Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: July–September 2016

  • Near median and high streamflows more likely for July–September
  • High flows observed at half of locations in June
  • Seven new forecast locations in Victoria

Streamflow forecast for July–September

For July to September 2016, near median and high streamflows are more likely for 40 and 64 locations, respectively, across Australia. Low flows are expected at 22 locations. Two–thirds of locations have moderate to high forecast skill. Locations with high skill are generally in the northern part of the country, while many locations in the southern half have moderate skill. Due to very low model skill or missing observed data, forecasts have not been issued for 21 locations. We suggest using the observed climatology for these locations.

Seven new forecast locations have been added in Victoria, taking the number of forecast locations across the country to 147. The new forecast locations are in the Barwon River-Lake Corangamite, Portland Coast, Werribee, Campaspe and Wimmera basins.

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 catchment conditions

June 2016 was a very wet month for most parts of Australia — in fact it was the second-wettest June on record nationally. Two major weather events during June provided a large proportion of the month's rain. Both initially produced widespread rain in the interior of Australia before becoming major rain events on the east coast. The early June event produced major flooding in Tasmania and in parts of coastal New South Wales, while the second delivered daily rainfall totals exceeding 100 mm in severely drought-affected areas south of Longreach in central Queensland.

As a result of recent rainfall, modelled lower–layer soil moisture (10–100cm) for June was average to very much above average across most of the country, and increased water availability led to average to very much above average actual evapotranspiration. The rain and wetter soils led to greater runoff, with near median or high flows observed for most forecast locations across eastern Australia. This contrasts low streamflows observed in May for many locations from Central Queensland to Central New South Wales.

For more details on June rainfall across Australia, read our Monthly Climate Summary.

June streamflow observations were not available for Gibbo River at Gibbo Park and Wimmera River at Glenorchy Weir Tail Gauge in Victoria; for Cam River upstream of Somerset water supply intake, Leven River at Bannons Bridge and Meander River at Strathbridge in Tasmania; and for Helena River at Ngangaguringuring and Isdell River at Dales Yard, in Western Australia.

Climate influences

A negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) pattern has established in the Indian Ocean. Climate models predict that the negative IOD will persist and develop through the southern winter and spring. A negative IOD typically brings above average rainfall to southern Australia during winter–spring. Find out more about the Indian Ocean Dipole.

With ocean and atmospheric indicators near normal, the tropical Pacific Ocean is in a neutral El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) state. However, a large volume of cooler than normal water below the ocean surface suggests formation of La Niña remains possible in 2016. Typically during La Niña winter–spring rainfall is above average over northern, central and eastern Australia. Our understanding ENSO video provides more information on how El Niño and La Niña impact our climate and weather.

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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