Winter, we hardly knew you

3 min

It sure felt cold, and at times unending, especially in the south eastern states, but the recently departed winter season was actually the fifth warmest on record.

Winter and the much-envied Australian lifestyle aren’t really the best fit, are they? An enforced hibernation period that keeps us from socialising in the great outdoors with our nearest and dearest is not most people’s favourite time of the year. For businesses around the country, however, winter can be an even less welcome and more unpredictable period. 

For some, in agribusiness for example, the previous year’s harvest might not yield enough crop to sell or export and break even through winter, whereas others like wheat producers can have an outstanding year. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, eastern Australian wheat's 20 per cent surge in July 2018 beat all 22 raw materials in the Bloomberg Commodity Index, as the southern hemisphere's biggest exporter had its driest July since 2002. 

Despite ongoing economic impacts from the drought, deeply felt in New South Wales, there were no extreme meteorological events recorded during the winter season. Our friends at the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) provided some interesting statistics in their seasonal summary:  

  • Overall it was fifth-warmest winter on record in terms of average maximum temperatures
  • It was one of the warmest ten winters on record in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Northern Territory
  • Mean temperatures for winter were above average across the country
  • Rainfall was actually below average for mainland Australia, with Tasmania being the only state recording above average rainfall

This infographic from BoM captures the highlights of the season perfectly:

From an energy perspective, the season aligned with AEMO’s Winter Plan, published back in May of this year, where it was forecast that gas supply would be adequate and that a peak day supply shortfall was not expected during the winter of 2018. 

Stay tuned for AEMO’s summer readiness plan, due to be published later this year, where our in-house experts will provide their predictions and forecast for the summertime. And for more insights on seasonal and climate impacts, check out Energy Live’s Insights section for the latest in-depth analysis.

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