The forecast through July 2016, as seen in the composite 12-month map (below), indicates a predominance of water surpluses in the north and along central rivers. However, exceptional drought may persist in southern Victoria, southern South Australia, Tasmania, and from Perth southward. Moderate drought may persist in North Island, New Zealand.

According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology rainfall was the lowest on record for October for most of Tasmania and an area spanning the southwest of Victoria and southeastern South Australia. Hot, dry weather has slashed South Australia's grain forecast. The government of Victoria has announced a $27 million package to support farmers. Australia’s Climate Council estimates that water flow from rainfall into Perth’s dams in the southeast has dropped by 80% since the 1970s, with precipitation in the southwest corner of Australia forecast to drop by up to 40 percent by the end of the century.

Some signals of a transition in the north are beginning to appear. Recent storms have dropped more than 100 millimetres of rain in some areas of drought-stricken outback Queensland.

The 3-month composite (below) for the same 12-month period shows the evolving conditions in more detail.

Deficits across much of Australia may diminish in most places by November, with the notable exceptions mentioned above. The transition to surpluses is evident in the latter half of the forecast period.

(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)

Comment

Many analyses reported in ISciences-authored blog posts are based on data generated by the ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM). Other sources, if used, are referenced in footnotes accompanying individual posts. WSIM is a validated capability that produces monthly reports on current and forecast global freshwater surpluses and deficits with lead times of 1-9 months at 0.5°x0.5° resolution. This capability has been in continuous operation since April 2011 and has proven to provide reliable forecasts of emerging water security concerns in that time-frame. WSIM has the ability to assess the impacts of water anomalies on people, agriculture, and electricity generation. Detailed data, customized visualizations, and reports are available for purchase.

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