Jeff

/Jeff Higgins

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.
4 02, 2019

Central Coast and Whitsundays up to 1 meter of rain now forecast!

Issued 4th February 2019. HEADS UP Central Coast and Whitsundays from Sarina to Bowen including Mackay, Proserpine and Arlie Beach. The monsoon trough which has flooded Townsville during the past week is now forecast to shift South. Heavy Rainfall and Flooding a high risk. Above image via Windy.com next 3 to 5 day rainfall totals. 

A tropical low is currently located over North West QLD with a strong monsoonal wind flow extending down the NQLD coast. The monsoon trough which has been anchored over Townsville for many days has now finally shifted. Unfortunately this will mean other locations will now likely experience heavy rainfall with a high risk of flooding.

During Monday afternoon the main convergence zone is located on the Central Coast very close to Mackay. The heaviest rainfall since 9am to 5pm was at Sandy Plateau with 75mm. While the rain has finally eased in Townsville with 15mm, it has now started in Mackay and Proserpine with 15 to 30mm recorded. This will be a tame start of things to come… 

On Tuesday the tropical low is expected to remain stationary in North West QLD while the monsoon trough gains intensity from the Whitsundays to Mackay. Heavy rainfall is very likely to develop along with strong winds which may reach damaging strength of 90kmhr along the Central Coast. 24 hour rainfall totals of 100 to 200mm possible with locally high falls to 350mm. Some very intense heavy rain areas and severe thunderstorms may also develop producing severe and dangerous flash flooding. The Central Coast region is saturated from recent rainfall so it generally won’t take as much rainfall to causing flooding. Below image: Monsoon trough via Windy.com

During Wednesday the forecast is expected to be near exactly the same as Tuesday. On Thursday and Friday the tropical low could finally move East out of North West QLD into North East districts. This is likely to contract the monsoon trough back towards the North but deep onshore winds will maintain rain through the Central Coast and Whitsundays. 

3 to 5 day current rainfall accumulation totals are forecast to be between 500 to 1000mm from Proserpine to Sarina. Inland areas such as Moranbah, Collinsville and Bowen are currently expecting 150 to 300mm. 

Flash flooding will be a high risk, River Flooding is likely with strong to damaging winds for the next 3 to 5 days along the CQLD coast. Please watch our LIVE VIDEO update and forecast on Facebook tonight (Monday) at 7:30pm QLD time which will also cover Townsville to Mackay.  

Detailed, accurate HSC forecasts and maps for Queensland available via our Premium Membership HERE! 

 

 

 

30 01, 2019

Ross River Dam Townsville To Reach 100% Today!

Issued 30th January 2019. With heavy rainfall continuing across the catchment, Townsville’s Ross River Dam is expected to reach 100% storage capacity later today. Above image sourced. Townsville’s detailed heavy rain forecast for today is available HERE! 

Just 2 days ago the level was down to 64% but over the past 24hrs that has risen by 20%. At 7am this morning the dam was at 89.8% or 38.10m.

Now at 10:30am further fast rises up to 38.35m which is about 95% have occurred. The 100% gated spillway level is 38.55m so there is just 24cm to go until 100% full supply is reached.

By 3pm this afternoon based off current inflows, Ross River Dam will likely be at 100%. The reservoir has a current capacity of 233,187 megalitres of water and can hold up to 803,565 megalitres of water in flood mitigation. Below image via BOM at 10am Jan 30th 2019.

Further heavy rainfall is expected for the next week across the region with flash flooding and river flooding likely to continue. We may see many if not all of the rivers and creeks across the Townsville region reach MODERATE to MAJOR flooding. LATEST BLOG FORECAST HERE! 

Currently the Haughton R at Giru and Mt Piccaninny is at Major flood level and rising. The Bohle R at Hervey Range Rd is at moderate flood level and rising. Subscribe to HSC here for detailed forecasts and maps for Townsville! 

29 01, 2019

Another week of rain with MAJOR flooding a big risk!

