Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: November 2016–January 2017

  • High streamflows more likely for November–January
  • Near-median and high flows observed at more than 80% of locations in October
  • El Niño–Southern Oscillation remains neutral; negative Indian Ocean Dipole has weakened
  • Fourteen new forecast locations in southwest Western Australia this month

Streamflow forecast for November–January

For November 2016–January 2017, high streamflows are more likely at 90 locations across Australia. Near-median and low flows are expected at 23 and 12 locations respectively, mainly along the southwest and northeast coasts. About two-thirds of locations across Australia have moderate to high forecast skill for this time of year. These locations are spread across the southern half of the country. Forecasts have not been issued for 36 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

October catchment conditions

October rainfall was 16% below the long-term average across Australia. However, it was above to very much above average over the Pilbara and Kimberley in Western Australia, parts of the Top End in the Northern Territory, areas around the west and south of the Gulf of Carpentaria, and also across much of Victoria and Tasmania.

Modelled lower-layer soil moisture (10–100cm) was very much above average in northern and eastern parts of the country. This coincided with average to very much above average actual evapotranspiration. The wetter soils, in addition to heavy rainfall in Victoria, Tasmania and other regions, led to greater runoff, and consequently near-median and high observed flows in October at most locations in southern Australia.

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

Climate influences

The tropical Pacific Ocean remains El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral, while the negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) has continued to decay, and is likely to be near its end. Most climate models predict the tropical Pacific Ocean will remain cooler than average, but ENSO-neutral, through to the end of the 2016–17 summer.

The negative IOD has weakened over the past fortnight and the monsoon trough has begun to move southward over the IOD region, which changes the wind patterns. This change means the negative IOD is near its end, and this is supported by model outlooks.

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 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.

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