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26 02, 2017

UPDATED: South East QLD rain & storm week ahead forecast 26/2/17

An upper trough and upper low moves over the region from Sunday through until Wednesday while greatly increasing instability. High moisture levels will be fed in from the South East due to onshore winds. Areas along and near the coast should see scattered showers each day coming in from the South East while further inland there is a good chance of both showers and storms. These inland storms are not expected to travel towards the coast during the first half of the week due to steering winds. Subscribe here for detailed HSC rain and storm forecast maps across South East QLD! 

From Thursday until Sunday another trough feature is forecast to maintain the development of afternoon showers and storms across the South East region with some likely to push towards the coast. Rainfall totals along the coast and adjacent inland areas of between 25 to 50mm are forecast for the week with locally higher totals possible. Rainfall through inland regions along and West of the ranges will heavily depend on being directly under shower and storm activity so it is impossible to say if everyone will get rain. Hopefully most areas across the district pick up some relief this week.

Earlier forecasts a few days ago had higher totals of 50 to 100mm possible along the coast, however due to the upper low now expected to be centered right over South East Queensland these totals have been reduced due to the deeper onshore winds forecast to be further South in New South Wales.

For detailed HSC rain and storm forecast maps across Queensland subscribe here! 

26 02, 2017

Wide Bay & Burnett – Showers and storms this week

After a one of the driest hottest summers in recent history some relief looks likely for the Wide Bay & Burnett district this week. Dams, tanks, creeks and rivers are dry while most paddocks and yards have almost turned to dust. Showers and the chance of a storms are forecast pretty much every day this week across the region. While it will be far from drought breaking rain the activity should offer some hope to many who are desperate for rain. Despite having a handful of days where storms were previously forecast the entire area has largely missed out… People won’t believe now until they see it. Subscribe to HSC for detailed rain and storms forecast maps for the Wide Bay & Burnett region here!

An upper trough moves over the region from Sunday through until Wednesday while increasing instability. High moisture levels will be fed in from the South East due to onshore winds. Areas along and near the coast should see showers each day coming in from the South East while further inland there is a good chance of storms. These storms are not expected to travel towards the coast due to steering winds.

From Thursday until Sunday another trough feature is forecast to maintain the development of afternoon showers and storms. Rainfall totals of around 25mm for the week are forecast along coastal areas before tapering off inland. Rainfall through inland regions will heavily depend on being under storm activity so it is impossible to say everyone will get rain. Hopefully most areas across the district pick up some relief this week! Earlier forecasts a few days ago had higher totals up to 50mm possible along the coast however due to the upper low now expected to be slightly further south in South East Queensland these totals have been reduced.

Subscribe here for detailed HSC rain and storms forecast maps across Queensland! 

24 02, 2017

100mm of rain forecast for the South East QLD Coast!

A very wet week ahead is forecast to end Summer and mark the beginning of Autumn along the South East Queensland coast. From Sunday through until next Friday, widespread rainfall totals of 50 to 100mm are expected from the Sunshine Coast south to the Gold coast including Brisbane, Ipswich and hinterland areas. On Friday morning the multi model computer forecast data ramped up daily rainfall totals ahead of the significant weather system next week. The main feature for coastal regions will be constant scattered showers day and night with the possibility of these turn into rain areas with moderate falls. Through the hinterland and valleys afternoon storms may also develop with heavy rain. We could see some isolated local totals up to 200mm for the week however these will heavily depend on exactly where persistent heavier rain fall accumulates. For detailed rain and storm forecast maps in SEQLD subscribe to HSC here! 

Most of the exposed coast then inland about 25km has the best chances of picking up higher totals of between 75 to 100mm. Further inland rainfall is forecast to quickly taper off with hinterlands and valleys on Eastern side of the ranges in line for about 25 to 50mm. West of the ranges across the Darling Downs and Granite Belt won’t miss out with showers and storms forecast each afternoon and evening though these should tend to be less frequent than the coast. Note: Separate forecasts will be issued for Central and Southern inland Queensland and also North East New South Wales. 

So what is causing this wet weather? 

On Saturday and Sunday an upper trough of cold air pushes North from New South Wales into Southern inland Queensland which will destabilize the atmosphere. This upper trough then becomes trapped inland on Monday developing further into an upper low with clockwise rotation. The upper low is forecast to drift around in the Southern half of the state during the week maintaining instability levels. Due to rotation around the low, winds in the mid the upper atmosphere turn onshore from the North to East along the coast dragging in higher amounts of moisture from the ocean. A high pressure ridge will also assist in providing a deep onshore flow from the surface into the mid levels and the result is a saturated atmosphere from the surface to 40,000 feet. Warm moist air feeding into a cold cored low produces lift then rain. 

