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So far Jeff Higgins has created 118 blog entries.
26 05, 2017

2 Cold Blasts To End Autumn In South East Aust

Winter is coming and it will be certainly felts across South East Australia over the weekend into next week as 2 cold blasts move through! Snow, showers, frosts, and strong cold winds will be the main features from the upcoming systems on Sunday and Tuesday. South East SA, Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and the ACT will all need to rug up and light the fires, even Southern and Central QLD will feel the chill by mid next week. 

The first system will begin to impact Tasmania during Saturday afternoon and evening with strong North West winds to 90km hr. A band of scattered showers and rain areas will move across the state turning to snow down to 800m by late Sunday. 

The cold front will extend North into South Australia and Western Victoria late Saturday while pushing East across the state on Sunday. Strong Westerly winds with scattered showers across the state. These showers falling as snow above 1000m in the Alps with up to 5cm expected. 

In NSW,  Sunday morning rain areas and scattered showers across Southern and Northern inland districts with the chance of isolated storms through the Eastern half of the state Sunday afternoon. Any storms that do develop are likely to contain small hail due to very cold air aloft. Winds will turn cool to cold Westerlies by the evening. The ACT is also expecting some rain during the day with cold winds developing. 

Across Southern inland QLD on Sunday the weakened cold front will likely produce some scattered afternoon showers and isolated storms. Winds here will also turn much cooler Westerlies behind the trough in the evening. 

The second system on Tuesday and Wednesday is forecast to be even colder across South Eastern Australia while pushing as far North as Central QLD! Snow is likely to be much heavier and lower across Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and ACT. Up to 20cm could fall across the highlands of Tasmania with snow down to 700m. In the Alps and Snowy Mountains 30cm is forecast with snow down as low as 900m. The ACT Brindbellas and Central and Southern Tablelands of NSW should see some snow fall down to around 1000m. Below image: snow forecast via WindyTV

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South East SA, Tasmania, Victoria ands the Southern half of NSW including the ACT will all see scattered showers and the chance of some isolated storms with small hail from this second system as well. The highest 8 day totals are forecast through the Western half of Tasmania 50 – 100mm and across Victoria 15 – 25mm. 

The cold air will blast North right up to the QLD border on Tuesday then as far North as Central QLD on Wednesday. This will set up for widespread morning frosts next week through all 5 states including the ACT. 

Hobart won’t get over 13c from Sunday to Wednesday. Melbourne tops at 14 to 15c all next week. Canberra morning frosts and a max between 12 to 14c from Sunday onward. Adelaide is expecting a cool 17c. Sydney will feel the cold while Brisbane mostly escapes it. 

Subscribe here to Higgins Storm Chasing to gain access to detailed forecasts and maps in QLD, NSW, ACT & VIC! 

22 05, 2017

Stormchaser Captures Photos & Video Of Rare Upward Lightning

US stormchaser Max Olson captured these incredible photos and video of rare ground to cloud lightning this week in Oklahoma. Above image: copyright Max Olson via Facebook 

Max and storm chasing friend David Hunger were on their way home after a long day chasing tornados when severe thunderstorms unleashed a barrage of lightning. The pair pulled over and also managed to capture multiple upward lightning strikes on video camera much to their delight! Watch the amazing video below… 

 


Another INCREDIBLE video with already over 17 million views was captured by James Wolff! View the video posted to Facebook here! 

More about ground to cloud lightning or “upward lightning”

The most important finding about upward lightning by researcher Tom Warner is that it primarily occurs when there is a nearby positive cloud-to-ground flash. The electric field change caused by the preceding flash causes an upward positive leader to initiate from a tall object such as a building, tower or wind turbine. It is the shape of the tall object and the resulting enhancement in the electrical field that makes it possible for an upward leader to form following a nearby flash. Without the tall object, an upward leader would not develop.  Upward lightning was first studied in the 1930s when upward flashes from the Empire State Building in New York City were observed with Boys cameras and current sensing instrumentation. Source via ZT Research 


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Ground-to-cloud discharges have been observed in two distinct forms. The first variation, ‘Type A’, is less common but much more visually spectacular, and consists of a tree-like branch network literally ‘sprouting’ skyward off of the tip of the structure. As a ‘Type A’ discharge continues, the number of branches diminishes until only one or two main channels remain to carry secondary return strokes. The second ‘Type B’ is more common and consists of a single, branchless leader rocketing upward from the structure tip. Although ‘Type B’ ground-to-cloud strokes show no low-level branching, they commonly do eventually exhibit upward branching at some point near or above the cloud base. Above image and source via Dan Robinson published at Storm Highway


22 05, 2017

International Space Station Visible Directly Over Brisbane & SEQLD

Monday 22nd May 2017. Be sure to look up in the sky and show the kids! The ISS or International Space Station will make a visible pass directly over Brisbane and South East Queensland this evening for just over 6 minutes. Above image via ISS astroviewer.

The following times are for Brisbane, Ipswich, South East QLD and North East NSW districts. Beginning at 5:17pm this afternoon the ISS will start to be seen in the South West sky while heading towards the North East. At 5:20pm it will be passing directly over Brisbane and much of South East QLD / North East NSW. By 5:24pm it will vanish again off in the North East over the Coral Sea.
For other locations and exact times please click on this link and use the search box! 

These times are about 15 to 20 minutes after sunset which is the best time to view the ISS due to sunlight being reflected off the craft. It will look like a bright star moving across the sky and can be easily seen by eye. While there is some scattered low convective cloud cover across the region today this should mostly be gone by late this afternoon. 

 

ISS Fun Facts 

• It travels at 27,600km hr or 276 x faster than a car going along the highway!
• It orbits around the earth 15.5 times a day! 
• It weighs 419 tons or equivalent to 279 family cars!
• The ISS is bigger than a football field – 108 meters wide x 72 meters long! 
• There are 5 people on board ATM and it can hold 6! 
• It has been up there for 18 and a half years and has gone around the world over 100,000 times! 
• It flies between 330km and 435km above the earth and falls closer to the earth by 2km every month!

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Actual photo of the International Space Station via NASA
The next ISS visible fly over SEQLD will be next Tuesday 30th May 2017. We will post up a reminder! 

19 05, 2017

Rain increasing in SEQLD moderate falls possible

While Central and North QLD have copped an absolute May drenching, the rain is increasing across South East QLD on Friday! Widespread 25mm is likely with isolated falls of 50 to 100mm possible. Above image via Weatherzone. 

A surface trough developed along the South East coast on Thursday night delivering scattered falls of 25 to 50mm with isolated falls of 50 to 100mm between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast to 9am on Friday. Banksia Beach on Bribie Island has topped the count so far with 109mm. 

At 11am on Friday surface trough is currently located from Fraser Island to the Sunshine Coast where moderate rains areas are occurring. This trough is forecast to slide further South across the South East Coast during the rest of Friday and into Friday night. Scattered showers, rain areas with possible moderate falls and isolated storms are likely from Tin Can Bay to Coolangatta. The best falls are forecast along the coast tending lighter the further inland you go. Kingaroy, Toowoomba and Warwick are expected to see mainly showers at this stage. Gladstone, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Maryborough will also see scattered showers and light rain areas but again totals are not expected to be significant. 

Temperatures will remain cool under the rain and cloud with most locations struggling to a top of 20c. Winds will remain light from the South to East. 

On Saturday and Sunday some lingering instability is forecast to produce scattered showers and possible isolated storms South from Bundaberg to Taroom, East from Roma to St George. Rainfall totals on both days are expected to mainly be from 5 to 10mm unless a storm dumps 20mm under it. 

Fine conditions will return on Monday and continue through the week as a high pressure ridge becomes established. Below image: Rainfall forecast totals via WindTV

Subscribe to HSC here for detailed forecasts and maps across SEQLD! 
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18 05, 2017

Heavy Rain Storms & Strong Winds begin in NQLD – CQLD

Heavy rain has been falling across large parts of North Tropical and Central Queensland during the past 12 hrs with up to 100mm recorded. Another 100mm is likely and up to 200mm possible during the rest of Thursday and through Friday. Strong winds have also been felt across the Whitsundays with an 82km hr gust recorded at Hamilton Island. Above image: Radar and Satellite via Weatherzone.

HSC detailed forecast blog for NQLD / CQLD can be found here! 

Almost exactly to the forecast hour rain began to fall at Townsville late on Wednesday! Locations right across the city have picked up a welcome 50mm to 11am on Thursday with another 100mm possible from the system. 
Further South along the coast has seen some good falls so far with Ayr recording 52mm, Bowen 126mm, Hamilton Island 92mm and Mackay 50mm. Through the inland notable falls have occurred with Collinsville 57mm, Charters Towers 55mm and Georgetown 42mm. Below image: rainfall totals to 9am Thursday via BOM
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Hamilton Island has also seen some very strong wind gusts to 82km hr. These winds are set to continue during Thursday and Friday and may reach damaging strengths of 100km hr. 

Widespread rain areas and isolated storms are continuing Thursday morning between Ingham and Rockhampton inland to Moranbah. The trough along the Central Coast is likely to intensify further late Thursday and early Friday. Widespread rain areas with heavy falls and isolated storms will continue across the region. There is the potential for another widespread 100mm with falls as high as 300mm along the Central Coast and Whitsundays between Mackay and Townsville. Below image: 3 day rainfall forecast via WindyTV
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Townsville and Northern inland areas will welcome any drop they can get after missing out from TC Debbie. For the Central Coast and Whitsundays its not want they wanted after the severe flooding and destruction caused by TC Debbie just 7weeks ago. Many homes and business still have only temporary repairs ( tarps ) on their roofs. Heavy rain here is likely to cause further issues especially with flash flooding. 

Below image: HSC subscribers state rainfall forecast for Wednesday to 9am Thursday showing the accuracy of our forecasts issued 3 days ahead. Become a HSC subscriber here to gain access to detailed rainfall and storm forecast across the state! 

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17 05, 2017

200-400mm Forecast For Townsville, Mackay & Whitsundays

Latest live update for CQLD / NQLD at 11am on Thursday can be found here! 

The Central Coast of Queensland is forecast to be lashed with heavy rain and strong winds on Thursday and Friday with rainfall totals of 200-400mm expected. This wild weather comes as the area continues to rebuild after TC Debbie caused significant destruction to the Whitsundays and Central Coast  just 7 weeks ago. While Townsville almost completely missed out on rainfall from TC Debbie and has a very poor wet season, this heavy rain will be welcome… Not so for those further South! Above image via BSCH/GFS showing forecast rainfall totals.   

A Flood Watch has been issued by BOM for coastal areas between Tully and Gladstone with widespread totals of 100 to 200mm and isolated falls up to 400mm possible. Below image: 4 day rainfall forecast totals via BOM//PME

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Global model data is continuing to focus the heaviest rainfall between Townsville and Mackay just 24hrs out ahead of the system. While the widespread 100 to 200mm shouldn’t cause any issues apart from some local flash flooding, the higher amounts of 400mm + could lead to some bigger flood problems. Areas such as the Whitsundays, Airlie Beach, Bowen and Proserpine still have repairs being carried out after TC Debbie. This heavy rainfall should it fall is likely to cause further issues especially with flash flooding, road closures and leaking roofs. 

Strong East to South East winds with gusts to 90km hr are possible across the Whitsundays and Central Coast during Thursday and Friday. Again any houses or properties with temporary repairs may have further issues from these winds should they develop. 

The weather will start to turn wet late Wednesday as a trough approaches the North Tropical and Central Coasts with scattered showers increasing. During Thursday conditions will deteriorate as the system intensifies along the Central Coast and Whitsundays districts.

Widespread rain is forecast to develop on Thursday between Rockhampton and Tully including inland areas to Clermont, Moranbah and Charters Towers. Widespread moderate 24 hour falls of 50mm are likely with heavy falls of 100mm likely from Townsville to Mackay. The Bowen and Whitsunday areas could see local 24 hour falls up to 200mm at this stage. Strong East to South East winds with up to 90km hr gusts may also develop along the trough through the Whitsundays during the afternoon and evening. 

During Friday similar widespread moderate to heavy rainfall and totals are forecast across the same regions. The strong winds are expected to peak before lunch then slowly ease during the afternoon. Rain should begin to ease late Friday afternoon as the system slowly moves East offshore. 

By Saturday the wild weather will be all over with just the chance of a few showers. 

This type of weather is not unheard of at this time of year but is certainly out of the normal wet season. The river flooding will be considerably less than TC Debbie though areas under the heaviest rainfall are likely to see flash flooding develop. 

SUBSCRIBE here to HSC for our detailed rainfall and storm forecast maps across QLD including Email alerts! 

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16 05, 2017

Rain And Storms Through Southern & Central QLD This Week

While Northern and Central parts of Queensland brace for heavy rain and storms this week the Southern half of the state is also expecting some wet weather. Above image via Pivotal Weather – Rainfall forecast totals Red / Yellow = 50 to 100m, Purple 25 to 50mm, Blue up to 25mm. 

Shower and storm activity is likely develop as early as Wednesday in the South West of the state due to the arrival of a strong upper trough. Birdsville could see a gusty storm and up to 10mm of rain as the trough sweeps through.

A surface trough and upper trough intensify on Thursday through Western districts. Scattered showers, storms and rain areas will develop during the day through the Central West and South West. Some storms likely severe with moderate to locally heavy falls expected during the day and night. Thargomindah, Cunnamulla and Quilpie should see some good rain activity around with up to 25 – 50mm possible. Longreach and Charleville also both have good chances of seeing evening showers and storms develop.
Meanwhile rain areas will spread South into Emerald and Rockhampton with about 25mm expected.
Onshore winds increase along the Wide bay and Burnett and South East Coast with scattered showers developing Thursday afternoon. 

Very early Friday morning a strong surface trough may develop near Gympie and the Sunshine Coast then moving South down the Coast through Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast during the day. Moderate falls of 25 – 50mm are likely across the South East Coast district with isolated locally higher totals are possible near the coast and hinterland. 
Onshore winds will strengthen along the coast with scattered showers and rain areas from Rockhampton south to Gympie with totals of 10 to 25mm. 
The inland trough running from Longreach down to Thargomindah will continue to generate a band of scattered showers, storms and rain areas with moderate falls. This activity will progress East during the day and evening reaching Charleville and St George. Rainfall totals up to 25mm in the South West. Scattered showers are possible through remaining Southern and Central inland where up to 10mm may fall. 

During Saturday isolated showers will clear towards the Coast East from Longreach to Charleville.  

Forecast data is suggesting the the Darling Downs and Granite Belt and Wide bay and Burnett districts could receive the lowest rainfall totals of around 10 to 15mm. This may be due to being stuck between the inland trough and general onshore winds along the coast.

HSC Premium Membership provides detailed rainfall totals and storm forecast maps out to 4 days ahead across QLD along a week ahead outlook, long range outlook, video forecasts and email alerts. 

Subscribe to HSC here to gain access to our members content! 

16 05, 2017

Heavy Rain & Storms For Central & North QLD

Latest live update for CQLD / NQLD at 11am Thursday can be found here! 

FORECAST FOR CQLD / NQLD UPDATED 17/5/17 click here for details! 

Is this the long awaited heavy rain that Townsville missed out on from TC Debbie? Looks like it with between 100 and 200mm forecast to fall across large parts of Central and North Tropical Queensland this week! Above image via WindyTV. Subscribe here for HSC forecasts and maps! 

While Mackay the Central Coast and Whitsundays probably don’t need it, Townsville and Northern inland areas are desperate for rain after yet another failed wet season. 

Large areas from the South East Gulf through Northern inland and Central inland South to Emerald and Rockhampton will also get good rain with between 25 to 50mm forecast. 

The system will begin late on Wednesday as a surface trough moves West from the Coral Sea towards the Central and North Coasts. Scattered showers will develop along the coast late between Mackay and Cairns and are likely to turn into rain areas overnight.  

On Thursday the surface trough and deep tropical feed intensifies between Rockhampton and Cairns as it crosses the coast heading further inland. Rain areas with moderate to locally heavy falls are likely along the coast, also inland along and West of the ranges. Afternoon storms will also fire up through the Northern inland and Central inland districts with some of them possibly SEVERE. The dry line at this stage for storms to develop is from the Southern Gulf through Richmond down to just West of Longreach. 

Not a whole lot changes on Friday with continued moderate to locally heavy rain and possible storms through the inland districts. On Saturday the system pushes towards the East and take the heavy rain offshore with mostly scattered showers expected.

Strong gusty South East winds are forecast to develop along the coast between Mackay and Townsville early Thursday and last through Friday.  Maximum temperatures will take a dive on both days to between 21c and 24c under the rain and cloud. 

Some flash flooding in the known trouble spots will likely become the main issue along with added stress to those who still have damaged houses and property after TC Debbie. 

Detailed daily rainfall and storm forecast maps have been issued to subscribers covering this system right across QLD.  

Become a subscriber here to gain access the our Premium Membership service! 

12 05, 2017

A wet Mothers Day on the cards for SEQLD & NENSW

If you’re considering an outdoor event for this Mothers Day on Sunday in South East QLD and North East NSW you may want to reconsider…Above image via BOM. 

An upper level trough with cold air aloft will move across Northern NSW and Southern QLD during the weekend increasing instability levels. A deepening onshore flow is forecast to develop across both regions on Saturday before a surface trough and possible surface low develop along the South East QLD and North East NSW coasts over night Saturday and during Sunday. 

