Jeff

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About Jeff Higgins

I have had a passion for weather since I was 8 years old. In 2011 I created Higgins Storm Chasing on Facebook which has now grown into a successful meteorology business.
12 06, 2020

Coolest Pacific In 3 Years For The Rest Of 2020

2020-06-12T11:07:47+10:00


Issued 12th June 2020. While the Indian Ocean does a positive backflip reducing the chance of rain across Australia, the equatorial Pacific Ocean has already cooled and is forecast to remain cooler than normal for the next 6 to 9 months. Its the first time in 3 years this has happened and it could be the Australia’s rainfall saviour for the rest of 2020 and even into 2021. Above image: Sea surface temperature anomalies for June to August via JAMSTEC. 

The Pacific Ocean ENSO between Australia and America is where the El Nino (warm water = dry) and La Nina (cool water = wet) climate driver develops. In 2010/11 a strong La Nina caused severe flooding across QLD, NSW and Victoria, sense then we have seen one of the strongest El Nino’s in 2015. Over the past 2 years the ENSO has been right on the El Nino temperature threshold but regardless it still delivered a severe blow to the Australian rainfall resulting in one of the worst droughts in living memory. Its a drought we are still in and suffering badly from. 

A majority of global models right now are forecasting the cooler than normal Pacific Ocean to continue with NEAR but not quiet reaching the La Nina threshold. It does not matter if it reaches the magic -0.5C or -0.8C La Nina level as model data is already suggesting increased Easterly trade winds across the Coral Sea with more moisture and near average rainfall across most of Australia for the next 6 months. Below image: 3.4 seas surface temp forecast via JAMSTEC. 

So stuff the Indian, watch the Pacific and think NEAR AVERAGE, NOT ABOVE AVERAGE rainfall for the rest of 2020. If most places can manage to get near average rainfall instead of the shitty severe drought conditions like last year, I’m sure we will be much happier. 
Oh and BTW Higgins Storm Chasing offers long range forecasts for QLD, NSW, the ACT and Victoria. Click here for more details on our website! 

Coolest Pacific In 3 Years For The Rest Of 20202020-06-12T11:07:47+10:00
12 06, 2020

Wet weekend for parts of QLD

2020-06-12T09:05:27+10:00


Issued 12th June 2020. Forecast data remains confident that rain will come this weekend to Central, Southern and South East QLD. Above image: Rainfall forecast totals via Windy.com

On Saturday a large high in the Tasman Sea will direct a moist onshore wind flow into the Eastern half of the state. Convective afternoon showers, isolated storms and rain areas are expected to develop through Central land Southern districts while persisting overnight. Below image: Saturday rainfall forecast totals via weatherwatch.net.au

During Sunday a cold front will enter Western districts enhancing a surface trough through the Central and Southern interior. Morning showers, rain and isolated storms are expected inland before travelling East to the coast during the afternoon. Below image: Sunday rainfall forecast totals via weatherwatch.net.au

Guidance is suggesting the heaviest falls will be across the South East on Sunday where widespread totals of 20mm are forecast. 
Higgins Storm Chasing provides detailed rainfall and thunderstorm maps across QLD with a zoomed map for SEQLD. Click here to check it out on our website! 

Wet weekend for parts of QLD2020-06-12T09:05:27+10:00
11 06, 2020

Indian Ocean Backflips – Less Rain For Australia

2020-06-11T12:59:47+10:00


Issued 11th June 2020. Despite last months chanting across many News Media Outlets and BOM forecasts for a negative Indian Ocean Dipole causing a “Wet Winter” with above average rainfall across large parts of Australia, that has all changed! You see long range global forecast data during April and May are KNOWN to have poor accuracy… Now that has been proven as a completely opposite positive Indian Ocean Dipole develops turning the chances for above average rainfall across the country on their head. Above image: The latest JAMSTEC Indian Ocean sea surface temperature forecast for June – August 2020 showing a positive IOD event developing. Below image: The latest JAMSTEC model ensemble showing a positive IOD forecast from June – September 2020. 


It’s worth noting that at this stage the positive IOD is not forecast to be as strong as last years record event. But what does it all mean for Australia???
Right now the chances of 3 month above average rainfall for Winter have diminished right across the country. Model data is still hanging in there with mostly near average rainfall for the next 3 months which would be very welcome and way better than last year. However the Indian Ocean Dipole and Rainfall forecasts will have to be very closely monitored by forecasters over the next month for further significant changes! It is very possible that rainfall totals could be further reduced in the July to September outlook. It is going to be mean more difficult and riskier decisions for farmers and graziers looking make long term plans during such uncertain weather times ahead.
Temperatures are likely to be warmer than average across the Northern half of the country and near average across the Southern half. Below image via JAMSTEC. 
 Higgins Storm Chasing provides independant long range rainfall outlooks for QLD, NSW, the ACT and Victoria. We have updated our maps today to reflect some changes in the latest data. Due to being very conservative and cautious in our original rainfall outlook these changes have only been minor. 
Click here to learn more information about our Premium Membership Weather Service! 

