Our weather specialists have been busy monitoring and forecasting the interesting weather patterns that have occurred over the Snowy Mountains region to date in 2016.
The dramatic turn of climate conditions from very dry to very wet has eventuated largely as we were forecasting earlier in the year. Conditions have turned from one of the driest summers on record to one of the wettest autumn/winters on record. This has included some significant inflow events such as around 22 July when we saw the average inflows for the Scheme for the month of July occur in one week alone.
For the statisticians, inflows are now tracking at roughly a 9 per cent probability of exceedance, meaning that we would only expect nine in every 100 years to be wetter. With only four months of the water year passed, we have received well over half of our annual inflows.
As well as the constant and careful management of diversions and forced generation that these very wet conditions require within the Scheme, we are also working closely with stakeholders downstream to make sure key information is exchanged and there are no surprises. This includes the water authorities of NSW Department of Primary Industries – Water, Water NSW and the Murray Darling Basin Authority who operate the major storages downstream of us, as well as our local communities who live and work in an around the Snowy Scheme.
There is still a healthy snowpack on the hill so we are planning for continued wet conditions for spring and early summer which will keep our people and assets on their toes and doing what they do best. The outlook into summer is less certain, but with such a wet catchment we are not expecting things to turn dry any time soon!