Issued 29th January 2019. Parts of the Central Coast and North Tropical Coast of Queensland are forecast to receive widespread rainfall totals of 250 to 500mm and up to another 1500mm over the next 5 to 10 days! Some locations have already recorded 500mm of rain and record flooding. Conditions are saturated now and with these very high forecast total widespread flooding is becoming a high risk. Above image: Next 10 day rainfall forecast totals via ECMWF and Windy.com Red = 250+, Black = 500+, Purple = 1000mm+. NOTE: A separate forecast blog is currently HERE for inland areas! 

A Tropical Low is currently located in the Gulf district which is forecast to remain very slow moving. A monsoon trough is located across the Southern Tropics between Mackay and Townsville which is near stationary. A very deep and moist onshore tropical wind flow extends along the Northern and Central coasts of Queensland. This pattern is expected to remain relatively unchanged during the next 3 days.

From Friday onwards the North West monsoon flow is forecast to strengthen significantly across Northern QLD in response to a positive MJO phase across the Western Pacific. In fact the MJO is expected to stall over the Western Pacific for over a week which is rare. A combination of these 2 factors will ensure the Tropical Low across Northern QLD (In the Gulf vicinity) grows in size and intensity. There is a greatly increased risk of tropical Cyclone development in the Gulf and Coral Sea. In the meantime the Monsoon trough to the east of the Tropical Low is expected to traverse between Townsville and Mackay, possibly as high as Cairns again. Below image: Madden Julian Oscillation via CPC phase 6 is over North QLD. 

RAIN RAIN AND MORE RAIN!

Every day for the next 10 days rain and storms are forecast across the Peninsula, North Tropical Coast and Tablelands, Herbert and Lower Burdekin Central Coast and Whitsundays districts. DAILY rainfall totals of 100mm likely and up to 250mm under the monsoon troughs location which may lead to flash flooding. 5 day rainfall totals of 250 to 500mm from Proserpine to Cairns with falls as high as 1000mm possible which is likely to lead to flash flooding and river flooding – we could include inland areas such as Collinsville, Georgetown and Charters Towers. 10 day rainfall totals of 500 to 1000mm from Mackay to Tully with falls as high as 1500mm is cause for a high risk of river flooding possibly MAJOR flooding. 

While this is not a cyclone with the extra risks wind and surge, the rainfall forecast figures are double to triple the amount. This system has the potential to become life threatening due to severe flash flooding and major river flooding. We are advising the people of Central and North QLD to remain vigilant during this time. Keep a VERY close eye on daily forecasts and live warnings as critical situations can unfold in just a few hours! 

We will continue to pass on live updates through our facebook page, group, website and app. Please stay safe everyone there is a long way to go yet…

Detailed, accurate, rainfall, storm and cyclone forecasts and maps available for QLD via our premium membership service HERE! 

29 01, 2019

GOOD Rain & Storms Forecast For Northern & Central Inland QLD

Issued January 29th 2019. Widespread rain, showers and storms have a very high chance across large parts of Northern inland and Central inland Queensland during the next 3 days. 50 to 100mm totals look likely EAST of a line from about Burketown, Mt Isa, Winton, Longreach and North from about Yaraka, Blackall, Jericho and Moranbah. NOTE – this forecast is for inland areas only with a separate forecast for coastal regions East of the ranges HERE!. Above image: 3 day rainfall forecast via Windy.com Dark Blue to Green = 50 to 100mm. 

A Tropical Low is currently located in the Gulf district which is forecast to remain very slow moving. A monsoon trough is located across the Southern Tropics between Mackay and Townsville which is near stationary. A very deep and moist onshore tropical wind flow extends well into Central inland and Northern inland parts of Queensland. This flow is colliding the a high pressure ridge and weak convergence zone from about Mackay to Longreach.

