Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: June–August 2016

  • Low and near median streamflows more likely for June–August
  • Low flows observed at more than one–third of locations in May
  • El Niño—Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in a neutral state.

Streamflow forecast for June–August

For June to August 2016, low and near median streamflows are more likely for 38 and 36 locations, respectively, across Australia. High flows are expected at 29 locations. More than half of locations have moderate to high forecast skill for this time of year. Locations with high skill are generally in the northern part of the country, with some scattered along the east coast. Due to very low model skill or missing observed data, forecasts have not been issued for 37 locations. 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.

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

May catchment conditions

In May, rainfall and modelled lower–layer soil moisture (10–100cm) was below to very much below average across large parts of eastern and southwestern Australia. This coincided with above average to very much above average potential evaporation. However, actual evapotranspiration was below average due to limited water availability. Low May streamflows were recorded at more than one–third of locations, mainly in eastern and southwestern Australia.

Very much above average May rainfall was recorded in large parts of northern, central and southeastern Australia, including Tasmania, as a cloudband of tropical origin occurred in the northwest early in the month, bringing unseasonal rainfall across these areas. This widespread rainfall resulted in wetter soils, with near median and high streamflows recorded at 42 and 40 locations respectively scattered across the country.

For more details on May rainfall across Australia, read our Monthly Climate Summary.

May streamflow observations were not available for Helena River at Ngangaguringuring and Isdell River at Dales Yard, both in Western Australia, for Gibbo River at Gibbo Park, Tanjil River at Tanjil Junction, Latrobe River at Willow Grove in Victoria, and for Mosquito Creek at Struan in South Australia.

Climate influences

The tropical Pacific Ocean continues its cooling trend and is now in a neutral El Niño—Southern Oscillation (ENSO) state. The Bureau's ENSO Outlook is at La Niña WATCH, meaning the likelihood of La Niña forming later in 2016 is around 50%.

La Niña is often, but not always, associated with above–average winter—spring rainfall over northern, central and eastern Australia. Australia's climate is also being influenced by record warm temperatures in the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) index recently dipped below the threshold for a negative IOD. If this persists, a negative IOD may become established in winter, which typically brings increased winter—spring rainfall to southern Australia. Our understanding ENSO video provides more information on how El Niño and La Niña 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.

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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