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Rainfall and streamflow response to El Niño Southern Oscillation: a case study in a semiarid catchment, Australia

Author:
DUTTA, SUNIL C., RITCHIE, JOHN W., FREEBAIRN, DAVID M., ABAWI, YAHYA
Source:
Hydrological sciences journal 2006 v.51 no.6 pp. 1006-1020
ISSN:
0262-6667
Subject:
El Nino, basins, case studies, climatic factors, decision making, frequency distribution, irrigation, natural resource management, probability, probability distribution, rain, rivers, stream flow, watersheds, weather forecasting, Australia
Abstract:
is paper aims to compare the shift in frequency distribution and skill of seasonal climate forecasting of both streamflow and rainfall in eastern Australia based on the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) Phase system. Recent advances in seasonal forecasting of climate variables have highlighted opportunities for improving decision making in natural resources management. Forecasting of rainfall probabilities for different regions in Australia is available, but the use of similar forecasts for water resource supply has not been developed. The use of streamflow forecasts may provide better information for decision-making in irrigation supply and flow management for improved ecological outcomes. To examine the relative efficacy of seasonal forecasting of streamflow and rainfall, the shift in probability distributions and the forecast skill were evaluated using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test and the linear error in probability space (LEPS) skill score, respectively, at three river gauging stations in the Border Rivers Catchment of the Murray-Darling Basin in eastern Australia. A comparison of rainfall and streamflow distributions confirms higher statistical significance in the shift of streamflow distribution than that in rainfall distribution. Moreover, streamflow distribution showed greater skill of forecasting with 0–3 month lead time, compared to rainfall distribution.
Agid:
6364013