Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: August–October 2016

  • High streamflows more likely for August–October
  • High flows observed at almost half of locations in July
  • La Niña WATCH and strong negative Indian Ocean Dipole continue

Streamflow forecast for August–October

For August to October 2016 high streamflows are more likely at 88 locations across Australia. Near median and low flows are expected at 27 and 16 locations, respectively. A majority of locations have moderate or high forecast skill for this time of year, however many locations in Tasmania have low to very low skill. Due to very low model skill or missing observed data, forecasts have not been issued for 16 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.

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

July catchment conditions

July rainfall was above to very much above average over much of Australia, with national rainfall 61% above average. Queensland and Tasmania both had their seventh–wettest July on record. For Tasmania, this was the third month in succession where rainfall was in the top ten wettest records. Rainfall was below average for southwest Western Australia and the western Kimberley, around the Northern Territory–Queensland–South Australia border, across northern New South Wales, and north of Port Augusta in South Australia.

Modelled lower–layer soil moisture (10–100cm) for July was also average to very much above average across most of the country. Increased water availability and higher than average temperatures led to average to very much above average actual evapotranspiration across Australia. Rain and wet soils led to greater runoff, with near median or high flows observed at most forecast locations in eastern Australia.

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

Climate influences

Despite some cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean surface waters, ENSO indicators remain neutral and well shy of La Niña thresholds. Climate models indicate more cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean is likely, but only two of eight surveyed models exceed La Niña thresholds for an extended period. A La Niña WATCH (indicating 50% chance of La Niña in 2016) remains, but if La Niña does develop it would most likely be weak. Typically during La Niña, winter–spring rainfall is above average over northern, central and eastern Australia. Our understanding ENSO video provides more information on how El Niño and La Niña impact our climate and weather.

A strong negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event continues, with ocean temperatures well above average in the eastern Indian Ocean and below average near Africa. All international climate models surveyed by the Bureau indicate the negative IOD will persist until the end of spring, which historically has brought increased rainfall to southern Australia. Find out more about the Indian Ocean Dipole.

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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