Showers are expected to develop along the coast South from Fraser Island on Saturday with increasing showers, light rain areas and possible isolated inland storms on Saturday afternoon and evening. This rainfall activity is more likely to occur across the Darling Downs and Granite Belt and the South East Coast districts of QLD. 

Early Sunday morning the trough strengthens along the coast while producing continued scattered showers and light rain areas across far South East QLD with activity extending South into North East NSW. A small surface low may develop along the South East QLD / North East NSW coast and move South which would increase winds and rainfall with moderate falls possible from about Brisbane south to Port Macquarie.

Rainfall totals for Saturday and Sunday are 10 – 25mm in SEQLD, increasing to 25 – 50mm for NENSW with generally lighter falls up to 10mm inland.  

A more widespread significant rainfall event is forecast across QLD and NSW towards the end of next week. Once data becomes more confident we will release our forecasts. 

For detailed rainfall forecasts and maps across SEQLD and NENSW subscribe to Higgins Storm Chasing here! 

9 05, 2017

Tropical Cyclone Ella develops & heads towards Fiji

FINAL HSC UPDATE Friday 12th May 2017 – TC Ella remains a category 2 system however she is expected to weaken back to a category 1 system during the next 24 hours. The system is forecast to continue tracking West during the next 24 to 48hrs and stay to the North of Fiji. By Sunday the cyclone is expected to dissipate into a weak low level circulation. Far Northern islands and areas of Fiji may receive some gales with gusts to 90km hr over the next few days. Some periods of rain and thunderstorms are forecast. TC Ella does not pose a significant risk to Fiji at this stage. Above image via NOAA. Below image forecast track map issued on Friday 12th May 2017 via Fiji Met Service – Dark orange = Warning of gales or stronger within 24 hours, Orange = Alert of gales or stronger within 24 – 48 hours.

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UPDATED Thursday 11th May 2017 – TC Ella is now a category 2 system has continued to track West North West during the past 24 hours. Lack of upper level outflow is forecast to limit further intensification during the next 24 hours with a weakening of the system expected late Friday into Saturday due to increasing wind shear. TC Ella is forecast to continue tracking West during Thursday and may turn slightly South West on Friday while resuming a Westerly track on Saturday though models remain very divided on exact tracks. Despite the current forecast intensity from Fiji Met suggesting Ella reaching a category 3 system, global model data and JTWC forecasts say she will remain a category 2 system on Thursday while gradually weakening to a category 1 on Friday and a low on Saturday. Damaging wind gusts to 110km hour are likely to develop over Northern and Eastern divisions of Fiji during Friday and Saturday. Some moderate to locally heavy rain and thunderstorms with flash flooding will also develop across Northern Fiji though totals are not expected to exceed 100mm. Below image forecast track map issued on Thursday 11th May 2017 via Fiji Met Service – Dark orange = Warning of gales or stronger within 24 hours, Orange = Alert of gales or stronger within 24 – 48 hours.  

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ISSUED Tuesday 9th May 2017 – Yet another tropical cyclone has developed this week in the South Pacific, this one tracking West towards Fiji. While record breaking severe TC Donna has been the main focus during the past week reaching a cat 5 bringing damage and destruction to Northern parts of Vanuatu and now impacting New Caledonia, another tropical disturbance has been brewing under the radar. 

It was discovered overnight on Monday by an ASCAT wind pass that deep convection was obscuring the Low Level Circulation Center which in fact had tight rotational tropical storm force winds to 40knots. The JTWC ( Joint Typhoon Warning Center ) issued tropical cyclone warning no. 1 for 19P after briefly issuing a cyclone formation alert for the tropical disturbance invest 91P on Tuesday May 9th 2017. The system is in the Fiji Met Service area of responsibility and they have quickly followed by issuing their first warning threat map and thus naming Ella. Below image: Track, intensity and threat map forecast via Fiji Met Service issued on Tuesday 9th May 2017. Dark orange = Warning of gales or stronger within 24 hours, Orange = Alert of gales or stronger within 24 – 48 hours. 

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Despite her angry faced looks Ella is forecast to reach a peak intensity of category 2 through her life cyclone at this stage. The system is forecast by global models to quickly track West during the next 48 hours possibly reaching Fiji before turning South. Heavy rainfall to 150mm and damaging to destructive storm force winds to 150km hr may impact Northern divisions and islands of Fiji towards the end of this week. Locals and visitors in Fiji should keep a close eye on future forecasts and warnings in case the system develops further becoming more of a risk.  

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