The forecast through May indicates that the widespread, exceptional water deficits that have dominated Australia in prior months will diminish considerably. However, exceptional deficits are forecast in the far north and in northern South Australia. Severe deficits are forecast in eastern Queensland and extreme anomalies in the Northern Tableland of New South Wales. Intense deficits are also forecast for Tasmania, New Zealand, and New Caledonia.
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New South Wales
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.
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.
The forecast through January indicates that intense water deficits will persist in southeastern Australia with exceptional deficits in western Tasmania. Deficits may be severe to extreme along the Murray River. Moderate deficits will cut a broad path from New South Wales into the center of the country surrounding the Simpson Desert. Some severe deficits are forecast in western North Island, New Zealand. Deficits in New Caledonia will moderate.
The forecast through December indicates that intense water deficits which have dominated much of Australia in prior months will retreat from most regions except the southeast. Deficits will be exceptional in Tasmania, and severe to exceptional along the southeast coast from Adelaide through Victoria and past Canberra. Moderate to severe deficits are forecast for New Zealand. Deficits in New Caledonia will moderate.
Intense water deficits that have dominated much of Australia in prior months will diminish considerably through November, but deficits of varying intensity are forecast particularly in Victoria and New South Wales, and intense deficits will increase in Tasmania covering much of the western half of the state. Deficits in New Caledonia will downgrade slightly but remain intense, and intense deficits are also expected north of Auckland, New Zealand.
Regions forecast to have significant water deficits for the 12-month period from May 2018 through April 2019 include: the US Pacific Northwest, southern Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Central and Northern Europe, northern Africa, and Afghanistan. Areas with a forecast of significant water surplus include: Tanzania, Kenya, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, and Sichuan, China. This Watch List is based on ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM) run on 9 August 2018.
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.