Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: October–December 2015

  • Low streamflows more likely for October-December
  • Low September streamflows observed at two-thirds of locations
  • Climate influences include a mature El Niño in the Pacific Ocean and an emerging positive Indian Ocean Dipole

Streamflow forecast for October-December

For October to December, low streamflows are more likely at 98 locations across Australia. Near-median flows are more likely at 13 locations and high flows are more likely at seven. There is generally moderate to high forecast skill across the country and in particular, across southern Australia.

Due to very low model skill, forecasts have not been issued at 22 locations. We suggest using the historical 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.

New 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 catchment conditions

Low September flows were recorded at 94 out of 140 locations across Australia, predominantly in southwest Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia, northern Victoria (north of the Great Dividing Range) and southern New South Wales. Near-median flows were recorded at 36 locations, while high flows were recorded at 10 locations scattered across the continent.

September rainfall was 63% below the long-term average across Australia, making it the third driest September on record. All States and Territories had falls less than 50% of their respective long-term September averages, with falls 66% below average across the Murray-Darling Basin. There were some isolated areas of above average rainfall, confined to coastal areas of New South Wales and southern Queensland. For more details, read our Monthly Climate Summary.

Modelled deep soil moisture (10-100cm) is significantly below average in parts of northern Tasmania, central and western Victoria, southwest Western Australia and areas of central and northern Queensland.

Climate influences

A strong El Niño persists in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The emerging positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), with September values the highest since 2006, is reinforcing the El Niño signal and a drier October is likely Australia wide. Climate models suggest that El Niño is likely to peak towards the end of 2015, weakening in the first quarter of 2016.

El Niño is often associated with below-average rainfall across eastern Australia in winter and spring, and also warmer-than-normal daytime temperatures over the southern half of the country. Our understanding ENSO video provides more information on how El Niño impacts our climate and weather.

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.

New streamflow forecasting service

The Bureau now also delivers 7-day streamflow forecasts for more than 100 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.

Creative Commons By Attribution logo
Unless otherwise noted, all material on this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Australia Licence