About Thomas

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Thomas has created 217 blog entries.
7 11, 2018

Here comes the cool change!

After 5 days of relentless well above average heat, the strongest heatwave for November in over 2 decades for SEQLD, the cool change is FINALLY on its way! Above image showing the change circled in blue, with the cooler South and South West winds marked in purple via BSCH.


Since Saturday until today (Wednesday), large parts of Inland QLD and the South East corner of the State have been under a relentless heatwave. A heatwave that has seen several locations break 20+ year old streaks for November standards along with some November records being challenged and broken. While the Coastal strip in SEQLD wasn’t so bad, it had the added influence of high humidity… making the days just as uncomfortable as those areas further Inland that saw the very high temperatures.

Some of the streaks and records that were achieved include.
*Gatton recorded 3 straight days above 39ºc and 4 straight days above 37ºc+, the first time for both in November since 1996 (22 years)
*Toowoomba recorded back to back 35ºc+ days for the first time in November since 1996 (22 years)
*Ipswich recorded 4 straight 36ºc+ days for the first time in November since 1996 (22 years)
*Warwick recorded 4 straight 35ºc+ days for the first time in November since 2009 (9 years)
*Miles, Stanthorpe, Dalby, Oakey, Kingaroy, Gympie, all recorded their hottest November streaks since 2014 (4 years)
*Ballera recorded 5 straight days above 41ºc for the first time in November since 2012 (6 years)

From a records point of view,
*Ipswich recorded its hottest November night on record with 23.8ºc (records dating back to 1941)
*Charleville 29.4ºc & St George 28.6ºc had their warmest nights since 1965 for November, the second warmest night ever for Charleville in November (0.2ºc short of the 1965 record)
*Windorah recorded a very warm 31.7ºc night
*Birdsville recorded a 31.1ºc night
*Several towns recorded 28ºc+ nights across Southern Inland, Central Inland, North West, South West and Western QLD at some stage, with any other nights during the heat period being 25ºc+

The change is already being seen through South West QLD where today Birdsville maxed at just 22.1ºc and Ballera 22.4ºc – a massive 19ºc colder than yesterday! The current temperature in Ballera is a mere 15.7ºc, thats 22ºc colder than this time yesterday as well.

Forecast maximums cross Southern and SE QLD tomorrow (Thursday) via BSCH / OCF


While temperatures will remain near average tomorrow (Thursday) across South East QLD, the humidity will be taken way out of the equation so it will feel very comfortable. Tonight will remain fairly warm due to cloud coverage trapping some of the heat in, but the cool change should still move through and bring with it much drier South to South Westerly winds which will cut the humidity out of the air and make it actually feel quite pleasant. Across Inland areas it should be much cooler tonight, with temperatures dropping into the low teens. This should transition into a much colder day tomorrow (something similar to what SW QLD saw today) (see image above).

Forecast minimums via OCF / BSCH for Wednesday night into Thursday morning


4 11, 2018

Worst of the heat yet to come for SEQLD

It was hot today (Sunday) but the worst of the heat is yet to come, with models indicating Monday and Tuesday will absolutely scorch and lead to this becoming the strongest November heatwave for SEQLD since 1996 for some areas! Above image Maximums for Monday via BSCH / OCF.




Sunday was quite hot across SEQLD (for SEQLD standards, not Inland QLD standards). Gatton topped out at 39.9ºc and almost 10ºc above the November average. Ipswich, Beaudesert, Kingaroy, Greenback, Oakey, Dalby, Warwick, Wellcamp and other locations all climbed to 35ºc+ which is above the threshold for heatwave status. However, these same areas are expected to see the heat turn up another notch and match heatwave thresholds for Summer standards.

Over the course of Monday and Tuesday, the airmass overhead is expected to strengthen and become warmer, while winds are expected to direct more out o the North West rather than the North… this is notoriously a hot setup for South East QLD standards (and really for most places along the East Coast of Australia, South of Mackay). This will allow temperatures to climb a few degrees onto Sunday’s standards and potentially nudge towards the hottest temperatures of the year.


