Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: April–June 2019

  • Mostly low streamflows likely across Australia for April–June 2019.
  • Low flows observed at 72% of locations across Australia in March. Near-median and high flows mostly in northeastern, southeastern and southwestern regions.
  • The ENSO outlook remains at El Niño ALERT.

Streamflow forecast for April–June 2019

For April–June 2019, low streamflows are more likely at 82 locations, spread across Australia. Near-median and high flows are likely at 23 and 18 locations respectively, mainly in the east of the country. For this time of year, 71% of locations have low to very low model skill, while 8% of locations have high skill, mostly in the northern and southeast regions.

Forecasts have not been issued for 92 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

March 2019 catchment conditions

Low streamflows were recorded at 148 locations, across Australia. Near-median and high flows were recorded at 37 and 21 locations respectively—mostly in northeastern, southeastern and southwestern regions.

March rainfall was below to very much below average for much of Victoria, southern and western South Australia, along the eastern border of Western Australia and the northern Kimberley, the west and north of the Northern Territory, and pockets along the west coast of Western Australia, and the northern and eastern coast of Tasmania. Rainfall was above to very much above average from the east of the Northern Territory extending into most of Queensland and adjacent parts of northeastern South Australia. Rainfall was also above average for areas of eastern New South Wales and adjacent northeastern Victoria, much of the Pilbara in Western Australia, and areas of the Goldfields and southwest of Western Australia.

Above-average actual evapotranspiration (AET) occurred in central Queensland and along the coast of central Queensland due to the availability of moisture after rainfall over the past few months. Below-average AET occurred across most of the country, where modelled lower-layer soil moisture (10–100cm) is below to very much below average.

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

Climate influences

The Bureau's ENSO Outlook remains at El Niño ALERT, meaning there is approximately a 70% chance of El Niño developing in 2019. Most international climate models predict tropical Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures will remain at El Niño levels at least to mid-year. This would increase the likelihood of the tropical Pacific atmosphere and ocean reinforcing each other, and developing into a full El Niño, with the resultant changes in Australian and global weather patterns. Predictions made at this time of year have lower accuracy than those made in winter or spring and should be used with some caution.

El Niño often, but not always, brings below average autumn and winter rainfall to southern and eastern Australia.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is neutral. The IOD typically has little influence on Australian climate from December to April.

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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