Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: October–December 2019

  • Mostly low streamflows likely across Australia for October–December 2019.
  • Low flows observed at 70% of locations across Australia in September. Near-median and high flows mostly in northeastern regions.
  • The positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) continues to be the main influence on Australian climate.

Streamflow forecast for October–December 2019

For October–December 2019, low streamflows are more likely at 154 locations, spread across Australia. Near-median and high flows are likely at 21 and 3 locations respectively, scattered across the country. For this time of year, 67% of locations have moderate to high skill, while 33% of locations have low to very low skill, scattered across the country.

Forecasts have not been issued for 37 locations, due to very low model skill or missing observed data. We suggest using the observed climatology for these locations.

Use the map below to zoom and pan to view the forecast locations. Zoom in to view pie chart tercile forecasts, and then click on a pie chart to go directly to the latest forecast.

Note: The locations on the map are either site-based forecasts or total catchment inflow forecasts. Site information provides details on which locations are site-based or total inflow forecasts. For more details about how the pie chart forecasts are displayed go to the Frequently Asked Questions.

Information video

Outlook video

  • Legend image demonstrating moderate to high skill

    Moderate to high skill

  • Legend image demonstrating low skill

    Low skill or missing climate data

  • Legend image demonstrating very low skill

    Very low skill or missing antecedent condition data

September 2019 catchment conditions

Low streamflows were recorded at 146 locations, across Australia. Near-median and high flows were recorded at 45 and 17 locations, respectively–mostly in northeastern regions.

September rainfall was below to very much below average across most of Australia, including nearly all of New South Wales except parts of the coast; most of Queensland, except parts of the southwest, Gulf Coast, and northern Peninsula; most of Victoria, except parts of the southwest and South Gippsland; most of Tasmania, except parts of the east coast; the northern half of the Northern Territory; the southern half of Western Australia; and much of western and northern South Australia, and smaller areas of the east of that State.

Rainfall for September was above average for most of the Kimberley in Western Australia, extending into the northern part of the Interior District, and much of the Alice Springs District in the Northern Territory, extending east into far southwest Queensland.

Above-average actual evapotranspiration (AET) mainly occurred in northern Queensland, south western and parts of eastern Western Australia. Below-average AET occurred across most of the country, where modelled root zone soil moisture (0–100cm) was below to very much below average.

For more details on September rainfall across Australia, read our monthly Climate Summary and Drought Statement. For more information on September soil moisture and evapotranspiration across Australia, access the Australian Landscape Water Balance site.

Climate influences

The positive IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole) has gained strength, and is likely to maintain strong positive IOD index values until at least the end of the southern hemisphere spring.

A positive IOD typically means below average winter-spring rainfall for much of southern and central Australia. IOD events are unable to form, and therefore influence Australian climate, during the summer months once the monsoon trough transitions into the southern hemisphere. Therefore, the prolonged dry signal over Australia resulting from the positive IOD is likely to weaken during early summer.

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently neutral. The latest outlooks from the surveyed models suggest that ENSO-neutral is the most likely scenario for the remainder of 2019 and into 2020.

Get the latest El Niño update in our fortnightly ENSO Wrap-Up. Find out about likely seasonal rainfall conditions in our current Rainfall outlook. For a range of other detailed information on Australia's climate go to Climate Information.

7–day streamflow forecasting service

The Bureau also delivers 7-day streamflow forecasts for more than 160 sites around Australia.

Combining near real-time rainfall and streamflow observations with rainfall forecasts, we calculate how much runoff is likely, and flow of this water down the stream network. A forecast is generated for each of the next seven days. Access the 7-day streamflow forecasts.

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