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  • Rikki Lambert

Wet spring predicted amid wild winter front

Lake Mulwala weir over the Murray River at Yarrawonga,Victoria in October 2014

Australia's weather forecasting agency has confirmed a wetter outlook for the remainder of winter into spring.

The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed that a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event is underway and will most likely continue over the coming months.

The IOD describes a natural climate cycle brought about by sustained changes in the difference between sea surface temperatures of the tropical western and eastern Indian Ocean.

The Bureau of Meteorology's head of long-range forecasting Dr Andrew Watkins, said that the Bureau's 3-month climate outlook is for above average rainfall for much of Australia, particularly for the central and eastern states:

"With wet soils, high rivers and full dams, and the outlook for above average rainfall, elevated flood risk remains for eastern Australia."

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority's executive director of river management Andrew Reynolds reminded those downstream of Hume Dam to be flood ready:

"The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting rain in the Hume Dam catchment in coming days, with high totals possible.
"The MDBA has been pre-releasing water from the dam to create airspace since May, and we have close to 250 gigalitres of airspace available to capture the inflows.
"However, if rainfall is more intense or totals are greater than forecast, significant runoff could be generated, with a risk of flooding both upstream and downstream of Hume Dam as these inflows would be passed through the dam and downstream.

Hume Dam is currently 92 per cent full.

The MDBA has urged those living or working on a floodplain to stay up to date on the latest weather information including warnings, river conditions and rainfall via the Bureau of Meteorology's website and encourages subscribing to WaterNSW's Early Warning Network to be notified via SMS, landline or email about dam releases during times of high releases and floods.


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