The forecast through February indicates that intense water deficits will nearly disappear, persisting in Tasmania, pockets of Victoria and New South Wales, and around Busselton in Western Australia. Deficits will be severe on the Murray River. Moderate deficits are forecast across northern Australia. In New Zealand, deficits are forecast in the north and surpluses in the south from Christchurch to Dunedin. Deficits in New Caledonia will moderate.
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Moderate water deficits, punctuated by more intense pockets, are expected across a large portion of eastern and southeastern Australia, scattered across the north, and in the southwest. Deficits may be intense in the southwest, and in the east near Adelaide and Melbourne, from Canberra to Sydney, and around Brisbane. Moderate deficits are forecast in New Zealand and intense deficits in New Caledonia.
Moderate water deficits, punctuated by more intense pockets, are expected across a large portion of the east and southeast including the Murray-Darling Basin, scattered across the north, and in the southwest tip of the country. Deficits are expected to be intense in Tasmania, pockets along the southeast coast, the southwest tip, Darwin and the Daly River region, and along the southern shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Intense deficits are forecast for New Caledonia.
Mainland Australia is forecast to transition from widespread exceptional water deficit to mild conditions, with more intense deficits in Tasmania. Areas of moderate deficit include eastern South Australia, Victoria, the Murray-Darling Basin, and the east coast to Brisbane. Surpluses will persist in the Kimberley region, WA; shrink along the Victoria River and emerge in Arnhem Land, NT; re-emerge in northern Cape York Peninsula, QLD; and continue to emerge in the Mackenzie River area west of Rockhampton, QLD. Deficits in New Caledonia and New Zealand will moderate.
Exceptional deficits observed in recent months over much of Australia are forecast to diminish considerably in the near-term and through June 2018. Through December, however, exceptional deficits are forecast for Tasmania and the southwest tip of Western Australia. Moderate to extreme deficits are forecast from Adelaide through Victoria and into the eastern Murray-Darling Basin in New South Wales. Moderate deficits are expected in New Caledonia and South Island, New Zealand. Surpluses are forecast for the Ord River Basin, northeastern Queensland, and Christchurch, New Zealand.