What can change?

The only weather feature which can greatly vary rainfall amounts from this system is the upper low. The best rainfall occurs directly to the East and South of the centre rotation and cold core. For example, a vast majority of current model data suggests that with the forecast position of the low, coastal areas from the Sunshine Coast South to Port Macquarie will see the highest rainfall totals. If the low moves further North then higher rainfall totals will result further North along the Central QLD coast. If it stays slightly further South rainfalls totals will be reduced along the South East QLD coast. The above forecast scenario is what is likely to occur hence why we issue them…

High resolution HSC rainfall and storm forecast maps in SEQLD are available by subscribing here! 

22 02, 2017

Wet week ahead for Central East & South East QLD + North East NSW

Finally after months of heat, humidity and below average rainfall, forecast model data is confidently indicating a significant weather system to develop from Sunday onwards. Coastal districts in Queensland South from Rockhampton all the way down to Port Macquarie in NSW are in for a wet week next week with totals of between 25 to 50mm likely and up to 100mm possible. Central and Southern inland Queensland and Northern inland NSW are also forecast to see shower and storm activity develop each afternoon. Above rainfall image via GFS / Pivotal. For detailed HSC rainfall and storm forecast maps in SEQLD & NENSW subscribe here! 

An upper level cut off low is forecast to develop over Southern inland QLD / Northern inland NSW on Sunday triggering moderate to high levels of instability. This upper low of cold air interacts with a very warm moist onshore flow over Southern QLD & Northern NSW to produce scattered coastal showers and inland storms with some likely severe. 

Due to the upper low being cut off and blocked inland, it is forecast to drift through Southern and Central inland QLD from Monday through until Thursday. This will provide a continued favorable environment for the development of scattered showers and possible rain areas along the coasts with afternoon showers and storms through inland regions. Due to the onshore winds being very deep the showers and storms will generally be moving in a Westerly direction. Most storms from Monday onward are not expected to be severe though some areas of heavy rain and flash flooding can’t be ruled out. Moderate East to South East winds combined with the cloudy wet conditions will provide much cooler temperatures of around 27c along the coasts and East of the ranges. Inland areas West of the ranges will be a little warmer and humid with max temps around 30c. 

Keep in mind that the areas forecast for better rainfall totals will be East of the ranges and along the coast. The Capricornia, Wide Bay and South East Coast (Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold and Sunshine Coast) districts of Queensland at this stage should see 25 to 50mm with locally higher totals to 100mm possible. Slightly higher falls are forecast for the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast of NSW where 50 to 75mm is likely with up to 125mm possible. Inland areas such as the Central Highlands, Burnett, Darling Downs & Granite Belt and Warrego and Maranoa in Queensland should see 10 to 25mm with locally higher falls possible under repeated shower and storm activity. Again similar totals of 10 to 25mm with locally higher falls possible through the Northern Tablelands & North West Slopes and plains in NSW.

This is one of the best rainfall forecasts we have seen in months for people in the Wide Bay to Sunshine Coast regions where rainfall has been very much below average (-400mm during the past 3 months). The words from locals in these areas describe the recent weather conditions as “very hot, drought, crippling and desperate for rain”! Hopefully to dome breaks for these areas who have badly missed out from previous storms. Large areas of remaining Central and Southern QLD are also below to very much below average for the past 3 months so fingers crossed this brings some relief. 

SUBSCRIBE TO HSC – for detailed rain and storm forecast maps in Queensland and NSW! 

17 02, 2017

Hot humid conditions & storms for Central & Southern QLD

Hot weather is set to return across Central and Southern Queensland districts over the weekend ahead of a surface trough. The high heat and humidity levels will make way for the development of afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms with some likely severe. Above image via Pivotalweather

On Friday afternoon scattered storms are expected to fire up across Southern inland parts especially through the Warrego and Maranoa. Some of these are likely to be severe with damaging winds a risk. Due to a more dryer atmosphere frequent lightning strikes are also likely. Favorable steering winds from the West could also push these storms into the Western Darling Downs during the evening. 

During Saturday a band of showers and storm activity is forecast in a line from about Mt Isa, Longreach, Charleville to Goondiwindi while moving East. There is a chance due to steering winds that some showers and isolated storms get pushed far enough East to the South East Coast region though most of the stronger activity will remain through the Central and Southern / South East inland. Again damaging winds and frequent lightning will be a risk with storms on Saturday.  