Scattered showers, storms and rain areas are expected to develop this afternoon, tomorrow and Thursday across above mentioned areas before contracting further North on Friday. Locally moderate to heavy falls likely under storms with some storms likely severe. Overnight rain areas are possible after storms with moderate falls. Flash flooding a risk under heavy rain. 

After months of very dry hot conditions and years of on going drought, it finally looks very promising for these areas to get some good rainfall. It won’t be drought breaking by any means with many people only believing it when they see it. At HSC are very hopeful of this forecast but while some may unfortunately miss out, many will get some rain. 

Get our 24 hour daily rainfall and storm forecasts across QLD by subscribing here! 

 

26 01, 2019

The Monsoon Trough Is Forecast To Go Crazy Over NQLD!

Issued 26th January 2019. A tropical low with amplifying monsoon trough is located over North Queensland with over 1 meter of rain forecast! Heavy Rain is expected to lead to flooding across the region for at least the next week. Above image: 10 day rainfall accumulation via Windy.com

<<< Air conditioning, Handyman & Events Planning in Brisbane? Click on Koda Projects for a free quote! 

A Tropical Low is currently located over land near Kowanyarma moving South. It is expected to continue moving South for the next 24 to 48hrs before moving further West through the Gulf District. Due to being over land the system is not expected to develop into a cyclone. A monsoon trough lies across the North Tropical Coast which is also slowly forecast to move South adjacent to the low. 

Heavy rainfall is likely to continue across the North Tropical Coast while spreading further South into the Herbert and Lower Burdekin, eventually also into the Central Coast and Whitsundays during the next 5 days. Daily rainfall totals over 100mm are expected with 200mm a day possible with the trough. 300 to 400mm has already fallen across the Cairns region over the past few days causing flash flooding and minor river flooding. 

Flooding is expected to continue for a week as the system remains across the North East of the state. We may see periods of Major Flooding depending on exactly where the heaviest falls occur in a short duration. 

Some 5 day forecast totals include Cairns, Cardwell, Ingham, Townsville, Ayr, Bowen, Charters Towers, Collinsville, Mt Coolon and Proserpine all 250mm with the potential for heavy falls of 500mm+ at any of these locations. Rainfall tapers off into Mackay with 100mm forecast all up at this stage.

A continuation of the monsoon trough and further embedded lows during the 5 to 10 day forecast range is suggesting that areas between Port Douglas to Ingham could see 10 day totals of 800 to 1300mm.  A Severe Weather Warning for heavy rainfall leading to flooding is current.

HSC offers daily, weekly and monthly rainfall forecasts across Queensland. Access these detailed and accurate forecasts by subscribing here! 

23 01, 2019

Tropical Low could become a Cyclone in North QLD

 


Issued 23rd Jan 2019. A Tropical Low near Weipa has a 50 to 75% chance of developing further into a Tropical Cyclone this week. An intensifying Tropical Low 300kms North of Broome has a 90% chance of developing into a cyclone during Thursday or Friday.

<<< Air conditioning, Handyman & Events Planning in Brisbane? Click on Koda Projects for a free quote! 

We have issued Tropical Cyclone track maps for BOTH systems via our premium membership service HERE! Above image via wxcharts.com

The Western system is likely to be named Riley due to developing first and it has the potential of becoming a severe category 3 system. Earlier forecasts suggested the system may cross the Pilbara Coast however guidance now keeps the system in the Indian Ocean. 

Queensland: A Tropical Low near Weipa is forecast by a majority of models to slowly move South during coming days. IF the system remains over the Gulf of Carpentaria waters it is likely to develop into a cyclone (Savannah) as ECMWF suggests. IF it remains over land as GFS suggests it will intensify but remain a Tropical Low. 

Worst case at this stage is a severe category 3 system crossing the Southern Gulf coast late during the weekend. Which ever track the system takes will greatly alter the heaviest rainfall.

The Peninsula, Gulf Country and North Tropical Coast are the main districts that will receive widespread rainfall to start with. Some moderate to locally heavy falls are likely with 5 day totals between 100 and 200mm possible. Locations around Tully could get up to 500mm during this time due to the onshore flow and orographic lifting enhancing rainfall.