Gatton is expected to eclipse 40ºc both days, this will be the first time since 2014 thats happened in November. This will also be the first time since 1996 that Gatton has recorded 3 straight 39ºc days in November (39.5, 41.0, 40.0 back then). Ipswich is expected to nudge 39ºc also, possibly even 40ºc. While the majority of locations away from the Coastal strip are expected to climb into the mid to high 30’s. Closer to the Coast it will be much cooler (Brisbane 34ºc, bayside suburbs barely scraping into the low 30’s) however the humidity will be woeful through these areas and it could end up feeling just as hot as Inland areas.

This is once again a timely reminder to be responsible in this kind of heat. Avoid strenuous activity, drink plenty of water, wear the appropriate clothing and look after those around you – both humans and animals.

OCF Forecast Maximums for Tuesday via OCF / BSCH


4 11, 2018

Severe Weather To Lash South Australia

South Australia is expected to see widespread severe and possibly even dangerous thunderstorms during Monday as an intense storm bearing system moves across the State! Above image SWEAT values via GFS / BSCH.


Monday is set to be wild across South Australia with all global models in agreement that a very strong surface trough linked with a low pressure system is set to move across the State. This system is likely to draw in a significant increase in moisture from the South and South West which will combine with an increase in upper level support and good surface heating over Inland areas to produce widespread moderate to strong instability across the State. This instability is likely to result in widespread thunderstorms across the majority of the State, especially across Inland areas where the combination of heat, moisture and trough positioning is at its greatest.


A strong mid level jet (winds in the mid levels of the atmosphere) is expected to coincide with storm potential. This will likely combine with dry low levels of the atmosphere and increased energy above the freezing level. What this all means is that storms will have an increased potential for damaging straight line winds and large hail, while microbursts will also be an increased threat where destructive winds of 125km/h+ are possible (this of course isn’t a guarantee, but an increased risk). Storms will be faster moving too because of that mid level jet, but reasonable rainfall totals are still possible. 

Forecast sounding for Central SA, Monday afternoon via GFS. This is showing dry low levels in the atmosphere, strong straight line winds in the mid levels and increased energy above 0ºc, all leading to an increased risk of damaging to destructive winds and large hail


The majority of activity is expected to shift away from major populated areas such as Adelaide City, Adelaide Metro, the West Coast and South East. Places like Woomera, Coober Pedy, Tarcoola, Port Augusta, Oodnadatta, Roxby Downs, Woomera, The Eyre Peninsula region, Renmark and surrounds are in the firing line and this will mean there is of course a chance of power outages. Please follow updates and warnings throughout the day to ensure you can take the right precautions to prepare.

Thunderstorm threat potential via EC / Windy


1 11, 2018

Temperatures To Skyrocket Across SEQLD

Temperatures are about to skyrocket well above the normal expectations for November for an extended period of time across the South East corner of Queensland. Above image showing Monday maximums across the South East quarter of the State. 


From Saturday until Wednesday, the South East of QLD is expected to endure abnormally warm temperatures, both daytime and night time. Day time maximums are certainly expected to reach the requirements of 5ºc+ above average for 3+ consecutive days for heatwave standards, however its the night minimums that may prevent this event from being called a “heatwave” as night times should still drop back towards normal until the end of the event (Tuesday and Wednesday) when we may start to see minimums failing to fall below 20ºc for the first time this season.

OCF Forecast Maximums for Saturday, November 3rd via BSCH


This is all being brought on by a warm, slow moving air mass which is expected to combine with a surface trough over the region to direct very warm to hot and dry air across the Darling Downs, Granite Belt, Wide Bay and Inland parts of the South East Coast. Across Coastal parts of the South East Coast (on the Coastal side of the trough), very warm and humid Northerly winds are likely to become relentless across the region. So while the temperatures won’t be too “dramatic”, the humidity will account for whats been missed.

Across the 5 days, Saturday is well truly expected to be the coolest. From Sunday to Wednesday however, Brisbane is expected to reach 34ºc+ each day, Ipswich 37ºc+, Gympie 35ºc+, Gatton 38ºc+, Sunshine Coast 34ºc+, Dalby and Oakey 36ºc+ just to name a few. The peak of the heat will be Monday and Tuesday when some areas are expected to nudge 40ºc and maybe areas push into the high 30s. 

While these temperatures aren’t expected to challenge records, and they’re certainly not foreign for this time of year as we edge towards Summer. Its a timely reminder to be sensible whilst outdoors in the heat, wear the appropriate clothing, stay hydrated, put sunscreen on and make sure you look after the elder, young children, pregnant woman and pets / animals.

OCF Forecast Maximums for Tuesday, November 6th via BSCH



25 10, 2018

Near-Record Breaking October Heat to Sizzle QLD

Its been hot the last few days across Inland QLD, but models are now indicating its only going to scorch even hotter as some October records could potentially get broken across Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Above image – Forecast maximums via OCF / BSCH for Saturday.


A warm air mass has been firmly situated across Inland QLD for the last week or so, gradually increasing in strength and combining with hot, dry winds to produce above average heat across the majority of Inland QLD, but in particular Western districts. Over the next few days, this warm air aloft is expected to fractionally strengthen and combine with low humidity and a trough system which will allow overall impacts to be enhanced (such as temperature). This will lead to majority of Inland QLD scorching to above 40ºc and well above the October average for any location, with some pushing the mid 40’s!

Forecast maximums for Friday via OCF. Image via BSCH


• Birdsville is expected to reach 43ºc across both Friday and Saturday, however it wouldn’t be a shock if temperatures nudged 45ºc given what happened today (Thursday). This would challenge the 1995 record of 45.1ºc. 
• Longreach is expected to reach 43ºc both Saturday and Sunday, with 42ºc+ on Monday, this will likely break the 1928 October record of 42.9ºc. 
• Blackall is expected to nudge 42ºc both days over the weekend – this will challenge the 42.2ºc record from 2004
• Barcaldine is also going for 42ºc on both weekend days – this could break the 41.8ºc record of 2002.
• Winton is going for 43ºc on both Saturday & Monday with 44ºc on Sunday. Its unlikely, but the 44.5ºc 1972 record could be challenged. 
• Richmond over Northern Inland QLD is heading for 43.0ºc on Sunday, which will likely challenge the 43.30c 1918 record.
• Hughenden’s 1999 40.4ºc record is almost certain to go with temperatures of 40ºc+ expected from Friday to Tuesday and up to 42ºc on Sunday. 
• Julia Creek hit 42.3ºc in 1995… this should be broken across the weekend with 43ºc forecast for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Forecast maximums for Sunday via OCF. Image via BSCH



Across the South East of the State. Friday is shaping up the be the hottest October day since 2014 for most areas as temperatures push into the mid 30’s. Brisbane is the exception with a forecast top of 36ºc – this would be the hottest October day since 2005, and if it reached 36.4ºc then that would be the hottest October day since 2004 when it almost hit 39ºc.

Forecast maximums for Friday via OCF. Image via BSCH


25 10, 2018

Super Typhoon Yutu batters Tinian!

Super Typhoon Yutu has become the 11th Category 5 system of 2018 and overnight severely impacted the Northern Mariana Islands including a DIRECT hit on Tinian, where the eye was bigger than the island! Above image via RAMMB / CIRA.



Super Typhoon Yutu has rapidly intensified over the past 12-18 hours as it barrels West across the Western Pacific. Overnight, this rapid intensification coincided with a direct hit on the small island of Tinian in the Northern Mariana Island group (North of Guam). The system brought with it 260-280km/h sustained winds with gusts in excess of 350km/h possible along with torrential rainfall. The damaging wind gust swath likely has extended across the entire Northern Mariana Island group with heavy rain being associated with it, leading to likely widespread damage and a small path of catastrophic, life threatening damage near the pinhole eye. While our thoughts and prayers are with those who have just been impacted, we are also looking into the future at what this menace has planned for next.


Wind Swath via EC model showing a dense 200km/h (black colour) path and 250km/h (white) sporadic zones. Image via Windy



Regardless of which model you look at, Yutu won’t be weakening any time soon, as it enters a marginally to moderately favourable environment where will at least maintain its insane strength, or even fractionally intensify a little further. Models are in agreement that the system will maintain its Westerly path before interacting with a ridge which is building to the West over South East Asia. This ridge will be the be all and end all of this system, and something we are watching closely. If the ridge builds as expected or earlier than expected, then Yutu will go North into open waters and die a quick death under very unfavourable conditions (cooler waters and increased vertical wind shear), if the ridge builds slower than expected (keeping in mind its 5-7 days out, so there is subject for change), then places like Taiwan may be in the firing line, or possibly Japan given the ridge will cause it to veer North. Its not a time to panic, but something to keep an eye on.


JTWC Forecast Track for Yutu


23 10, 2018

Summer-like Heat To Sizzle Inland QLD!

While it hasn’t been at October standards yet… Inland QLD is about to get a taste of Summer as a string of 40ºc+ days lingers across large areas! Above image via OCF for Friday.



Insane heat isn’t uncommon across Inland QLD during October… take Birdsville’s 45ºc in 1995 (or the 5 other time’s Birdsville has cracked 44ºc), Windorah with 44.5ºc back in 2002, Longreach’s 44ºc back in 2002 as well. For many of these areas though, despite no rain or storms being present, it’s been a struggle to really hit the high notes when it comes to October heat.. until now…

Over the next several days, large parts of Inland QLD are likely to bake in over 40ºc heat. This large area includes the North West, West, South West, Central & Northern Inland on most days and parts of Southern Inland on various days. By definition, the daytime maximums expected are likely to exceed the thresholds for heatwave criteria (3+ days in a row of 5ºc+ above average), however its the minimums that are likely to keep it below a technical heatwave threshold (3+ nights in a row of 5ºc+ above average) with many places likely to be near their October minimums (so coolish nights and hot days).


OCF Forecast Maximums for QLD during Thursday. Image via BSCH



The heat should begin on Wednesday and last through until mostly likely Sunday, but possibly linger into Monday for some Central & Northern Inland areas. During Thursday, Friday and Saturday its likely to peak with Birdsville looking at back to back 43ºc days, Boulia & Bedourie 4 straight days of 42ºc, Windorah 4 straight days of 41ºc, Winton potentially seeing back to back 43ºc days, Longreach & Richmond back to back 42ºc. For many of these mentioned areas, it could be the hottest individual daily October temp since 2014.

The heat should spread towards the Coast towards the weekend also with the Capricornia heading into the high 30’s (includes Rockhampton, Biloela, Thangool). The Central Highlands pushing towards 40ºc (including Emerald, Moranbah). Cooler conditions directly on the Coast, but increased humidity will make it feel muggy.


OCF Forecast Maximums for QLD during Saturday. Image via BSCH


23 10, 2018

Burst Of Heat To Bake SEQLD!

The heat is about to get turned up for South Eastern QLD with the hottest temperatures in 4 years for October likely to impact the region despite being on track for a well below average October! Above image via OCF for Friday. 



The majority of places across South East QLD, the Darling Downs, Wide Bay and surrounds are running at about 2ºc below average for October. Some are a little closer to average than that, but some (like Dalby at almost 3ºc below average) are running much cooler. So this burst of heat, while its not uncommon for October.. it may come as a bit of a shock to the body for many people (many will also like it though too).  

Its certainly not a heatwave by any stretch, but Wednesday is likely to see the first taste of summer-like heat with maximums becoming widespread above 30ºc and some areas like Ipswich and Gatton pushing 33ºc. This will be met with temperatures further Inland across the Downs and Southern QLD, as well as further North well and truly pushing into the mid 30’s. A bit of reprieve is expected on Thursday, although Inland areas are likely to see the temperature skyrocket. Then Friday is likely to see temperatures skyrocket across the South East of the State where many places may see their hottest October day in 4 years (since records were obliterated when multiple locations recorded back to back 40ºc days across the South East). 


OCF Forecast Maximums for Wednesday via BSCH



For Friday,
Ipswich 37ºc, Gayndah 37ºc, Gatton 36ºc, Miles 36ºc, Archerfield 35ºc, Beaudesert 35ºc, Gympie 35ºc, Brisbane 34ºc, Maryborough 33ºc are all expected to record their hottest October day since 2014. Other areas across the Wide Bay and Darling Downs may not see their hottest October day since 2014, but likely their hottest day of October this year. Note: ZERO forecasts are indicating any records to be broken.

The heat is expected to linger at near to slightly above average across the weekend before a rapid cool change occurs on Monday, so some areas could end up seeing a run of 5, 6 or more days in a row above 30ºc across SEQLD, but only 1 or 2 of those days should be at the upper end of the spectrum.


OCF Forecast Maximums for Monday via BSCH


23 10, 2018

Hurricane Willa to impact Mexico tomorrow!

Hurricane Willa overnight has added to the list of tropical systems to reach Category 5 strength in 2018 as it barrels towards the Western Mexico Coast, with a likely landfall tomorrow. Above image via RAMMB / CIRA.



Its not uncommon for late October to produce some absolute monster hurricanes in the Eastern Pacific. Its kind of the “second season” for them. While the season typically winds down during October, historically there always seems to be one last system that has to try and outdo the rest.. it may only be one or two, but they usually go big (remember Hurricane Patricia with 400km/h winds??). Well Willa is that system this year.



Overnight (AUS time), Willa rapidly intensified into a Category 5 beast, West of Mexico. As it stands, Willa is the 10th system to reach Category 5 strength in 2018 (1 in AUS during March, 6 Super Typhoons and 3 Pacific Category 5 Hurricanes). Thankfully though, as models predicted, Willa is already undergoing a weakening pattern as it interacts with increased wind shear on approach to Mexico.. this has allowed Willa to weaken back to a Category 4 system (still very dangerous), but it should weaken back to a Category 3 prior to landfall tomorrow (Wednesday AUS time). 


Forecast track by the National Hurricane Center for Hurricane Willa


Despite this weakening pattern, very destructive winds of more than 170km/h are likely on landfall, with gusts potentially reaching 200km/h near the centre of the system. Heavy to torrential rainfall is likely to be the biggest issue with 24hr rainfall totals of 100-200mm likely near the landfall location over Western Mexico, along with a moderate storm surge which will cause issues with localised inundations along the Coast. The other promising thing is once the system starts to make landfall its expected to RAPIDLY weaken, and should be below tropical storm strength within 18-24hrs of landfall. This will mean the focus of any damage and flooding will be along the Western Mexico Coast between Culiacan and Puerto Vallarta including Tepic and Mazatlan. 


Wind Swath forecast by EC for Willa, showing a very isolated overall impacts near the direct landfall (blue/purple is above cyclone thresholds). Image via Windy


19 10, 2018

Severe Storm Outbreak LIKELY across SEQLD & NENSW

Models are indicating that the South East quarter of QLD (areas South of Rockhampton to Emerald and East of Roma & St George) as well as North East NSW are about to receive another severe thunderstorm outbreak lasting from Sunday to at least Wednesday, possibly longer. Above image – 5 day rainfall via Windy (yellow >20mm, orange >50mm).



To become a Higgins Storm Chasing Subscriber CLICK HERE


While some thunderstorms are expected across Southern Inland QLD and a large portion of Eastern and extensive parts of Inland NSW during Saturday… its from Sunday onwards that models are significantly ramping up the thunderstorm potential cross SEQLD and NENSW. A surface trough is expected to remain firmly positioned across the region, drawing in very warm and humid air and mixing that with upper level support to produce widespread moderate to strong instability everyday from Sunday through to Wednesday. This is likely to produce scattered thunderstorms, many of which are likely to become severe for damaging winds, heavy rain and large hail, during those days. Some models are continuing on the severe storm outbreak through Thursday and into Friday, however there is low agreement between models on that scenario at this stage. 



The focus area within the South East corner of QLD and North East of NSW will shift each day between Sunday and Wednesday. In other words, the potential is better Inland on some days and better on the Coast for other days. So that doesn’t mean people are expected to get a severe storm every single day, but they will be around. There is also the potential for some supercells during this outbreak given the atmosphere is showing somewhat of a turning environment which will allow severe storms to begin to rotate. In saying that, only a couple of supercells are expected at this stage (unlike last Thursday), and the tornado threat is LOW. 

Outside of the main threat region, isolated to scattered storms, with some severe are expected to continue across Eastern NSW. While there is high potential across Saturday, some other days between Sunday and Wednesday (not all days) pose a widespread threat too.

With the potential for severe storms very high over the next several days, its a timely reminder that severe storms can cause damage and we urge people to pay close attention to official warnings as well as any alerts coming through HSC to ensure they remain safe. 


SWEAT values via BSCH (one model) for Sunday across SEQLD & NENSW.