Recent rainfall has already seen the Bureau issue a flood watch for the northeast, and flood warnings for the Werribee and Kiewa rivers. What's the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning, and what does the rainfall mean for the drought?
The Bureau issues a flood watch to provide early advice of a developing situation that has the potential to lead to flooding. It is not a warning of imminent flooding.
A flood watch is generally issued up to four days in advance of the expected onset of flooding for a broad area that is at risk.
A flood warning is issued when the Bureau is more certain that flooding is expected or is happening, often when rainfall has started to fall.
Flood warnings are issued for specific catchments or parts of catchments and will generally include predictions of the severity and timing of expected flooding.
Keep an eye on the Victorian warnings summary website (www.bom.gov.au/vic/warnings) for flood watches and flood warnings.
Above average rainfall in May reduced the severe year-to-date deficiencies that had previously covered most of central and western Victoria (severe deficiencies are rainfall totals in the lowest 5 per cent of historic values).
While May provided some improvement, most of the state's rainfall is still tracking below average for the year-to-date.
Parts of Gippsland and the Mallee are still experiencing severe deficiencies on longer time scales. Central Gippsland had its driest 'April to the following year's May' period on record. It will take sustained, above average rainfall to remove the longer-term deficiencies.
Much of the Wimmera, central and east Gippsland forecast districts received their monthly average June rainfall in the first two weeks of June 2019, with root-zone soil moisture near or slightly above average in much of these areas at mid-June.
Streamflows for the coming months are predicted to be near- or well above median at over half of our forecast sites. Water storages across the state appear to have started filling, with total storage level having risen from 42.5 to 43.3pc over the past month.
However, the July to September outlook, issued June 13, shows Victoria is likely to be drier and warmer than average over the coming months.
Below average rainfall is most likely in a band stretching across the middle of the state from the SA border to Wodonga with a greater than 75pc chance of below average rainfall.
- Jonathan Pollock, BOM climatologist