Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Date: November 2015–January 2016

  • Low streamflows more likely for November-January
  • Low October streamflows observed at three-quarters of locations
  • Strong El Niño in the Pacific Ocean, a decaying positive Indian Ocean Dipole and very warm Indian Ocean.

Streamflow forecast for November-January

For November 2015 to January 2016, low streamflows are more likely at 106 locations across Australia and high flows are more likely at two locations. No sites have a forecast of near-median flows. There is generally moderate to high forecast skill across the country, mainly in southern Australia.

Due to very low model skill, forecasts have not been issued at 32 locations. We suggest using the historical 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

October catchment conditions

Low October flows were recorded at 110 out of 140 locations across Australia, predominantly in Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales. Near-median flows were recorded at 22 locations mainly along the east coast of New South Wales and Queensland, and northern parts of the Northern Territory, while high flows were recorded at seven locations scattered across the continent. Observed October streamflow at Daintree River at Bairds is currently unavailable.

October rainfall was 53% below the long-term average across Australia. All States and Territories had monthly rainfall totals below to very much below their respective long-term averages, with falls 56% below average across the Murray-Darling Basin. Maximum and minimum temperatures were very much above average to warmest on record for the southern half of Australia. While this led to potential evaporation being above or very much above average, actual evaporation was below average across most of the country due to limited water availability. Except for relatively small areas in New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, evaporation exceeded total rainfall, meaning soils have been drying and little water will enter streams.

Modelled lower layer soil moisture (10-100cm) is below or very much below average across most of the Northern Territory, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and southwest Western Australia.

For more details, read our Monthly Climate Summary.

Climate influences

A strong El Niño continues in the tropical Pacific Ocean. A positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and the strong El Niño combine to result in decreased rainfall during winter-spring across eastern Australia and parts of the Top End of the Northern Territory. However, as the positive IOD decays toward the end of the year, its influence will also decrease. During summer, El Niño influence on rainfall decreases, while warmer daytime and night-time temperatures tend to be more likely across the south and east. Climate models suggest that El Niño is likely to persist until the end of 2015, before declining during the first quarter of 2016.

El Niño is often associated with below-average rainfall across eastern Australia in winter and spring, and also warmer-than-normal daytime temperatures over the southern half of the country. Our understanding ENSO video provides more information on how El Niño impacts 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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