Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: June–August 2017

  • Near-median and low streamflows more likely for June to August
  • Low and near-median flows observed at 84% of locations in May
  • Neutral IOD and ENSO with El Niño WATCH in place

Streamflow forecast for June–August

For June–August 2017, near-median streamflows are more likely at 58 locations across Australia, mostly along the east coast and in the north. Low flows are expected at 41 locations, and are more likely in the southwest and northern Queensland coast. High flows are expected at 22 locations. Just over half of locations (91) have low to moderate forecast skill for this time of year, while 32 locations have high skill and are mostly in the north of the country. Forecasts have not been issued for 40 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

May catchment conditions

May rainfall was 45% below the long-term average across Australia. Rainfall was below average for most of Western Australia and Northern Territory, large areas of South Australia and eastern Victoria, as well as inland southern and central north Queensland. However, rainfall totals were well above average across the base of the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.

Modelled lower-layer soil moisture (10–100cm) for May was above average in northern and eastern parts of Queensland, western Victoria, central parts of South Australia, and inland Western Australia. Lower-layer soil moisture was below average along the western part of Western Australia, southeast Northern Territory, central and western Queensland. Above-average evapotranspiration mostly coincided with areas of higher soil moisture and water availability. Western Queensland, southeast Northern Territory and the western part of Western Australia were dominated by below-average soil moisture, coinciding with below-average evapotranspiration.

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

Climate influences

The tropical Pacific Ocean is El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral, however, with the tropical Pacific Ocean warmer than average, the outlook remains at El Niño WATCH. Half of climate models predict the tropical Pacific Ocean may warm beyond El Niño thresholds in the second half of 2017. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral, with most models suggesting a positive IOD over winter.

A positive IOD and El Niño occurring together is often associated with drier than average conditions in winter and spring for eastern and central 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.

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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