Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: September–November 2018

  • Low streamflows most likely for September to November across eastern Australia
  • Low flows observed at over half of locations in August, mostly in eastern Australia, with near-median and high flows spread across the country
  • El Niño WATCH continues and Indian Ocean Dipole remains neutral

Streamflow forecast for September–November

For September–November 2018, low streamflows are more likely at 123 locations, mainly across eastern Australia. Near-median and high flows are expected at 49 and 24 locations respectively scattered across the country. For this time of year, 80% of locations have moderate to high skill, with 37% being high skill locations scattered across Australia.

Forecasts have not been issued for 19 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

August 2018 catchment conditions

Low streamflows were recorded at 121 locations, mainly in eastern Australia. Near-median and high flows were recorded at 53 and 32 locations, respectively, scattered across the country.

August rainfall was below average for most of New South Wales, much of Queensland and some parts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. August was a wetter than average month for the southern interior in Western Australia, and large parts of South Australia.

Below-average actual evapotranspiration (ET) occurred across most of Australia for August, largely driven by a lack of water in the landscape. The main areas of above-average ET included parts of Western Australia, parts of the Northern Territory and western Tasmania. Modelled lower-layer soil moisture (10–100cm) was very much below average to below average across most of the States and Territories. Above average soil moisture occured in southern parts of Western Australia and most of Tasmania.

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

Climate influences

Most significant climate drivers of Australian rainfall and temperature patterns are neutral. The tropical Pacific Ocean remains El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral. However, current observations and model outlooks suggest that El Niño remains possible in 2018.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral, however, half of international climate models suggest a short-lived positive IOD may develop.

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.

Service updates

The probability distribution graph has been replaced with a new boxplot. The boxplots provide an easier comparison between the probabilistic forecast and historical reference distributions.

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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