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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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.
Australia & New Zealand: Water deficits forecast for Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, & New Caledonia
Moderate water deficits, punctuated by more intense pockets, are expected across much of Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) and across northwestern and northern Australia. Areas of intense deficit include: the southwestern tip of Western Australia; from Melbourne through Canberra past Sydney; and, near Darwin and the Daly River region of Northern Territory. Generally mild deficits are expected in New Zealand. Deficits in New Caledonia will be intense.
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.
The May through July forecast indicates that Australia will transition away from widespread and intense water deficits observed February through April. However, severe to exceptional deficits are forecast for southwestern Western Australia, the Darwin Region of Northern Territory, Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, much of the Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland, and New Caledonia. Surpluses are expected to persist in northeastern Queensland, and a large block of surpluses in eastern Kimberly, Western Australia will transition to both deficits and surpluses. After July deficits will continue to retreat in Australia, except in Tasmania, leaving much of the country in near-normal conditions.
The April through June outlook indicates significant improvement as widespread and exceptional water anomalies are no longer evident in the forecast for South Australia, Queensland, and New South Wales. However, severe to exceptional deficits are expected to emerge throughout Tasmania and in Western Australia. Moderate deficits are forecast for central Australia, New Caledonia, and southern South Island, New Zealand. Surpluses will continue to emerge in eastern Queensland, and surpluses in the Kimberley Plateau in the northwest will diminish. After June primarily abnormal deficits will prevail over most of the country, with more severe deficits in eastern Tasmania, Western Australia, and in the north near Darwin.
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.
From February through April moderate to exceptional deficits are forecast for much of Queensland. Primarily moderate deficits are forecast for New South Wales and southern Victoria. Moderate to severe deficits are expected to persist in North Island, New Zealand. Surpluses in the northern part of Western Australia and into the Victoria River Basin of Northern Territory are expected to diminish in severity. The forecast after April looks less eventful with moderate deficits tracing a path from Northern Territory’s Top End down along the eastern coast through New South Wales.
The forecast through March indicates widespread and exceptional water deficits in South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales. Deficits of varying severity are forecast for Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Northern Territory’s Top End, central Tasmania, and North Island, New Zealand. Moderate surpluses are expected in an arc across the northern part of the country from the Kimberly Plateau through northeastern Queensland to the coast. The forecast past March is less eventful, with deficits emerging across Northern Territory, scattered through Victoria and New South Wales, and in Tasmania, and New Zealand.
Despite recent flooding in northern Tasmania, water deficits are forecast to persist in western Tasmania through April, with greatest severity in August. Deficits in New Caledonia are forecast to persist through October; deficits across some far northern regions of Australia may linger through November; and deficits in the southwest tip of Western Australia, south of Adelaide, and in the Melbourne area will persist through April. Water surpluses are forecast for the Fitzroy River Basin and southwest of there, also in the Upper Murray River catchment.