Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: October–December 2016

  • High streamflows more likely for October–December
  • Near median and high flows observed at more than 80% of locations in September
  • Persistent negative Indian Ocean Dipole and La Niña WATCH

Streamflow forecast for October–December

For October–December 2016, high streamflows are more likely at 94 locations across Australia. Near median and low flows are expected at 17 and 10 locations respectively, mainly along the southwest and northeast coasts. More than two-thirds of locations across Australia have moderate to high forecast skill for this time of year. Locations with high skill are spread across the country with the main concentration in the southeast of the mainland. Many locations in the southern half of the country have moderate skill. Forecasts have not been issued for 26 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

September catchment conditions

September 2016 was a very wet month in Australia, except for most parts of Western Australia. It was the wettest September on record for New South Wales and the Northern Territory while Queensland, South Australia and Victoria had much higher than average falls. Below average rainfall fell in parts of Western Australia and south western parts of Tasmania.

As a result of the recent rainfall, the September modelled lower–layer soil moisture (10–100cm) was very much above average across most of the country. This coincided with average to very much above average actual evapotranspiration. The rain and wetter soils led to greater runoff, and consequently near median and high observed flows in September at most forecast locations across Australia.

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

Climate influences

A negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) persists in the Indian Ocean with the index strength increased from values in August. Climate models predict that the negative IOD pattern continues and remains strong. A negative IOD typically brings above average rainfall to southern Australia during winter–spring. Find out more about the Indian Ocean Dipole.

Some indications of coupling between atmosphere and ocean have emerged in recent weeks, and cool sub–surface temperatures have become more normal. The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is neutral, though a La Niña WATCH remains with most international climate models suggesting ENSO neutral levels through the end of 2016. Typically during La Niña, winter–spring rainfall is above average over northern, central and eastern Australia. Our understanding ENSO and understanding the IOD videos provide more information on how El Niño, La Niña and the Indian Ocean Dipole 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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