Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: March–May 2015

  • Low streamflows more likely
  • Low streamflows recorded in February
  • The El Niño Southern Oscillation tracker raised to El Niño WATCH

Streamflow forecast - March to May

An additional 27 locations have been added to this month, taking the number of forecast locations to 101. The majority of these new locations are in Western Australia (8) and in South Australia (5). There are also new locations in Victoria (4), the Northern Territory (4), Queensland (3), New South Wales (2) and the Australian Capital Territory (1).

For the March to May 2015 forecast period, low streamflows are more likely at 32 of the 63 locations at which skill is acceptable. Median and high flows are more likely at 19 and 12 locations respectively. Forecast skill scores for the March - May period are low to moderate for most of these locations. Due to very low skill scores, the forecast has not been issued at 38 locations. The monthly Climate and Water Outlook video covers rainfall, streamflow and temperature for the next three months and beyond.

Use the map below to zoom and pan to view the forecast locations. 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

February catchment conditions

Low February streamflows were recorded at 51 of 100 forecast locations across Australia. Near median streamflows were recorded at 37 locations and high flows were recorded at 12 locations. Streamflow data was not available at Dog Pool in the Shannon River region in the South West Coast due to wildfire.

Nationally-averaged rainfall during February was 51% below the long-term average. All states and the Northern Territory recorded area-averaged totals below the long-term mean. Only small areas along the Queensland coast, small parts of Victoria, inland south-eastern New South Wales and larger areas in Western Australia recorded above-average rainfall for February.

State-wide rainfall statistics and maps are now available online.

Recorded low streamflows were distributed around the country, largely in areas that also have below-average deep soil moisture. High flows tended to be associated with small areas in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania with higher than average deep soil moisture.

Climate influences

The Bureau's ENSO Tracker status has been upgraded to El Niño WATCH. This is due to a combination of warmer-than-average temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean and models showing that further warming is likely in the coming months. El Niño WATCH indicates a 50% chance of El Niño forming in 2015. All international models surveyed by the Bureau indicate that tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures are likely to remain warmer than average, but within the neutral range, until at least May when most models reach El Niño levels. The climate outlook video explains how to interpret the climate outlook information to assist decision-making.

For the latest ENSO Wrap-Up go to ENSO Wrap-Up. For detailed information on Australia's climate go to Climate Information. For the latest rainfall outlook go to Rainfall outlook.

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