The extended outlook remains uncertain however there is some hope being thrown up by data that the system could come South into Western QLD. Should this occur from Monday onwards then widespread showers, rain and storms will also spread South with the system into Central and Western districts. FINGERS CROSSED! Below image GEFS tracks via wxcharts.com

21 01, 2019

Tropical Lows with a Cyclone or 2 this week


Issued 21st January 2019. The monsoon trough is becoming active this week across Northern Australia with a number of Lows and even a Cyclone forecast to develop. 

Queensland and Western Australia are expected to be in the firing line later this week as Tropics fire up with a 3rd round of cyclonic activity this season. 

Western Australia has failed to see a cyclone or tropical low so far while Queensland has had 2 systems. During the week the tropical low near East Timor is forecast to track South West while intensifying. There is an increased risk towards the end of the week that favourable conditions will see a cyclone develop off the Kimberly Coast before possibly crossing the Pilbara Coast. 

Meanwhile a weak tropical low is developing over far North Queensland.
The system is forecast to intensify across the Peninsula district during the week. Global models currently suggest there is a 50% chance the system will develop into a cyclone provided it goes into open waters such as the Gulf Of Carpentaria or Western Coral Sea.

Data from the worlds leading 3 models ECWMF, WRF and GFS indicate the system may move South down the coast as far as Townsville. We will continue to monitor the situation with Tropical Low and or Cyclone forecasts and maps issued on our premium membership service. To subscribe click here! 

18 01, 2019

Why have some parts of Australia not seen the “so called extreme heat”??

Issued 18th January 2019. Hopefully this extensive synoptic explanation helps. The extreme heat has been governed by an extensive low pressure trough stuck between 2 broad highs. This very slow moving trough has been feed in heat from the Pilbara, WA across into other parts of the country for the best part of a week now.

Please reference above image: The positioning of the trough has been vital for who gets hot and who doesn’t, with temperatures of up to 20ºc differing either side of the trough. This trough (marked in purple) earlier in the week was situated over the Bight and across South East, Central and North West WA. This allowed large parts of South East Australia, South Australia and Central Australian regions to bake under widespread significant heat.

Today that trough can now be seen over South East Australia, Central Australia and into North West areas. A large oblong shaped high is located over Southern WA and the Great Australian Bight. This high is feeding cooler air in behind the trough which is now impacting Southern SA, parts of VIC and TAS. It has been so dominant over Southern WA that places like Perth have largely avoided the heatwave.

Another high over the Tasman Sea has also been very stubborn and not moving. This high has been the reason why the trough can’t progress further East and why the heatwave is lasting 7 to 10 days rather than 3 to 5 max which would be more normal. This same high though is directly an onshore flow over QLD and that onshore flow has not only blocked the heat from coming across to populated areas of QLD, but due to no trough being in place across localised areas it has also hindered any storm chances from occurring. Thats why the heat has been so focused over Western and South West QLD as a State perspective with no rainfall.

Today you can also see localised surface troughs (marked in aqua) over Eastern NSW and the WA Coast. Both of these will prevent a seabreeze from occurring and thus places like the Pilbara should once again see hot temperatures and why places such as Western Sydney are expected to climb into the mid 40’s. Thankfully this is normal for the Pilbara and the seabreeze will eventually push the trough back Inland and allow for afternoon cooling, while the change (purple line) will move North and eventually reach those Central NSW regions overnight tonight.

The reason why it has still been humid over Eastern QLD is due to a number of factors. These include the high over the Tasman Sea which is producing onshore winds, while a temperature inversion and dry air aloft is trapping the humidity in the lower levels of the atmosphere. The monsoon trough and monsoon flow (blue line and yellow arrows) has become dominant and stationary across the ocean regions to the North of the Country.