Sunday will be the main day for storms in South East & Central inland Queensland districts with a number cells likely to be severe as instability and humidity levels peak. The surface trough is forecast to be positioned through inland parts just West of the ranges with very warm and humid conditions to the East. Locations such as Brisbane, Ipswich, Sunshine & Gold Coasts, Warwick, Toowoomba and Dalby all have a high risk of seeing thunderstorm activity. Damaging Winds, Heavy Rain and Frequent Lightning will be the main threats with storm cells tending to slide from the North West towards the South East. 

The system is likely to shift into Central East districts on Monday while significantly weakening. Maximum temperatures of 35 – 40c are forecast through Central and Southern inland on Friday and Saturday before a slightly cooler change behind the trough on Sunday. In the South East and Central East, maximum temperatures peak on Saturday with 33 – 36c expected along with very high humidity levels.  

Higgins Storm Chasing’s own detailed severe storm, rain, and Gulf cyclone threat maps for QLD (12 of them all together for the next 3 days) are online and available to our Premium Members. Email forecasts and storm alerts will be issued to members during the weekend.

SUBSCRIBE to our HSC Premium Membership to gain access to our detailed forecasts, alerts and live updates HERE! 

16 02, 2017

QLD – Tropical Low in Gulf could develop into a cyclone with 500mm forecast

On Thursday afternoon, satellite and radar imagery detected an intensifying tropical low in the Southern Gulf of Carpentaria. The system has a 50% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone during the next 4 days on the provision the center stays over water. Up to 500mm is forecast for parts of the Gulf Country through until Monday which could lead to flooding. A monsoon trough runs across the Peninsula while linking to a coastal trough near Bowen to Charters Towers. These two systems are also generating scattered showers, storms and rain areas where some could be severe with heavy rainfall. Above image: Satellite showing water vapour via Weatherzone. 

Over the next 24 to 72 hours various forecast data models indicate the tropical low could develop further into a cyclone though the system will need to remain over the Gulf waters to enable further intensification. Given the small area it has to work with, at best we could see a category 1 or 2 system with an increase in winds to 120kmhr. Any land interaction the low has will significantly lessen the chances of further development though the focus for the system needs to be on the widespread rain which is forecast across large parts of the North West. 


Above image: Heavy rainfall up to 500mm circled- Pivotal Weather

The coastal trough through the tropics is forecast to gradually contract further North over the next few days while producing scattered showers, storms and rain areas. A more significant weather system will develop in the West on Friday with a band of showers and storms. On Saturday and Sunday it pushes through into Central, Southern and South East districts where some storms will likely be severe. 


7 02, 2017

Tropical Low a high chance in the QLD Gulf this week!

On Tuesday 7/2/17 a low pressure system is located in the Southern Gulf of Carpentaria while intensifying. This low has a high risk of developing further into a Tropical Low this week with a chance it may become a brief cyclone (red circled area). 

The monsoon trough is strengthening across the Northern Coral Sea. Forecast data indicates there is an added risk for Tropical Low development this week off the North QLD coast (yellow circled area). 

Higgins Storm Chasing produces detailed Tropical Low and Tropical Cyclone forecast maps for Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia. These forecast maps are currently available to Premium Members.

Subscribe here and become a premium member to gain access to our detailed Storm, Rain, Tropical Low and Cyclone forecast maps and text! 


31 01, 2017

Relentless hot dry conditions for Central-Southern QLD & Northern NSW

Endless Summer heatwave conditions are forecast to take a strangle hold on Central, Southern and South East Queensland for the next week. New South Wales won’t escape it either with severe heatwave conditions forecast across the Northern half of the state. To make matters worse there is next to no rain or storm relief activity forecast with most regions experiencing a prolonged hot dry period. Above image: Heatwave forecast via BOM

On Tuesday conditions will start to heat up especially through the South West quarter of QLD and the North West quarter of NSW where max temps will exceed 40c. 

During Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the heat builds higher and spreads towards the East to include all of Central and Southern QLD and Northern NSW. Maximum temperatures along the Central – South East QLD and North East NSW Coasts are forecast to be in the mid to high 30’s then factor in high humidity levels and the heat index will push to near 40c. Through the Central – Southern inland QLD and Northern inland NSW areas West of the ranges maximum temps of 38 to 42c are forecast for days on end. Go further West into Southern inland – South West QLD and Northern inland – North West NSW and it will be up to 45c!


