The forecast through March indicates that the intense water deficits that have dominated many parts of Australia in prior months will diminish considerably. However, severe to exceptional deficits will persist in Tasmania; along the southeastern coast of Australia from Adelaide past Melbourne; in the Strzelecki Desert in northwestern New South Wales; around Darwin in Northern Territory; and in the Blackwood River region near Busselton in the tip of Western Australia.
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Gulf of Carpentaria
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.
Exceptional water deficits that have dominated southern Australia are expected to disappear, but deficits are forecast for northern Australia, the southwest, the southeast, and Tasmania. These deficits may be intense in Tasmania and in pockets of other aforementioned areas. Moderate deficits are expected along the Darling, Lachlan, and Macquarie Rivers in New South Wales. Surpluses will shrink but persist in the Mackenzie River region of Queensland and in southwest Kimberley region of Western Australia.
A transition away from significant water deficit is forecast for mainland Australia. Exceptional deficits will shrink considerably, retreating to Channel Country in central Australia. However, intense deficits are forecast for western Tasmania, coastal Victoria, Darwin, and the southeastern tip of Western Australia. Moderate deficits are forecast for the remainder of New South Wales, much of South Australia, Northern Territory, and much of the northern half of Western Australia. Moderate deficits are forecast for North Island New Zealand, and 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.
Widespread, exceptional water deficits observed in recent months in Australia are forecast to nearly disappear, though intense deficits will persist in Tasmania and near Busselton, WA. Through April, primarily moderate deficits are forecast from the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia through much of Victoria and into New South Wales; for central Queensland to the Gulf of Carpentaria; and, northwest to Darwin, where deficits may be more severe. Deficits are expected to retreat significantly in New Zealand, but will continue to emerge in New Caledonia.
The December Outlook indicates that Alaska is forecast to be warmer than normal, especially the western half of the state where temperatures are expected to be the hottest in 20 to 40 years. Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua, and New Zealand also stand out with intense hot anomalies predicted. Much wetter than normal conditions are forecast for northern Ukraine and across the border into the Don River Basin and parts of the Volga Basin in Russia.
Exceptional water deficits observed in recent months over much of Australia are forecast to diminish considerably in the near-term and through May 2018. However, severe to exceptional deficits are forecast to persist through February in Tasmania and the southernmost tip of Western Australia. From September through November moderate to severe deficits are forecast in the southeast, exceptional deficits will persist in Northern Territory’s Top End, and surpluses will continue to emerge along Queensland’s northeast coast.
Exceptional water deficits observed in recent months over much of Australia should diminish considerably in the near-term and through April 2018. However, significant deficits are forecast through October in: Western Australia from the Hamersley Range to the southernmost tip; southeastern Australia and Tasmania; the north across Northern Territory and Queensland; and, New Caledonia. Deficits may be exceptional north and south of Perth; east of Melbourne; central Tasmania; around the Gulf of Carpentaria; and Darwin. Along Queensland’s northeast coast surpluses will persist near Mackay. Past October moderate deficits will continue to emerge in Victoria and New South Wales.
Widespread exceptional water deficits in South Australia are forecast to nearly disappear from March through May leaving moderate deficits, but widespread deficits of varying severity are forecast in eastern Australia, particularly Queensland, with exceptional deficits in Central West, Queensland. Primarily moderate deficits are forecast for New South Wales, much of Victoria, and in Western Australia south of Perth. After May the forecast indicates considerable improvement with the near-absence of extreme to exceptional deficits, though severe deficits will emerge in eastern Tasmania.