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.
17 07, 2020

HSC takes Queensland & South East QLD weather forecast maps to next level!

2020-07-17T15:03:09+10:00

Over the past month our highly valued and skilled employee Thomas Hinterdorfer from Higgins Storm Chasing has been very working hard behind the scenes to produce our new significantly improved in-house high resolution weather forecast maps for QLD and SEQLD. 
The 4 new maps have taken many many hours to develop starting right back at the base layer where we have left no stone unturned. During the next week we will be releasing these new QLD & SEQLD maps for the 0-5 day daily rainfall and thunderstorm forecasts to existing premium members on our website at no extra charge. This upgrade will be closely followed by the new 7 day rainfall and temperature forecast maps, 1 month and 3 month rainfall and temperature outlook maps. 
We believe our new map products will lead the way in weather forecasting for high detail, fantastic clarity and very good accuracy to all users for many years to come. Everyday of the year, each Higgins forecast and map is human produced by either Jeff Higgins or Thomas Hinterdorfer using vast amounts of raw global model data. Our forecasts do not come from BOM or one data source nor are they computer generated like a majority of other weather forecasts that are currently available. 
Our NSW, ACT and VIC state maps as well as the North Eastern NSW zoomed forecast maps will also receive the same full upgrades within the next few months. 
An upgraded Tropical Cyclone and Tropical Low forecast track map will also be developed by November ready for this cyclone season. 

 

If you want to know the weather is doing everyday and be able to be fully prepared for the storm and cyclone season ahead, consider becoming a Higgins Premium Member HERE! 

Thunderstorm forecast risk maps (above image and below image) have been redeveloped from the base layer up. Upgraded 4 tier thunderstorm forecast risk legend with a new layout and new wording for what each colour shade represents. Increased colour opacity. Additional town locations with improved text. 

 

 

Rainfall forecast maps (below images) have been redeveloped from the base layer up. Upgraded rainfall legend with a completely new colour spectrum to display lower to higher rainfall amounts that are more discernible from each other. We have also introduced new rainfall forecast tiers of 200-300mm, 300mm+, 0-5mm and 5-10mm. This will account for the monsoon season or any tropical cyclone or low pressure developments where excessive rainfall often occurs in a 24 hour period. It will also help with determining whether or not a few drops of rain or 10mm is possible as the old scale was 0-10mm and we deemed this to be too large of a gap. Additional town locations with improved text. 

 

Upgrades to all 4 thunderstorm and rainfall maps – Expansion of both the QLD thunderstorm and rainfall map coverage are to include more of the Northern Territory and more of New South Wales. Similar expansion into North East NSW on the South East QLD zoomed map. These changes are for the benefit of covering forecast grey areas which are close to the respective regional borders as well as a new merging feature that we are implementing where all maps used across the website will be of the same size. 
Additional town locations with a feature to allow us to add more names where we see fit and also control the size and spread of the names. There are currently between 58 and 63 town names on the state map & 73 town names on the South East QLD map. Reduced the number of town names over South Eastern QLD on the QLD state map to reduce the name clutter in the area. While this is a reduction on the state map, MORE town locations have been introduced on the South East QLD zoom map to counter this. Altered the settings on map layers so that the town names are now on top instead of being masked behind the colour shading. This allows us to use deeper colours without hindering the visibility of locations. 
Added the naming of the Gulf of Carpentaria and Coral Sea for geographical purposes on the state map. Reduced the overall size of the maps which will allow us more room for using them in emails and will also allow us to post them on the website at a higher quality. Removal of all weather trend icons (sun, shower, rain, storm, snow) on the new maps. Originally we had no change for this but after further discussions behind the scenes we believe the maps and much clearer without the icons and they were redundant. 
Changed the South East QLD detailed map box to exactly the same size as the South East QLD zoom forecast maps. Removal of all old weather icons (sun, shower, rain, storm, snow) on maps. Originally we had no change for this but after further discussions behind the scenes we believe the icons were becoming redundant due to written text forecasts.

Access to these maps including comprehensive forecast text can be obtained by clicking on our logo below! 

HSC takes Queensland & South East QLD weather forecast maps to next level!2020-07-17T15:03:09+10:00
16 07, 2020

QLD: Increased forecast risk of cyclones, rain and storms this season!

2020-07-16T10:22:22+10:00


Issued on 16th July 2020. Queensland is facing an increased forecast risk of cyclone activity, along with higher chances of rainfall and storms during the 2020/21 wet season. Generally most of Northern and Eastern Australia is in line to receive much better rainfall than the last few years. This current forecast outlook is based off confidence for a developing La Nina like weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean for the rest of this year. Above image via JAMSTEC

Now that we are through the Winter barrier, long range global data is much more reliable. This latest global data has just been updated during the past 24 hours and it’s indicating strong potential for a weak La Nina weather pattern to develop. Even if the ENSO falls just short of the offical -0.8C La Nina threshold, cooler than neutral sea surface temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean are expected. This will become the primary climate driver from September onwards where it should significantly increase the moisture feed across Northern and Eastern Australia. Below image via CPC

High pressure systems are forecast to be further East near New Zealand feeding moisture into inland surface troughs across QLD and NSW. These troughs will generate showers rain areas and thunderstorms with many storms being SEVERE containing Heavy Rainfall, Flash Flooding, Large Hail and Damaging Winds. They troughs are likely to be quasi stationary moving East to the coast on occasions then redeveloping inland shortly after.
Increased North West monsoon winds with more frequent MJO positive phases are also likely across Northern Australia bringing widespread rain and storms with higher chances of cyclone development and flooding.
Due to the weak La Nina increasing the Easterly trade winds across the Central and Western Pacific, the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) in the Coral Sea is expected to be much more active. Tropical Cyclones will have a higher risk of developing in the Coral Sea then depending on exact synoptic patterns and steering ridges at that time, they could easily track West and South West to impact Queensland. Below image via JAMSTEC

Based off current global model data outputs, I believe we are in for a very active wet, storm and cyclone season during 2020/21. There will be some people who miss out but overall the rainfall prospects are a hell of a lot better than the past few years. The downside? Damage is also expected from storms, floods and cyclones. Any year can be a category 5 year so be prepared by becoming a Higgins Storm Chasing premium member. Detailed cyclone, rainfall and storm maps are always available in high detail on our website here > https://higginsstormchasing.com/higgins-storm-chasing-membership/

QLD: Increased forecast risk of cyclones, rain and storms this season!2020-07-16T10:22:22+10:00
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
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