Saturday, Sunday and Monday are showing very little change on the forecasts. Above image: Thursday forecast maximum temperatures via BSCH

The only real confident area which is forecast for storm activity is through the North East quarter of NSW on Friday. These storms are likely to be severe given the very high heat and moisture content. Heavy Rain, Flash Flooding and Damaging Winds will be the main threats. 

Locations which we believe to be suffering from lack of rain the most are the Sunshine Coast / Gympie, Wide Bay and Burnett, Capricornia and Central Highlands. I am sure there are other areas who have also missed out on rain recently due to storms being patchy. 

PLEASE NOTE: Yes its Summer, Yes it gets hot we all know that… however these forecast maximum temperatures are well above average and due to their prolonged nature, any location that records 3 consecutive days of 5c or more above their average constitutes a heatwave classification. So call it what you want, Summer, Hot or Heatwave we don’t care we are just letting you know what is forecast ok! 

Higgins Storm Chasing provides detailed forecast maps, text and Email alerts right across QLD and NSW! Click here and subscribe to become a member… 

31 01, 2017

Soaking rain & storms for North Queensland this week

Parts of the North Queensland Coast could see up to 300mm fall this week as an upper trough generates high instability across the region. Scattered showers, storms and rain areas with moderate to possibly heavy falls are forecast North from about Mackay for the rest of the week. The Central Coast and Whitsundays district has already picked up some heavy rain and storms with 102mm falling in Mackay during the past 24hrs while the airport has scored 140mm in the past 48hrs. The highest total was recorded at Enugella with 160mm while other notable totals have occurred at Proserpine 91mm, Hamilton Island 54mm and Bowen 44mm. Further North Tully picked up 191mm in the past 24hrs with 99mm falling in just 1hr early this morning. Above image: rainfall forecast via Pivotal 

Unfortunately the rain has largely missed Townsville and Cairns so far though there is a good chance this will change during the week with good rain on the forecast. 

While the heaviest rain is forecast along the North QLD coast and nearby inland ranges activity won’t be limited to those areas. As the upper trough drifts West during the next few days it will generate scattered showers, storms and rain areas across most Northern districts North from about Mackay to Mt Isa. Some storms are likely to be SEVERE with heavy rain and flash flooding a threat while moderate to locally heavy falls are also possible under rain areas. 


Above image: forecast high instability via BSCH

There is an abundant amount of moisture being fed in from the Coral Sea with onshore winds extending up as high as 40,000 feet. Due to these winds anything that develops will be moving in a general Westerly direction so if its building offshore there is a good chance it will head into the coast. 

Higgins Storm Chasing produces daily storm – rain forecast maps with detailed text across North QLD along with Email alerts and videos! Click here and subscribe to gain access… 

25 01, 2017

3 days of storms for North East NSW – Some likely SEVERE

A surface trough is forecast to stall over the North East quarter of NSW on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday generating high instability and moisture levels. Scattered showers and thunderstorms with some likely SEVERE have a high chance of developing each afternoon North a line from about Newcastle to Mudgee. Activity will start earlier on through inland areas before favorable steering winds push storms towards the coast. Heavy Rain, Damaging Winds and Frequent Lightning will be a high risk across all 3 days. Rainfall totals of 25 to 50mm are forecast across the region though these totals could be seen in some locations on a daily basis especially under thunderstorms. Above image: Wednesday storm threat via BSCH

Australia Day on Thursday is shaping up to be a very active SEVERE storm day across the North East as instability and moisture level peak in intensity. Scattered SEVERE storms are likely to occur with a high risk of Heavy Rain, Damaging Winds and Frequent Lightning. Flash flooding of town streets, local roads and smaller creeks will also be a risk under any storm activity. People need to be vigilant if they are out and about celebrating on Australia Day by being mindful of forecasts and regularly check for storm activity and warnings. Most importantly keep an eye on the sky, if it looks nasty it will be nasty so seek shelter quickly. Above image: Thursday storm threat via BSCH


During Friday very little change is expected with continued thunderstorm activity and some likely SEVERE. Areas which have had repeat storms pass over from previous days will be at much higher risk of flash flooding with some rivers also possibly reaching flood levels due to local run off. Above image: Friday storm threat map via BSCH.

On Saturday activity is forecast to weaken and decrease though some showers and storms could still develop. 

HSC provides NSW with our own daily detailed storm forecasts and threat maps to 3 days ahead.

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