Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: July–September 2018

  • Low streamflows likely for July to September, around most of the country
  • Low flows observed at over two-thirds of locations in June, mostly spread across southern Australia. Near-median and high flows scattered across the country
  • Both the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and Indian Ocean Dipole remain neutral. The ENSO outlook is currently at Niño WATCH

Streamflow forecast for July–September

For July–September 2018, low streamflows are more likely at 125 locations around the country. Near-median and high flows are expected at 52 and 7 locations respectively, scattered across the country. For this time of year, 72% of locations have moderate to high skill, with most of the 35% high skill locations occurring across Queensland and northern Australia.

Forecasts have not been issued for 31 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

June 2018 catchment conditions

Low streamflows were recorded at 140 locations, mostly spread across southern Australia. Near-median and high flows were recorded at 55 and 7 locations respectively, scattered across the country.

June rainfall was below average for Australia as a whole. Monthly total rainfall was below average for most of the Northern Territory, and much of South Australia and the eastern mainland States. June was a wetter than average month for western interior in Western Australia, as well as a large part of western Queensland.

Below-average actual evapotranspiration (ET) occurred across most of Australia for June. The main areas of above-average ET were in areas where water was available from higher soil moisture (from rainfall in recent months), which included parts of northwestern Queensland, parts of northwest and southeast Western Australia, and southern Tasmania. Modelled lower-layer soil moisture (10–100cm) was below average elsewhere, across most of the States and Territories.

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

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral. However, climate model outlooks and recent warming in the tropical Pacific Ocean mean there is a greater than usual chance of El Niño forming later this year. The Bureau's ENSO Outlook is currently at El Niño WATCH, which means the likelihood of El Niño forming in 2018 is approximately 50%; double the normal chance.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral. Most climate models suggest the IOD is likely to remain neutral in the coming months.

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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