter wheat, barley
and canola yields. Scientists at Australia's Bureau of
Meteorology have blamed the winter/spring drought
in central and southeastern parts of the nation on
ocean temperatures across the Indian Ocean. Warm

water in the west and cool water in the eastern Indian
Ocean creates a positive phase of Indian Ocean Dipole
(IOD), and that causes poor rainfall in central through
southeastern Australia during the winter and spring
seasons. The IOD index was near a record in early
October and gradual changes are supposed to occur
over the next eight weeks through November.
In reality, seasonal changes should bring some
change to eastern Australia during November.
Deepening low pressure in the northern part of the
nation is in the process of turning the surface winds
around. Instead of wind blowing from the heart of
Australia into the eastern parts of the nation, the wind
will soon blow from the ocean inland. When that
takes place, rain will begin to fall. It will not, however, be drought busting rain, not with the IOD still in
its strong positive phase.
It is too late to change winter crop production potential and the focus in Australia is now on sorghum and
cotton, but the change toward wetter conditions cannot
come quick enough to support dryland planting. Most
likely, producers will be leery of planting a dryland crop

Average 7-day topsoil moisture ended Oct. 22
Extremely wet
Wet
Moist
Adequate
Marginal
Limited
Dry

Northern
Territory

Salta
Santiago
del
Estero

Chaco
Corrientes
Rio Grand
do Sol

Sante Fe

Queensland

Western Australia
South
Australia

San
Luis

Cordoba

New South
Wales
La Pampa

Buenos Aires

Victoria
Weather maps provided by World Weather Inc.

66

Australia

Argentina
November 2019 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com


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World Grain - November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - November 2019

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