This is allowing consistent showers and storms to occur daily across the Northern NT, Kimberley and QLD Peninsula. However the overall system is so weak that this activity has been largely isolated. It’s enough to keep temperatures near or slightly below average, but not producing “good” rainfall. The tropical low has in the Indian Ocean has also suffered as a result of the monsoon strength and thus failed to intensify into a tropical cyclone which was indicated by models late last week.

Please reference below image: During the upcoming week, we are expecting another heatwave to move through large parts of the country. Whether it’s as intense or prolonged we will have to wait to see. But a brief rundown for next Thursday shows a low over the Bight which is combining with a high over the Tasman Sea to produce a trough which will block any sea-breeze or South Westerly wind flow over South East Australia.

A seperate trough (most likely a cold front) will be over the SA Coast and extending into WA. This will allow hot North West winds to be directed into SA, VIC, NSW where temperatures will skyrocket. The low will subsequently produce an onshore South West flow over WA which will lead to continued tame temperatures. The high will help continue on with an onshore flow over QLD and NSW which will keep Coastal areas tame, but Inland areas may start to see the temperature increase courtesy of the overall warm air aloft dominating.
Image credits: Windy.com

18 01, 2019

Tropical Low could develop across Northern QLD

Issued 18th January 2019. Various global models are indicating that a Tropical Low pressure system could develop across Northern Queensland next week. Image via Windy.com

While large parts of Australia endures severe heatwaves, most of Queensland has been without rainfall for over a month or more now. We are constantly looking ahead at forecasts for any signs of a rain producing system anywhere in the state.

Many people are continually asking ” When is it going to rain”?

A persistent High pressure area over the Tasman Sea has blocked any troughs from developing across Central, Western and Southern QLD which are needed to produce rain and storms. Luckily this has held the high heat inland but we still need rain even if it’s roasting hot or not. An onshore South East flow has produced some good showers along the North Tropical Coast while a weak monsoon trough has triggered some rain and storms across the Peninsula. These areas are doing ok.

It’s the rest of the state thats suffering… At this stage very little rainfall is forecast across Northern inland, Central, Western and Southern districts for the next 7 days. What we are looking at though is the potential for a Tropical Low or even a possible cyclone to develop next week across Northern parts. This system may be centrally located either in the Gulf or Coral Sea at first.

Should this eventuate, rain and storms are likely across NQLD however will will be looking for any indications that the system could move further South into inland areas or down the coast. Some suggest a cyclone in the Gulf while others do bring it down into the Northern / Central inland areas. It is just too early to confidently say yet but the signs are there for something… lets just hope it holds and a good scenario plays out. 

Detailed rainfall, storm, Tropical Low and Cyclone maps available for Queensland by clicking HERE! 

17 12, 2018

Severe heatwave for Western QLD

Issued 17th December 2018. A severe heatwave is forecast to impact the Western half of Queensland this week with temps up to 46C. Above image via BOM.

No rain, continued drought, dust storms and now the Western half of QLD is facing yet another very hot period. 

TC Owen has failed to deliver any relief to Inland QLD over the past week due to dry Southerly Winds wrapping around the back of the system.

A low pressure trough with dry hot North West winds is developing across the far West on Monday which will hang around for most of the week. 

Widespread maximum temperatures into the mid 40’s are forecast with Birdsville expecting 46C. Initially the heat will be confined to areas West of Goondiwindi , Emerald, to Georgetown but this will spread further East into the South East and Central inland on Friday.

Mt Isa, Cloncurry, Richmond, Winton, Longreach, Boulia, Blackall and Windorah are all forecast to get 5 days or more straight above 40C. Charleville, Birdsville, Thargomindah, Quilpie and Cunnamulla about 4 days over 40C. Minimums will also be very very warm.

In the South East on Friday Ipswich and Gatton are looking at 40C temperatures with slightly cooler conditions along the coast. 

A cooler change moves through the South West on Thursday and across the South East on Saturday but no relief further North until about Sunday. Below image showing max temps on Wednesday via BSCH.