Here’s a Friday thought bubble:

Financial markets and the weather are often treated very separately, and yet they are inextricably linked.

For one thing, computing power has increasingly replaced manual estimations of what’s coming made by people (usually men) with pencils.

Every day news bulletins tell us how the Dow ended or the Australian dollar is trading, and yet few of us are actively trading in either (especially when Covid trapped us in our nations).

Weather typically has a much greater influence on how we are going to live our lives today and plan for the weekend, for instance, than financial details that usually precede the meteorological take for the day.

And weather – particularly the accumulation of it that we know as climate – has critical impacts on our ability to go about our normal lives, access water in the right amounts, avoid heatwaves and grow our food.

That extreme events are going to increase in intensity, duration and frequency because we are energising our atmosphere with greenhouse gases should only increase our interest in weather, and how it will affect our lives and our economies.

So this morning, for instance, if you live in eastern Australia and particularly in NSW, the weather should be of extra interest.

Peter Hannam
(@p_hannam)

Eight-day rainfall forecast from @BOM_au highlights where those 100mm+ totals might land. Sydney and Warragamba region might be in for a soaking but inland areas that have flooded in the past week won’t be too happy with another 50mm. pic.twitter.com/DjacG8m6qP


November 18, 2021

We’ve had months of relatively wet weather over large parts of inland Australia, particularly in NSW. It didn’t take a big rain event to cause major flooding on the Lachlan River, for instance, and there’s more to come this weekend, and a few days later.

You can read more about it here:

What struck me, among other things is the Burrendong Dam, a major dam west of Sydney, is sitting at 129% as of Thursday.

Also of interest is Warragamba, Sydney’s main dam (about 80% of the city’s total capacity – an unusually high ratio) is at 100% too and authorities are using their minimal capability to lower the height by about 1m to create “airspace” ahead of the weekend rain.

Now, the big rain may go further south, and miss Warragamba’s catchment. But the difference between 50 and 100mm over the rain days could mean a small spill or a bit of a bigger one.

We’re not looking at a repeat of March’s floods around Sydney, but with a wetter than usual summer predicted, dam operators are going to be taking every chance to create “airspace” when they can.

Anyway, back to the markets. Nothing much happened overnight, no major news, and no big stats expected in Australia, China or the US.

As you were.



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