Indian Ocean Backflips – Less Rain For Australia2020-06-11T12:59:47+10:00
10 06, 2020

Where is the snow?

2020-06-10T15:33:16+10:00


Issued 10th June 2020. Despite an encouraging storm system delivering half a meter of snow in early May there is very little natural snow left on the ground across the Australian Alps ATM. Above image via Perisher web cam. Maximum temperatures through May and June have remained well into positive values averaging around 9C. This has caused any snow that has fallen so far to melt away quickly. This time last year a Winter storm produced over 70cms which really kick started the 2019 season. Below image showing 2019 V 2020 snow depths. 

 June is likely to remain almost snowless across the Alps due to a strong positive value SAM (Southern Annular Mode). SAM values and forecasts indicate the latitudes of low pressure systems from Antarctica and the South Pole. In a positive phase SAM, polar air masses stay well South of Australia while high pressure systems dominate the country. Forecasts for SAM only extend 15 days ahead though trends can be determined up to 30 days ahead. For the next 2 weeks models suggest SAM will stay positive meaning polar lows are less likely to reach Australia. Beyond that there is some hope at the very end of June where extended global models are forecasting a Winter storm across the Alps with up to 60cms on snow. Below image AAO / SAM forecast. 

It’s not all doom and gloom, during the past week freezing minimum temperatures have allowed resorts to make plenty of artificial snow! There is also ample opportunity left during July and August for the current Winter weather patterns to change. Lets hope there are a few BIG snow dumps this year. The other good news it that reports are OPEN for visitors under special Cover-19 policies. Please visit each Alpine resorts booking page for details, do not just turn up without booking first. Below image: Snow machines in action at Mt Hotham. 
Higgins storm chasing provides independent snow forecasts and maps across Victoria, NSW, the ACT and Southern QLD. Check out our website by clicking here for more information! 

 

Where is the snow?2020-06-10T15:33:16+10:00
10 06, 2020

Rain on the way for QLD

2020-06-10T11:38:52+10:00


Issued 10th June 2020. After a very dry few months across inland parts of the state there is hope this weekend for some widespread rainfall. Above image via weatherzone.com.au

On Wednesday and Thursday scattered showers and some possible isolated storm activity will be focused across the South East due to onshore winds and an upper level disturbance. A number of locations east of the ranges should record 10-20mm with locally higher falls to 50mm possible.

During the weekend a cold front and surface trough will start out producing showers and rain across across the Central and Southern inland before moving East to the coast on Sunday. Widespread totals of 10-20mm are forecast across Central and Southern districts across these 2 days. 

Detailed forecasts and maps for QLD and SEQLD are available by becoming a premium member of our website. Click here for more details… 

 

Rain on the way for QLD2020-06-10T11:38:52+10:00
4 02, 2020

EXTREME Rain and Flood potential SEQLD & NENSW

2020-02-04T11:18:29+10:00


Issued 4th Feb 2020 ***EXTREME RAINFALL & VERY DANGEROUS FLOOD “POTENTIAL” SEQLD COAST & NORTHERN RIVERS NSW***
Hi guys, please take this forecast and information VERY seriously…
High Risk Forecast Period: Midnight tonight to midnight Thursday.
Areas At High Risk: MOST of the South East Coast QLD – Sunshine Coast + Hinterland, Brisbane & Ipswich + Somerset + Brisbane Valley + Lockyer Valley (possibly), Gold Coast & Tweed Coast + Hinterland + Scenic Rim, ALL of Northern Rivers NSW. Not everywhere WILL get hit by extreme rain and flooding but all the above areas are at RISK. Yellow circled areas.
Potential Rainfall Totals: Up to 500mm for some locations but not all. 250mm+ could fall in 3 hour periods over some locations but not all. Please do not solely rely on the rainfall map posted, it is showing the potential totals which could occur anywhere in the yellow circled area.
There is a chance that this extremely heavy rainfall will remain just along the coastal fringe, however the risk is high enough to include inland areas as well.
We want you to conduct preparations NOW and have a PLAN in place just in case it happens and its you that gets hit. Serious flash flooding under extreme rainfall areas will cut main roads and flood some yards, streets, businesses and houses ect.
DRIVE SLOWLY IN RAIN & DON’T DRIVE INTO FLOOD WATERS – you could die in minutes just like what happened in Caboolture in May 2015.
Above image via Windy.com We have upgraded our HSC SEQLD in-house rainfall maps for premium members. Please login to our website and check. If you’re not a member you can subscribe here >
https://higginsstormchasing.com/higgins-storm-chasing-membership/

