Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: September–November 2017

  • Near-median and low streamflows more likely to dominate for September to November
  • Low and near-median flows observed at 80% of locations in August
  • El Niño–Southern Oscillation and Indian Ocean Dipole are currently neutral

Streamflow forecast for September–November

For September–November 2017, near-median streamflows are more likely at 81 locations across Australia, mostly along the east coast and in the north. Low flows are expected at 57 locations, and are more likely for Tasmania, the east coast and northern Queensland coast. High flows are expected at 24 locations, mostly in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. More than half of locations (103) have low to moderate forecast skill for this time of year, while 68 locations scattered across the country have high skill. Forecasts have not been issued for 19 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

August catchment conditions

Low streamflows were recorded at 78 locations, mostly across the eastern States, including Tasmania. Near-median flows were recorded at 66 locations across the country. High flows were recorded at 28 locations, mainly in northwestern and southwestern Australia.

August rainfall was below average in the middle of Australia, extending from eastern parts of Western Australia through central Australia into southeastern Queensland. However, rainfall totals were above average in the south of Western Australia, southeastern parts of South Australia, western and northern Victoria, and around the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Actual evapotranspiration (ET) was below average in central and southern Queensland, most of New South Wales, the south and west of South Australia and the western part of Western Australia, roughly coinciding with drier soils. ET was above average in most parts of the Northern Territory, with smaller patches of above-average ET being observed in the northern and eastern parts of Western Australia, northern Queensland, the southern tip of South Australia and in Victoria. Modelled lower-layer soil moisture (10–100cm) was below average along the western parts of Western Australia, southern Northern Territory, central and southern Queensland, and large parts of South Australia and New South Wales. However, lower–layer soil moisture was above average in central and eastern parts of the Northern Territory.

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

Climate influences

The tropical Pacific Ocean remains El Niño–Southern Oscillation neutral. International climate models suggest that this is likely to persist until late 2017.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral with most models suggesting neutral IOD is likely to continue. However, two of six climate models suggest a positive IOD may develop during spring. Positive IOD events are typically associated with below-average winter–spring rainfall, and increased spring–summer fire potential over central and southern Australia.

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 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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