Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre - current status 2016
As of 12 August 2016
Kati Thanda’s water coverage continues to decrease. Water coverage on the north lake has decreased to a bit over 20%, while the south lake is at less than 1% and may dry up completely in the next two to three weeks.
The Warburton Creek is just flowing into the north lake. The Warburton Groove is not connected to Belt Bay and water between Dulhunty Island and Jackboot Bay to the south east has rapidly reduced. Water in Belt Bay and Jackboot Bay has also reduced but will remain for a number of months. The shallow water in Madigan Gulf continues to decrease with great examples of salt accumulations protruding through very shallow water.
The moderate flood in the Cooper Creek is due at Innamincka soon and this water will continue to fill the lakes in the Coongie Lakes system. There are no other flood warnings in the Queensland section of the Lake Eyre Basin. The Cooper Creek water will have no impact on the lake.
Visitors on the ground may see water in the distance at Lake Eyre South lookout, Level Post Bay and Halligan Bay Point depending on wind conditions. Check the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure outback roads report or call or call 1300 361 033 for details of any closures.
On our flight path, very few birds were observed which is a change from two weeks ago. A few pelicans and ducks were seen on the Warburton Creek, but no birds were seen on the lake itself.
Evaporation will start to increase rapidly once September arrives, which will rapidly decrease the water coverage. However, our weather is being influenced by a La Nina pattern so further rain is still possible which would extend the time the lake has water on it.
Outback temperatures are still quite low especially at night, so visitors need to be well prepared and provisioned for any visit to this remote area.
For more information on Kati Thanda’s current status: