Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: April–June 2016

  • Low streamflows more likely for April–June
  • Low flows observed at over half of locations in March
  • El Niño continues to decline, but still influencing climate.

Streamflow forecast for April–June

For April to June 2016, low streamflows are more likely at 47 locations across Australia. Near-median flows are more likely at 26 locations and high flows at seven. There is generally very low to low forecast skill across the country. Due to very low model skill or missing observed data, forecasts have not been issued for 60 locations. We suggest using the historical 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.

New 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 catchment conditions

Low March flows were recorded at 87 out of 140 locations, mainly across southeastern Australia and in the Northern Territory. Some low flows also occurred along the south-west coast of Western Australia. Near-median flows were recorded at 36 locations, scattered across the country. High flows were recorded at 14 locations. March streamflow observations were not available for Helena River at Ngangaguringuring in Western Australia, and for Goulburn River at Dohertys and Latrobe River at Willow Grove in Victoria.

March rainfall was close to average for Australia as a whole, however there was considerable regional variation. In eastern parts, below average rainfall extended across coastal and northern parts of New South Wales and adjacent areas of Queensland as far north as the Central Highlands. Western Tasmania had less rain than usual, and the State as a whole was 33% below average. Rainfall was 43% below average across the Murray-Darling Basin. Areas of very much above average rainfall were observed throughout inland and southeastern South Australia, and Queensland.

Potential evaporation was average to below average for most of mainland Australia, but average to above average in parts of northern Western Australia and Northern Territory, western Tasmania and parts of New South Wales and Victoria. Below-average actual evapotranspiration in parts of northern Western Australia, northern New South Wales and central Victoria coincided with limited water availability.

Modelled lower-layer soil moisture (10–100cm) was below or very much below average across large areas of northern Australia and New South Wales, western Tasmania, and southern Queensland. Rainfall in southern parts of Western Australia and South Australia has resulted in wetter than average soils.

For more details, read our Monthly Climate Summary.

Climate influences

The 2015-2016 El Niño continues to decline in the tropical Pacific Ocean. International climate models suggest El Niño will continue to weaken during the southern hemisphere autumn, returning to neutral levels by mid-2016.

Although this El Niño is weakening, it will continue to influence climate during the southern autumn. In Australia, the breakdown of strong El Niño has historically brought average to above average rainfall to many locations. However, northern Australia typically sees less rainfall than usual. Our understanding ENSO video provides more information on how El Niño impacts 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.

New 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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