EXTREME Rain and Flood potential SEQLD & NENSW2020-02-04T11:18:29+10:00
3 02, 2020

WA Tropical Update HSC Cyclone WATCH

2020-02-03T12:22:09+10:00


Issued 3rd February 2020. WA TROPICAL UPDATE “HSC TROPICAL CYCLONE WATCH ISSUED FOR WA”: A tropical low is currently located along the NT / WA border. It is forecast by global data to confidently to track west and enter the Indian Ocean just North of Broome by late on Wednesday. Due to the system then being located over water in a much more favourable environment, there is a HIGH RISK it will intensify further into a tropical cyclone. During Thursday and Friday the system is also confidently forecast to track in a general Southerly direction towards the WA coast. Intensity, exact late track along with a coastal crossing location if at all remains very uncertain at this time. Detailed HSC in-house tropical low & tropical cyclone forecasts and track maps will be issued for this system on our website here >
https://higginsstormchasing.com/higgins-storm-chasing-membership/

WA Tropical Update HSC Cyclone WATCH2020-02-03T12:22:09+10:00
3 02, 2020

QLD Tropical Update

2020-02-03T11:59:42+10:00


Issued 3rd February 2020. QLD TROPICAL UPDATE: Over the past several days we have seen numerous global model data sets suggesting that a cyclone could develop in the Gulf of Carpentaria and Coral Sea. Some of them also have direct impacts on QLD & Northern NSW however at this stage there is NO forecast confidence being maintained. There is however a HIGH RISK of tropical development during February so we are very closely monitoring global forecast data and live observations. Detailed HSC in-house tropical low & tropical cyclone forecasts and track maps will be issued when required on our website here >
https://higginsstormchasing.com/higgins-storm-chasing-membership/

QLD Tropical Update2020-02-03T11:59:42+10:00
8 01, 2020

Where is the rain Australia?

2020-01-08T11:18:57+10:00


Issued 7th January 2020. We are fielding an increased volume of questions ATM and rightly so. We are also starting to see some big shifts forecast in the weather patterns! I’ll make it as short n sweet as possible…. Above image next 5 day rainfall forecast from 7th-12th of January 2020 via Windy.com 
The most important changes that have finally occurred are in the key major climate drivers that influence our rainfall and temperatures.
1: The Indian Ocean Dipole (sea temperatures) have finally come back to normal values. Why is this so important??? Because for the past 6 months it has contributed to a lack of rainfall across large parts of Australia and also a 2 month delay in the monsoon trough developing. Now it’s normal the monsoon trough is developing and more moisture will feed across Australia from the North West.
2: The Southern Annual Mode has finally come back to near normal values (this determines the position of lows and highs across Australia). Why is this so important? Because from October to late December it was deeply negative which pushed low pressure systems much higher up across Southern Australia. Yes it provided cooler temps and some increased rainfall across Tasmania and Victoria BUT it also destroyed moisture across NSW, ACT & QLD due to very hot dry westerly winds. It WAS a major influence on the bushfires across VIC & NSW generating the very hot dry conditions with periods of very strong winds. Now it’s normal more high pressure systems can develop in the Tasman Sea / Southern Coral Sea and feed moisture in from the easterly winds into surface troughs over NSW, ACT & QLD.
3: The ENSO (El Niño / La Niña) is neutral and has been for for many months and is forecast to stay that way through 2020.
4: The monsoon trough is 2 months late across Northern Australia but it’s finally developing now across Indonesia and PNG. It is likely to also keep developing across Northern WA and Northern NT in the next week. There are signals indicating it will develop also across Northern QLD during the second half of January.
5: The MJO ( Madden / Julian Oscillation) is a tropical pulse that moves west to east along the equator and nearby tropics on about a 30-40 day cycle. It greatly increases the monsoon trough and tropical activity such as lows and cyclones. The MJO is currently located over the Maritime Contentment and is forecast to strengthen significantly 7 days and move slowly East. It will greatly influence tropical development across Northern WA and Northern NT during this time. In the 7-14day outlook it does make it into the Western Pacific which increases tropical development chances across Northern QLD the Gulf and Coral Sea. But models do suggest it will weaken a bit when it does.
So let’s have a look at the next 5 day forecast with a quick look into the 5-10 day forecast range.

