Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre - current status 2016

As of 26 September

Kati Thanda’s water coverage has quickly decreased again with the increasing evaporation rate, despite the good local rains at the start of September.

The north lake has decreased from about 80% to about 30% surface coverage, and the south lake from 40% to about 15% surface coverage.

The Warburton Creek is still flowing onto the north lake, while the Neales River and Umbum Creek look like they have stopped flowing but there is still surface water where these enter the lake. The Warburton Groove is connected to Hughes and Dulhunty Islands and beyond to Belt Bay, with a mix of clear and turbid water. Hughes and Dulhunty Islands are no longer encircled by water. The Margaret River has stopped flowing onto the south lake.

The minor very quick flash flood in the Cooper Creek has dropped and there is a moderate flood warning at Windorah, but this will only make it to the Coongie Lakes system. There is a minor flood warning in the Georgina River, a moderate flood warning in Eyre Creek and a moderate flood in the Diamantina River near Diamantina Lakes but it has dropped below a minor flood at Birdsville. Some of this water may make it to the lake, but it will be minor with the increasing evaporation rate.

No birds were observed along the flight path.

Visitors on the ground should see water at Lake Eyre South lookout and Halligan Bay Point, and may see water at Level Post Bay.  As this has been a season of regular rains leading to regular road closures, visitors need to check the Northern & Western South Australian Outback Roads Temporary Closures, Restrictions and Warnings Report or call 1300 361 033 for details of any closures.

Evaporation is increasing rapidly leading up to summer which will continue to 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 day and night temperatures are on the rise but for any trip into this remote area, visitors need to be well prepared and provisioned.

For more information on Kati Thanda's current status: