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4 12, 2019

Extreme Heat Coming For Queensland!

2019-12-04T12:50:28+10:00

Extreme heat is expected to bake much of Queensland for the next EXTENSIVE period of time with the first round being over Friday and Saturday and then continuing Inland into Sunday. Above image: Maximums for Saturday across Queensland via HSC / OCF. 

 

 

While heat in Queensland any time of year, let alone Summer is common, this period of heat coming up is expected to be excessive and extensive with much of the State staying HOTTER THAN NORMAL for even December standards. This heat will also coincide with maximums challenging and possibly even breaking records across South East QLD. This heat will also be a staple for producing consistent elevated fire dangers throughout the next week – especially over Eastern and South East QLD. 

While the period of excessive heat is expected to last for the next week… round 1 is likely to be confined to Friday, Saturday and then Sunday for Inland areas (not so much the Coast). This is due to a surface trough or surface boundary becoming situated EXTREMELY CLOSE to the Coastline over Eastern QLD. The positioning of this trough will allow for hot and dry West to South West winds to surge across the State, impacting all areas except for the beach front. Temperatures even hotter aloft will combine with these surface features to see daytime maximums skyrocket over most of the State with a focal point being the South Eas corner. 

 

During Sunday, the heat is likely to remain… if not build further over Inland areas. However a cool change moving up the South East Coast and a stronger sea breeze front will help drop Coastal temperatures somewhat. Despite this, maximums across these areas will still be hotter than normal for December standards – just up to 5-8ºc cooler than Saturday. 

Over the period of Friday and Saturday, Ipswich is expected to climb to 41 and 43ºc respectively. While this is just shy of the December record, it is still around 10ºc above ‘normal’ for this time of year. Gatton is going for something similar, however the December record of 42ºc could very well be broken on Saturday with a forecast top of 43ºc. For Brisbane, temperatures of 38 and 39ºc are forecast – this is around 8ºc hotter than the December average of 30 and a bit – however Brisbane is one of those places that is heavily dependant on the sea breeze front positioning, so a temperature of 40ºc cant be ruled out, but a max of less than 35ºc isn’t out of the question either.

 

Places like Longreach that have a December average of 37ºc, the maximum is climbing to around 42 or 43ºc which is 5-6ºc above average, and Winton is pushing for 44 or maybe even 45ºc! For some Inland locations, Friday and Saturday will be the beginning of 7+ straight days above 43ºc (and some days of 45ºc+) which is very excessive given no location in Queensland averages more than 39ºc for the month. 

 

QLD temperatures across Sunday via Windy

 

 

Extreme Heat Coming For Queensland!2019-12-04T12:50:28+10:00
1 12, 2019

Intense Heatwave To Bake SEQLD!

2019-12-01T18:52:40+10:00

Intense heatwave conditions are forecast to bake the South East of QLD over the course of the next week with temperatures pushing into the 40’s for some areas and around 7-10ºc above average for December standards. Above image – HSC in-house constructed heat map showing maximum temperatures across the South East Coast for Friday, December 6th.

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A HIGGINS STORM CHASING SUBSCRIBER

A surface trough is forecast to become situated between the Coastline and Ranges throughout South Eastern QLD during the upcoming week. Each day, the trough is expected to bounce between the Ranges and Coast, some days it’ll be closer to the Coast and other days closer to the Ranges. The exact positioning of the trough will be vital for who escapes the high-end heating and cops the humidity, and who gets the dry fan forced oven heat. 

While the period of Monday and Tuesday will be above average for even December standards with most areas pushing into the low to mid 30’s. Wednesday through to Saturday is when the real heat kicks in. The trough is expected to become situated extremely close to the Coast during this period and this will allow maximum heating to push as close to the Coast as possible. Areas like the Gold Coast and Redcliffe will be your escapes with these areas being 5-8ºc cooler than even Brisbane or areas 10 minutes Inland from the Coast. 

HSC in-house temperatures forecast for Wednesday December 4th, 2019.

 

Friday and Saturday are the peak heat days with large portions of Interior South East QLD, Interior Northern Rivers (NENSW) and the Burnett region into Central QLD peaking at over 40ºc. Even places like Brisbane under the influence of Westerly winds will see temperatures into the high 30’s. A cool change should be moving up the NENSW Coast during Saturday and this will enter SEQLD on Sunday. 

These conditions when coupled with gusty winds will lead to elevated fire dangers across the entire week. For places like Gatton, Ipswich, Gayndah, Gympie, Beaudesert – while Summer is usually hot, the December average sits around 32ºc for these places. So temperatures in excess of 37ºc are considered heat-wave thresholds (remembering the term heatwave is purely mathematical and based on forecast vs average, not expectation). For Brisbane who averages 30ºc for December, anything over 35ºc is considered heatwave material. These thresholds are likely to be met during this period.

For Central and Northern QLD, heatwave conditions are likely as well, with temperatures pushing into the mid 40’s towards the end of the week over Central Inland, Northern Inland and North West QLD. We will have a blog dedicated to that over the coming days.

HSC in-house temperatures forecast for Saturday December 7th, 2019.

Intense Heatwave To Bake SEQLD!2019-12-01T18:52:40+10:00
28 11, 2019

QLD To Feel The Summer Heat!

2019-11-28T14:03:48+10:00

An intense DAYTIME heatwave is about to sweep across South East and Central QLD delivering a period of relentless HOTTER THAN NORMAL conditions for these areas. Above image showing maximums for Wednesday, December 4th 2019 across South East and parts of Central QLD. Above image – Maximums for Wednesday across SEQLD & CQLD.

 

STORM FORECASTS ARE AVAILABLE HERE.

 

During the weekend, a surface trough is expected to become situated near the Ranges across South East QLD, bending back through Southern Inland and Central Inland QLD. This will allow for Northerly winds to feed across South East and Central Eastern QLD which is likely to see not only temperatures but humidity increase across these areas. For the ‘true’ heat, you will probably need to head Inland as places like Brisbane, Gladstone and Bundaberg are expected to see maybe 32ºc, where as Ipswich, Gatton and Rockhampton are heading for more like 37ºc. 

 

Forecast maximums for Saturday, November 30th across SEQLD & CQLD via BSCH / OCF.

 

 

On Monday, the trough is expected to become situated right along the Coast throughout South East and Central Eastern QLD. This will direct much hotter and drier winds from Inland QLD towards the Coast. The trough is then expected to bounce between the Ranges and Coastline for the remainder of the week which will enable hot conditions to bake areas away from the Coast.

Across the period of Saturday to Friday (7 straight days) Ipswich is heading for 36ºc or higher, with peak temperatures around 38-39ºc. Gatton is heading for 7 straight days of 36ºc+ as well, with only 1 day below 38ºc during that time. Rockhampton will see maximums of 37ºc+ from Sunday to Thursday with peak temperatures around 40ºc. 

 

Forecast maximums for Monday, December 2nd across SEQLD & CQLD via BSCH / OCF.

 

 

A heatwave is considered 3 or more consecutive days and nights of 5ºc+ above average – DESPITE it being Summer. Ipswich averages 31ºc for December, Gatton averages 32ºc – these locations are looking at temperature anomalies of 5-8ºc above average for 7 consecutive days. This well and truly fits the criteria. The only exception will be the drier winds will allow for temperatures at night to drop to possibly even below average (around the mid teens). Rockhampton averages 32ºc for December, so 5 straight days of 5-8ºc above average fits the criteria for a heatwave. Gympie averages 31ºc for December, so 6 straight days of 5-7ºc above average fits the criteria. It will be far more pleasant closer to the Coast with maximums in the low 30’s, so it might be time to hit the beach if you want to escape the heat for a while! Redcliffe is peaking at 31-32ºc and the Gold Coast Seaway around 30ºc! Or… you could escape to Inland QLD where cooler South Westerly winds will dominate and produce BELOW AVERAGE temperatures as places like Birdsville sit in the low 30’s for several days.

 

Current BOM heatwave pilot for Monday to Wednesday showing heatwave conditions over Eastern QLD.

 

QLD To Feel The Summer Heat!2019-11-28T14:03:48+10:00
28 11, 2019

Summer To Begin With Snow!

2019-11-28T13:41:20+10:00

Winter just hasn’t wanted to leave South Eastern Australia this year, and it looks like the Summer season is expected to begin with snowflakes – and lots of them! Above image: geopotential height anomaly showing the massive low and cold pool over SE AUS on Monday. Image via Tropicaltidbits.

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A HIGGINS STORM CHASING MEMBER!

 

A big cold front is expected to sweep across Victoria, the ACT and NSW on Saturday bringing widespread severe and possibly dangerous thunderstorms to many areas (we have forecasts for that already issued on our members HERE). The interesting thing is that behind this cold front, a vigorous upper level cold pool is expected to trail in behind and mix with the South Westerly flow that will drag cold moisture up from the Southern Bight and over South East AUS. This should lead to snow flurries developing over Tasmania and the Snowy Mountains on Saturday night.

 

5 day snowfall forecast for SE AUS showing good falls over the Snowy Mountains and some flurries over the Dandenongs. Image via Windy.

 

While Snow is not unheard of over the Snowy Mountains during December (it basically happens every second year or 2 out of every 3 years) or even as late as Christmas… the impressive thing is this will be repetitive for 4-5 straight days! Saturday night snow flurries begin. They ease on Sunday and then pick up again Sunday night over the same areas before constant snow sets in over Monday with thundersnow being possible and then lasting into Tuesday before the colder air moves offshore. So while its not uncommon, its certainly not usual to see 4 straight days of it this late in the year. 

 

All up, this might lead to falls of 20-30cm over the Snowy Mountains and 10-15cm over the peaks of the Tasmanian Highlands. If moisture becomes deeper or the showers become more frequent, then we could see even higher totals around Mt Hotham, Perisher and Thredbo who are known for recording more than forecast models indicate. 

5 day snowfall forecast for TAS showing 10-15cm over the Central Highlands and lighter falls elsewhere. Image via Windy.

 

Summer To Begin With Snow!2019-11-28T13:41:20+10:00
20 11, 2019

Dangerous Fire Conditions LIKELY across VIC on Thursday.

2019-11-20T16:01:18+10:00

A CODE RED warning has been issued for Northern and North West Victoria ahead of horrific fire conditions developing on Thursday as the entire State receives a TOTAL FIRE BAN. Above image – Fire Danger Threat for Victoria via the CFA for Thursday.

 

A front is expected to push across Victoria during Thursday which is likely to produce an extremely volatile combination for some of the worst (if not THE worst) fire conditions the State has experienced since Black Saturday. Temperatures are likely to scorch early after a very warm night and push quickly into the low 40’s across Northern Victoria with widespread maximums in the mid to high 30’s elsewhere. These temperatures are likely to coincide with damaging winds in excess of 90km/h and in some cases, more than 110km/h across large portions of the State along with extremely low humidity (below 5%) to produce CATASTROPHIC fire conditions (labelled as ‘CODE RED’ in Victoria). 

 

OCF maximums for VIC on Thursday. Image via BSCH.

 

 

The worst of the fire conditions will be over Northern areas of the State where winds of 90-110km/h, humidity of less than 5% and temperatures of 38-42ºc are expected. The timing of the front will also mean that these peak wind gusts may coincide with maximum temperatures. Despite this, any fires across the entire State may become dangerous and uncontrolled extremely quickly with widespread wind gusts reaching damaging thresholds of more than 90km/h. So while the ‘highlighted’ threat is in the North… the whole State should be on watch. 

Any fires that do develop need to be called into emergency personnel ASAP with all instructions from emergency personnel requiring the utmost respect. 


There is also an increased risk of significant dust storms across a large portion of the State given the damaging wind gusts and extremely dry landscape. This dust may also impact Greater Melbourne as North Westerly winds feed from NW VIC into Southern Central VIC ahead of and along the front line. This will be another thing to monitor for people who have respiratory problems – and in some cases, the dust ‘could’ be thick enough that people without respiratory problems may also feel the effects.

 

Wind gusts via the EC model showing widespread strong / very strong (pink) to damaging (aqua and purple). Image via Windy.

 

 

Dangerous Fire Conditions LIKELY across VIC on Thursday.2019-11-20T16:01:18+10:00
19 11, 2019

CATASTROPHIC, Dangerous Fire Conditions Forecast For South Australia

2019-11-19T10:28:38+10:00

Widespread EXTREME to CATASTROPHIC, dangerous fire conditions are expected to impact South Australia on Wednesday as a combination of very strong to damaging winds, low humidity and extreme heat sweep the State. Above image: Fire danger ratings for Wednesday via BOM.

 

A surface trough and cold front combination are expected to sweep East across South Australia during the day, resulting in very hot and gusty conditions being funnelled down from Northern WA and the NT into the region. These hot and gusty winds are likely to impact virtually the entire State and this will likely result in widespread maximums of 40ºc+ across the State along with peak temperatures in both the South East and West of 44-47ºc! Some of these maximums are likely to challenge November records which have been long standing – including Adelaide who is going for a top of 42ºc, just 1ºc shy of its all-time November record (however on a day like Wednesday, seeing the temperature jump to 43 or 44ºc wouldn’t be a total shock). 

OCF Forecast maximums for SA during Wednesday. Image via BSCH.

 

 

This extreme heat is likely to coincide with very low humidity in the single digits or even down to as low as 1-3% for some areas. While gale force Northerly winds of 60-90k/h dominate much of the State during the day, even stronger winds of 80-100km/h are expected along and behind the front. These winds will not only see fire danger ratings skyrocket but they will also likely produce widespread dust storms across rural areas and Western areas. The combination of 44-47ºc, 1-3% humidity and >80km/h winds is well and truly above CATASTROPHIC fire thresholds and this will ultimately mean that any fires that do develop, are likely to become extremely fast moving and out of control very quickly. 

Forecast wind gusts across SA during the afternoon. Gale force Northerlies of 60-90km/h (pink to aqua) ahead of the front and the same, but stronger, behind the front. Image via Windy.

 

 

Districts that are currently seeing CATASTROPHIC fire conditions include: The West Coast, Eastern Eyre Peninsula, Lower Eyre Peninsula, Mid North, Mt Lofty Ranges, Yorke Peninsula. EXTREME fire danger threats which will likely have localised CATASTROPHIC conditions are expected to be situated over the Flinders, Kangaroo Island and Lower South East. The remainder of the State is at SEVERE with no doubt some localised EXTREME conditions. This setup is essentially as dangerous as it can get. Firefighters will be working around the clock the ensure everyone is safe, but if you do see a fire – please report it ASAP to emergency services and follow their instructions!

Fire Danger Rating for SA during Wednesday. Orange is SEVERE. Light red is EXTREME. Dark red / maroon is CATASTROPHIC. Image via CFS

 

CATASTROPHIC, Dangerous Fire Conditions Forecast For South Australia2019-11-19T10:28:38+10:00
13 11, 2019

Excessive Heat Wont Leave QLD

2019-11-15T12:14:11+10:00

The biggest question on everyones mind is when will conditions change. The sad reality is… they won’t.
Above image – Maximums for SEQLD at the end of the current forecast period (Wednesday November 20th) via BSCH.

Over the next 8-10 days, models are hellbent on maintaining these atrocious dry, hot and gusty conditions across the entirety of QLD. Its likely that across this period of time, multiple individual heatwaves are expected to sweep the State – however the cool changes that break these heatwaves up are expected to be so weak and temporary, that even the cool changes will maintain above average temperatures.

 

Forecast maximums for Queensland on Thursday, November 14th. Image via BSCH

 

Across Wednesday, ‘cooler’ conditions (still in the low to mid 30’s) are expected across Southern QLD with temperatures into the mid to high 30’s elsewhere and even into the 40’s over some Northern areas. These conditions will persist into Thursday. From Friday onwards, another excessive period of heat is likely to build with maximums gradually climbing across the entire State. By Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week – widespread areas of Inland QLD are expected to surge into the low to possibly even mid 40’s with the heat pushing very close to the Coast as well. When you compare this to what is classed as ‘normal’ for November standards.. these maximums are WAY hotter than those parameters. 

 

Forecast maximums for Queensland on Sunday, November 17th. Image via BSCH

 

 

These DRY and HOT conditions are expected to coincide with gusty winds at times, leading to elevated fire dangers across extensive areas of the State for several days. SEVERE fire danger potential has already been forecast for the Darling Downs and Granite Belt on Friday & Saturday. 

The ONLY hope for any rain is expected to be on Friday and into the weekend across EXTREMELY ISOLATED areas of Central and South East QLD. This activity won’t alter temperatures though with hot conditions likely. 

 

Forecast maximums for Queensland on Wednesday, November 20th. Image via BSCH

 

 

The even sadder reality is that by Wednesday next week.. Australia’s heat engine (the Pilbara) will still see maximums topping the mid to high 40’s which means eventually that all has to come across, so it won’t be a shock to see the heat persist well beyond Wednesday into the following week.

 

Forecast maximums for Australia on Wednesday, November 20th showing heat still yet to come from WA. Image via BSCH

 

Excessive Heat Wont Leave QLD2019-11-15T12:14:11+10:00
10 11, 2019

CATASTROPHIC Fire Danger Forecast For Central NSW inc. Greater Sydney TUESDAY

2019-11-11T14:36:25+10:00

Issued Sunday, November 10th 2019. Valid for Tuesday, November 12th 2019. A WORST CASE SCENARIO has been issued for the Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Hunter and Blue Mountains areas on Tuesday as CATASTROPHIC fire conditions are forecast due to a near-perfect setup for fires impacting the area. 

Note: This is the FIRST time since the Catastrophic Fire Danger level was introduced into the Australian system back in 2009, that one has been required for Greater Sydney

 

 

Forecast: On Tuesday, an extremely volatile setup is forecast to impact NSW resulting in some of the worst and most favourable fire conditions we have seen since Black Saturday back in 2009. A surface boundary is expected to become situated DIRECTLY ALONG the NSW Coast. This will help draw in STRONG to DAMAGING & DRY West to South West winds across the entire State. A cool change is forecast to move up the NSW Southern and Central Coast areas during the day, with STRONG to DAMAGING winds occurring along and behind this change. These DRY winds will coincide with very warm and dry air aloft which will help produce hot conditions as well, with peak temperatures in excess of 35ºc for most areas and in excess of 40ºc for some. 

 

Forecast maximums across NSW for Tuesday via OCF / BSCH

 

Threats: The focus for the fire threat will be over the Central Coast, Greater Sydney, Hunter, Blue Mountains, Illawarra and Shoalhaven areas. Across these areas we are expecting wind gusts in excess of 70km/h for most areas and peak winds of 100km/h+ for some. These winds will coincide with temperatures of 35-42ºc leading to very dangerous fire conditions leading to the requirement for a CATASTROPHIC fire danger threat to be forecast. A cool change moving through the area will also pose a risk for ongoing fires to be blown in a new direction and create additional issues with embers blowing potentially several kilometres ahead of any pre-existing fires. Any fires that develop over these areas will become uncontrollable VERY QUICKLY, and given the population in these areas there is a SIGNIFICANT risk to homes, properties and lives!

 

 

A large area of EXTREME & SEVERE fire dangers have also been issued across remaining Eastern half of NSW. These areas are likely to experience winds of 50-70km/h with peak temperatures also in the mid to high 30’s and possibly up to 40ºc. The biggest threat across these areas will be the fact that ongoing fires WONT be contained by Tuesday and therefore any fires, particularly large ones, as well as ones that are inaccessible, will quickly become uncontrolled and pose additional threats. 



Safety: Please have an emergency plan in place NOW! If you do not know what one is please follow this HERE. Do this NOW will you have time! Its better to have it done and not need it. Some schools are scheduled to be closed due to the conditions as a means of safety in the highest risk areas (Catastrophic risk), if you are in this risk and are not sure – please contact your school directly. 

 

Wind Gusts for NSW on Tuesday afternoon via Windy.

CATASTROPHIC Fire Danger Forecast For Central NSW inc. Greater Sydney TUESDAY2019-11-11T14:36:25+10:00
7 11, 2019

DANGEROUS Fire Conditions Across SEQLD & NENSW Friday!

2019-11-07T16:59:59+10:00

A significant fire threat is expected across both the South East quarter of QLD and much of North East NSW on Friday as a dangerous set of conditions combine over these areas leading to EXTREME fire danger potential and even locally CATASTROPHIC conditions can’t be ruled out! Above image – Wind gusts Friday afternoon during peak heating via Windy!

 

On Friday, November 8th, a surface trough will become active directly along the Coastline through SEQLD & NENSW. This trough will allow for very warm to hot and dry air aloft to combine with strengthening South Westerly winds. This atmospheric combination will result in widespread maximums in the mid to high 30s with some locations likely to nudge 40°C+ as well – this is around 8-12°C above the normal November average! 

Forecast Maximums for Friday across SEQLD & NENSW via BSCH / OCF

 

 

Winds will begin gusty across the Ranges during the morning with peak gusts of 50-70km/h expected. As the day progresses we are expected to see winds increase as well with widespread gusts of 50-70km/h across the entire South East quarter of QLD & expansive parts of NSW in general. Peak gusts nearing 90km/h are also expected. These winds will coincide with temperatures in the mid to high 30s which will ultimate see fire indices skyrocket to dangerous levels! 

Forecast Fire Threat for Friday via NSW RFS

 

 

A very gusty but DRY cool change will move through overnight into Saturday which will only worsen conditions as well, with a wind direction change making any ongoing fires difficult to contain! 

We cannot stress enough that you MUST follow any advice from fire emergency or police officials as emergency warnings will be issued extremely quickly given the conditions! We will post emergency warnings as soon as they are issued by officials!

Forecast Fire Threat for Friday via QFES

 

DANGEROUS Fire Conditions Across SEQLD & NENSW Friday!2019-11-07T16:59:59+10:00
7 11, 2019

Why is QLD HOT when TAS is COLD, and visa versa??

2019-11-07T12:13:12+10:00

Today seems like the perfect time to explain why its snowing in TAS and why its hot in QLD at the same time. This in fact is a very common occurrence for both to happen simultaneously and thats because its the same weather system that causes both.

 

The general overview is we have a large high pressure system over Southern WA and across the Great Australian Bight. This is combining with a very strong and powerful low pressure system down near Antarctica that is feeding a low pressure trough up across Coastal parts of Eastern Australia and across the tropics. What this does, is draw moisture in over South Eastern AUS which includes Southern NSW, VIC, TAS and South East / Southern Central SA as indicated by the arrows on image 1. The trough along the East Coast of Australia however turns these winds more West to South West and after travelling over land for a good 12-18 hours those winds begin to dry out. The positioning of the trough along the Coast though prevents any moisture coming in off the Coral Sea and this results in showers occurring over South East AUS, but dry conditions across Northern NSW, much of QLD and through Interior parts of the Country.

Surface winds over AUS with isobars showing South Westerly winds dominating much of the Country due to a trough and high pressure region. Image via Windy

Then we look in the 850mb range for temperatures (image 2) and that explains a whole lot more. A strong upper trough (very strong for this time of year) is active over the Eastern Bight, TAS and VIC (indicated by the blue colouring which is temperatures below 0ºc at 850mb / 2km above the ground). This cold air is mixing with the moisture to produce snowfall over SE AUS. At the same elevation, temperatures are into the low to mid 20’s across the Northern half of AUS.

850mb temperatures (about 2km above the ground) showing very cold air over SE AUS and very warm to hot air over Northern AUS. Image via Windy.

So now… Queensland, Northern Territory and Northern Western Australia are seeing dry winds at the surface, and hot air aloft – this ALWAYS produces hot / above average temperatures. But on the other hand.. Tasmania, SE South Australia, Victoria and Southern NSW have very cold air aloft and moisture which = snow.

This setup is very typical of a Winter setup with upper troughs racing across Southern Australia and a lack of rainfall over Northern Australia. The only difference now compared to then, is the snowfall becomes somewhat limited (10-15cm expected instead of 50cm) and the temperatures over Northern AUS are much hotter because it is November and NOT Winter.

Maximums across AUS for Friday, November 8th via OCF/BSCH showing cold over SE AUS and hot over Northern AUS.

Why is QLD HOT when TAS is COLD, and visa versa??2019-11-07T12:13:12+10:00