Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: June–August 2019

  • Mostly low streamflows likely for June–August 2019.
  • Low flows observed at 68% of locations across Australia in May. Near-median and high flows mostly in northeastern and southeastern regions.
  • The ENSO outlook remains at El Niño WATCH.

Streamflow forecast for June–August 2019

For June–August 2019, low streamflows are more likely at 110 locations, spread across Australia. Near-median and high flows are likely at 35 and 25 locations respectively, mainly in northern Queesland and the southeast. For this time of year, 35% of locations, mostly along the eastern coastal regions, have moderate skill, while 23% of locations, mostly in the northern regions, have high skill.

Forecasts have not been issued for 45 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

May 2019 catchment conditions

Low streamflows were recorded at 141 locations, speard across Australia. Near-median and high flows were recorded at 36 and 31 locations respectively, mostly in northeastern and southeastern regions.

May rainfall was below to very much below average over much of Australia. Rainfall for the month was below to very much below average across most of Western Australia, parts of the eastern mainland taking in coastal New South Wales, most of eastern Queensland and parts of central Queensland. May rainfall was above average for some parts of southern South Australia, most of Victoria, inland southern New South Wales and the Northern Territory.

Above-average actual evapotranspiration (AET) occurred in most of inland Queensland, the northern tip of Queensland and the Northern Territory, in the northeastern corner of South Australia and parts of southern Western Australia. There was below-average evapotranspiration in eastern coastal regions of New South Wales, extending into parts of the southeastern corner of Queensland, most of Victoria, South Australia, large areas in northern and southern Western Australia, and in the western Northern Territory. These areas of below-average AET mostly coincide with areas of below-average modelled lower-layer soil moisture (10–100cm).

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

Climate influences

The Pacific Ocean and overlying atmosphere remain close to El Niño, so the ENSO Outlook remains at El Niño WATCH. Models indicate the tropical Pacific Ocean will ease away from El Niño levels, becoming neutral during winter.

The Indian Ocean is expected to become the dominant influence on Australian climate, with models predicting a positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is likely to develop in the coming months. A positive IOD often results in below average winter–spring rainfall over southern and central Australia.

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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