The current position of the monsoon trough is circled in yellow. It’s still just north of Australia but with the aid of the MJO has and will continue to develop tropical lows and possible cyclones across WA & NT. White circled area is EX TC Blake tracking South across inland WA bringing good rain and storms. Green is the current tropical low which could become a cyclone in the next few days. It’s forecast to track West / South West and produce rain and storms Northern NT and Northern WA. The blue circled area is a cold front which should bring light falls across Southern SA, VIC and TAS.
The black circle is a trough producing showers and storms through SEQLD & Eastern NSW. The Brown arrows are an onshore wind flow causing showers and storms across Northern QLD from about Mackay to Mt Isa North. Ok that’s the next 5 days.
Here is the 5-10 outlook: There are very good signs in Model data that scattered showers and storms will increase across most of NSW and QLD due to a surface trough. Showers and storms will continue across Northern QLD, Northern NT and WA thanks to the MJO and developing Monsoon Trough.
So as you can see now that the major climate drivers are all back to normal and the weather patterns are starting to slowly respond with increased tropical activity, showers and storms.
Tropical lows and cyclones have a significantly higher risk of developing from now until the end of April. It will probably take one or two to cross the coast and track inland then South to start to break the drought properly – hopefully just not a repeat of the NQLD floods like last year if they do.
As always we have our very own in-house detailed forecasts and maps available to subscribers on our website. They cover the entire Australian region for tropical lows and cyclones. Daily, weekly, monthly and 3 monthly rain, storm and temperature forecasts and maps across QLD, NSW, ACT & VIC. Weekly rainfall and forecasts for TAS, SA, WA & NT.
Check it out here by clicking here! 

Where is the rain Australia?2020-01-08T11:18:57+10:00
21 12, 2019

Christmas Rain And SEVERE Storms Across SEQLD & NENSW

2019-12-21T17:41:46+10:00


Issued 21st December 2019. All that many people would love for Christmas this year is some rain! Well well well, for the South East quarter of Queensland and North East quarter of New South Wales that is exactly what is forecast! There is one down side to the forecast and that is SEVERE storms and some DANGEROUS storms are also very likely to occur. Above image is the next 5 day rainfall via Windy.com with storm forecast areas highlighted. Monday = Yellow, Tuesday = Red, Wednesday / Christmas Day = Pink.

Highly detailed and accurate Higgins Storm Chasing Thunderstorm risk maps, Rainfall maps and Temperature forecasts are available here for SEQLD & NENSW! 

Lets have a quick look at each day as it stands now on the forecast data!
SUNDAY a few showers & storms are possible across the NENSW ranges.
MONDAY scattered showers and storms are likely during the afternoon across NENSW. Some of these storms may also come across the QLD / NSW border and or develop late across far Southern areas of QLD. Some storms maybe SEVERE with Heavy Rain, Damaging winds and Large Hail especially inland away from the coast.


TUESDAY XMAS EVE: Scattered showers and storms are expected to develop across NENSW first earlier in the day and continue into the afternoon. Showers and storms are also expected to develop during the afternoon across inland areas of SEQLD. A surface low pressure system is forecast to develop across Southern inland QLD on the Darling Downs during Tuesday night. This feature is likely to cause areas of rain, showers and storms during Tuesday night into Wednesday morning across far South East QLD and far North East NSW. Some storms are very likely to be SEVERE during Tuesday afternoon and night. Heavy rain, Large Hail and Damaging Winds a moderate to high risk especially inland during the afternoon. Heavy Rain is a moderate risk during Tuesday night.
WEDNESDAY XMAS DAY: Due to the current forecast position of the surface low over Southern inland QLD in the morning its very possible that the day starts off with areas of rain, showers and isolated storms across SEQLD & NENSW. As the day progresses the surface low is forecast to move East to the coast and could develop a coastal trough as well. This system is expected to produce scattered showers and storms across NENSW and SEQLD before extending some storm activity up into Central East QLD late in the afternoon and evening. Due to faverable atmospheric conditions with very high moisture, high instability and strong winds, some SEVERE and possibly DANGEROUS storms are expected in SEQLD.

Highly detailed and accurate Higgins Storm Chasing Thunderstorm risk maps, Rainfall maps and Temperature forecasts are available here for SEQLD & NENSW! 

 

Christmas Rain And SEVERE Storms Across SEQLD & NENSW2019-12-21T17:41:46+10:00