Journal article

Changes in Antecedent Soil Moisture Modulate Flood Seasonality in a Changing Climate

Conrad Wasko, Rory Nathan, Murray C Peel

Water Resources Research | American Geophysical Union (AGU) | Published : 2020


Due to difficulties in identifying a climate change signal in flood magnitude, it has been suggested that shifts in flood timing, that is, the day of annual streamflow maxima, may be detectable. Here, we use high‐quality streamflow, largely free of snowmelt, from 221 catchments across Australia to investigate the influence of shifts in soil moisture and rainfall timing on annual streamflow maxima timing. In tropical areas we find that flood timing is strongly linked to the timing of both rainfall and soil moisture annual maxima. However, in southern Australia flood timing is more correlated with soil moisture maxima than rainfall maxima. The link between flood, soil moisture, and rainfall ti..

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Funding Acknowledgements

Streamflow data are publicly available from the BOM (, gridded rainfall (, and gridded AWRA-L soil moisture ( to manipulate AWAP grids and extract data is available from the GitHub ( Wasko acknowledges support from the University of Melbourne McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme.