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19 07, 2017

‘Hell on Earth’ in Croatia as Southern and Central Europe battle Dangerous Fires

Over the past week or so, much of Southern and Central Europe has been under threat from hundreds of bushfires across several countries, some near major cities, with the worst being in Northern Portugal, Coastal parts of Montenegro and an inferno over Southern Croatia. Above image via Damira Kalajzic


Over the past 48-72 hours, the City of Split, located in Southern Croatia along the Dalmatian Coast, has been under threat from a series of catastrophic wildfires merging into an inferno. Over the weekend, 12 individual wildfires developed just inland of Split over the Ranges before merging into 1 humungous inferno which has burnt more than 11,000 acres of land, and everything else in its path to the ground. This includes many businesses and homes. This is equal to 45 square kilometres or the entire landscape between Brisbane, Ipswich, Jimboomba and Boonah. Late on Monday, several hundred firefighters along with army assistance were able to overpower the fire and prevent it from entering the City of Split and thankfully by Tuesday the situation had dramatically improved, almost as fast as it began, with the dry winds subsiding noticeably.

There are mixed reports of the total impact of the fire on human lives, but its believed that there have been no fatalities. its believed that sixteen people have been injured but nothing too serious. For the total size of the fire and where it was located, this is quite incredible. Over the next several days, despite warm temperatures into the low 30’s, wind conditions should remain favourable for any continuing fire activity to be taken control of and extinguished, so the overall toll of the fire(s) isn’t expected to rise any further apart from official inspections.

A lady watches over the water as the hillside of Split burns. Image via Damira Kalajzic

A lady watches over the water as the hillside of Split burns. Image via Damira Kalajzic

 


Damira Kalajzic, who has credit for all of the fire photos in this article / blog, can be quoted in her Facebook post saying these powerful words… “See this sight on your own eyes and to record the camera these moments, it’s not easy. When you see from a distance how the fire literally swallows human homes, when you see how much it is out of control, your heart tightens and your eyes fill with tears… without words.”

Click below to view more of the photos.


Several other fires were also noted across much of Southern and Central Europe with a large fire reaching the town of Castagniers, near Nice in France. A large fire swept through scrubland near Bonifacio on the Mediterranean Island of Corsica. In Italy, a pine forest in the town of Ostia near Rome was burning, while in Northern Portugal, just a month after catastrophic fires swept the East… more than 1,400 firefighters assisted by helicopters, water bombers and emergency services battled to contain 3 very large blazes. In Montenegro, forest fires along the Lustica Peninsula have spread inland forcing the evacuations of several tourism regions. Wind conditions have not helped the situation improve over Montenegro with firefighters still battling the blazes.

Satellite imagery from NASA showing the fires along the Adriatic Coastline in Montenegro and Croatia

Satellite imagery from NASA showing the fires along the Adriatic Coastline in Montenegro and Croatia

 

19 07, 2017

Snow LIKELY just 20mins from Hobart CBD tonight and tomorrow

Issued at 3:30pm July 19th 2017. Tasmania is expected to see a winter blast being driven up from Antarctica to impact the entire State tonight resulting in low to medium level snowfall and some good falls. Above image via BSCH showing the cold pool South of Tasmania moving towards the State.


The combination of an elongated low pressure region over New Zealand and the Tasman Sea, and an elongated high pressure system over the Great Australian Bight and Central Australia is expected to help channel frigid air up from Antarctica to engulf Tasmania and parts of South-Eastern Australia (Snowy Mountains) this evening and into Thursday. The cold air is already being felt over Tasmania with Hobart hovering around 10ºc for most of the day but feeling as cold as 2ºc at times, Mt Wellington has only briefly nudged 1ºc earlier and feeling more like -10 to -15ºc at times.

Forecast temperatures at 1500m ASL early Thursday morning via WindyTV (blue is below 0ºc, aqua is -5ºc or less and pink is -10ºc or less)

Forecast temperatures at 1500m ASL early Thursday morning via WindyTV (blue is below 0ºc, aqua is -5ºc or less and pink is -10ºc or less)

 

Despite cold conditions impacting the State already, its not until this evening and especially overnight tonight into Thursday when the snow potential rapidly increases. A very cold pool of air with temperatures of -4 to -7ºc at 1500m ASL is expected to begin impacting the South-West of the State this evening, and then the rest of the State by Midnight. This cold air will be associated by an increase in moisture levels which will allow for snow to begin falling to around 500m. The cold air is expected to linger through Thursday where snowfall is likely down to 400m across the State and possible to as low as 300m in the South during the morning before gradually rising by late morning and then even more into the afternoon. This will mean places like the Lenah Valley could awake to flurries and towns in the upper parts of the Hobart Hills (just 20 minutes from Hobart) could get some ground coverage by sunrise. Falls of 20cm+ are possible over Cradle Mountain and the Cradle Valley, with lighter falls elsewhere. 

Forecast 3 day snowfall totals via WindyTV

Forecast 3 day snowfall totals via WindyTV

 

 

16 07, 2017

Prolonged Snow Threat for TAS, VIC, NSW

Tasmania, the VIC Highlands and NSW Ranges including the Central Tablelands & Barrington Tops are all under a snow threat from a large low pressure which is expected to hit this week. Above image Pressure Map via WindyTV for Tuesday showing the low over Tasmania and high in the Bight.


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A extensive cold front is expected to sweep across South-Eastern Australia (Tasmania, Victoria and Southern / Central NSW) on Tuesday and early Wednesday. This cold front is expected to produce some isolated thunderstorms as it moves through along with damaging winds of up 90-110km/h for the open islands off Tasmania, elevated parts of VIC and TAS and the NSW Ranges along with the Snowy Mountains. Good rainfall is also expected with the system where falls of up to 100mm are expected over Northern TAS (majority falling on Monday), 25-50mm possibly up to 75mm for the Snowy Mountains and Western / Central TAS, and 10-20mm across much of VIC, remainder of TAS and Far Southern NSW.

Forecast rainfall via WindyTV / ECMWF showing over 50mm in yellow and over 25mm in green

Forecast rainfall via WindyTV / ECMWF showing over 50mm in yellow and over 25mm in green

 

 

The Snowy Mountains are expected to see the first of the cold air on Monday leading to some light flurries over the peaks of the Alps. The real activity however is expected on Tuesday when South-West winds feed cold air into the cold pool located over TAS, VIC and Southern NSW. This increased moisture and cold air should help produce falls of 25cm+ over the Snowy Mountains and 10cm+ over the TAS Highlands. On Wednesday, snow is expected to continue with falls of 10-20cm likely over the Snowy Mountains and another 10cm over the TAS Highlands. Despite the constant snow, snow levels are expected to remain elevated above 1000m. Its on Thursday when the coldest air hits, but is limited by moisture, this is when levels may drop down to around 700m in TAS, 800m over the Snowy Mountains and 1200m over the Central Tablelands / Barrington Tops but only a dusting is expected all round as the snow potential is limited by moisture and timing (pre-sunrise). 

As many people anxiously await the Northern Tablelands and Granite Belt to get their first dusting, sadly this system doesn’t look like it’ll produce (based off current models). So its at least another week in waiting, but we are watching closely….

Forecast snowfall via WindyTV showing a dusting over the CT's / Barrington Ranges + good falls over TAS / Snowy's

Forecast snowfall via WindyTV showing a dusting over the CT’s / Barrington Ranges + good falls over TAS / Snowy’s

 

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14 07, 2017

South-East AUS expecting a Snowy Weekend

Tasmania, Victoria and Southern NSW are about to be hit with snowy weekend as a cold front sweeps through. Above image via BSCH


A cold front swept through Tasmania and South-Eastern Australia early on Friday bringing widespread strong wind gusts of 60-90km/h to Tasmania and 40-60km/h to Victoria with higher gusts in the Alpine region. Behind this cold front, satellite imagery is showing a very large area of freezing air indicated by the speckled cloud coverage. This cold air is expected to begin impacting Tasmania over the next few hours and really impact overnight into Saturday.

During the overnight hours of Friday into virtually all of Saturday, a large area of cold air with temperatures of -4 to -5c at 1500m ASL is expected to cover Tasmania along with -3c across Victoria and Southern NSW at the same height. This freezing air is likely to combine with increased levels of moisture to produce snowfall down to around 700m possibly lower over Tasmania (unsettled snow down to 500-600m) and down to around 700-800m over Victoria and Southern NSW.  Despite the lower levels of snow (especially over VIC and NSW given the slow year so far), snowfall totals aren’t expected to be overly high with 5-10cm expected over the Snowy Mountains (possibly higher up to 15cm is all goes to plan) and up to 10cm over the Tasmanian Highlands. Areas below around 1000m in both regions should only expect a dusting.

On Saturday night into Sunday, there is a very slim chance of a dusting over the NSW Central Tablelands as the cold air surges further North. However given this is a narrow window of opportunity and limited moisture (too many factors hindering it from occurring). We don’t advise people to be heading to the area.

Forecast temperatures at 1500m ASL during Saturday Night via WindyTV

Forecast temperatures at 1500m ASL during Saturday Night via WindyTV

 

 

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8 07, 2017

Fall Streak Cloud causes unique Sunset over SEQLD

A rare phenomenon known as a fall streak cloud has captivated people over South-East QLD on Saturday evening as it occurred right on sunset in the perfect spot. Above image from Wellington Point via Rachel Wydeveld


Some mid to high level cloud (altocumulus clouds) has moved across South-East QLD during the evening allowing for a typical beautiful and very colourful sunset, ending what has been nothing short of a perfect weather day where temperatures reached the low 20’s across South-East QLD and conditions remained quite mild in between gusts of wind. However, this typically beautiful sunset setup was influenced by another phenomenon with the combination of the 2 being quite rare.

A fall streak or hole punch cloud occurred in the middle of the clouded area over South-East QLD, and while those on the Coastline were enjoying a golden sunset.. those looking back towards the West saw the fall streak area being ignited by the sunset. Those in the perfect position (East of the fall streak) got an even better treat when the cloud descended low enough so it casted a shadow over the altocumulus formation.

Towards Brisbane City at Hawthorn via Jessica Batterham

Towards Brisbane City at Hawthorn via Jessica Batterham

Coorparoo via Tracy Eglington

Coorparoo via Tracy Eglington

View from Coorparoo via Joe Hancox

View from Coorparoo via Joe Hancox

 

 

Fall streak clouds are a phenomenon where a large gap is created within a cloud bank in either a circular or elliptical formation. These holes occur when the water temperature within the cloud is below freezing but the water itself in a supercooled state has not frozen yet due to ice nucleation. When the ice crystals in the cloud eventually form, it causes an effect called the ‘Bergeron process’ where the water droplets around the crystals evaporate and this leaves a large gap. While this isn’t “uncommon” or “unusual” the act of this occurring on sunset in the perfect position is quite rare, and as many people saw today its mesmerising to watch unfold.

 

Brisbane Airport via Sue Heery-Woollett

Brisbane Airport via Sue Heery-Woollett

View from nearly directly under the phenomenon at Zillmere via Kylie Wallace

View from nearly directly under the phenomenon at Zillmere via Kylie Wallace

 

 

8 07, 2017

Frosty morning expected for Northern NSW & Southern QLD

Frost is likely across large parts of Southern QLD and Northern NSW during Sunday Morning. Above image – Forecast minimums via BSCH / OCF


A large high pressure ridge is expected to extend across Central Australia, Southern QLD and Northern / Central NSW. This high pressure ridge is expected to help produce a clear morning across essentially the entire Southern half of QLD and the entire Northern half of NSW leading to all heating being evaporated out of Inland districts and frost being allowed to settle in the early hours near sunrise.

The colder temperatures are expected to be over the Northern Tablelands in New South Wales where minimums of -4 to -6ºc are likely near Glen Innes and possibly down to Armidale. This will likely lead to some moderate frost, possibly localised heavy frost in the region. Cold enough temperatures of -2ºc or lower are expected across the Granite Belt also including Stanthorpe, as well as across the remainder of the Northern Tablelands. While across the NW Slopes and Plains, Western parts of the Northern Rivers, Western parts of South-East QLD including Ipswich, Boonah, Beaudesert, the Warrego and Maranoa, and the Darling Downs should all see conditions cold enough for frost also. Areas closer to the Coast like Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast should be warmer and avoid the frost.

Forecast ground temperatures via OCF / BSCH for Southern QLD / Northern NSW on Sunday Morning (July 9th)

Forecast ground temperatures via OCF / BSCH for Southern QLD / Northern NSW on Sunday Morning (July 9th)

 

 

This is pretty typical for a normal Winter, but so far these kinds of mornings have seemed a bit scarce. Recent shower activity across parts of the Darling Downs and South-East QLD may lead to enough ground moisture for that “frostier” look. Conditions should lead to a mild and sunny day across the region.

 

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8 07, 2017

Rare Phenomenon covers South-East QLD & Brisbane City

A rare phenomenon swept Brisbane yesterday creating the perfect opportunity for those out and about to grab snaps. Above image via Geoff Locke


The phenomenon is simply known as very low clouds… it doesn’t sound exciting or interesting, but it only happens about once a year and those in Brisbane City got a first hand glance of it. It appears as fog, and many people messaged into the page asking about the “fog that was lingering” but in reality it was an usual and specific combination that allowed for cloud bases to drop to as low as 100m in some places, and even lower in others as the evening progressed. The process is simple, but its very specific in the process of which it occurs.

The Reds game was near impossible to watch as the cloud engulfed Suncorp. Image via James Caughlin

The Reds game was near impossible to watch as the cloud engulfed Suncorp. Image via James Caughlin

 


Morning rain and storms hit Brisbane and much of South-East QLD during Friday morning which allowed for low level moisture to linger for much of the day as it became trapped under thick cloud and wasn’t allowed to evaporate. As the day progressed, the sun struggled to peak through and this allowed the second chain in the process to occur and that was cold temperatures. Brisbane experienced its coldest day in 3 years yesterday and it doesn’t matter if it wasn’t cold in reality… for the region, it was. The increased moisture caused by showers in the atmosphere allowed for the third chain in the process to occur and thats where the increased moisture mixing with cooler temperatures and surface humidity allows clouds to descend and act as fog.

Horse riding in the clouds at Ocean View via Natasha Koning

Horse riding in the clouds at Ocean View via Natasha Koning

Click below to view the image carousel featuring several images sent in by followers from across the region.

The cloud coverage was so thick that only the tops of Brisbane’s highest buildings were visible at Mount Coot-tha, the Airport experienced heavy delays and commuters required headlights in the middle of the day to drive on some of the most open roads in the region. Its not often this occurs, as stated above, but when it does – some of the photos are simply breath-taking.

Brisbane flight delays last night via Jessica Urquhart

Brisbane flight delays last night via Jessica Urquhart

Planes in a holding pattern and grounded at Maroochydore en route to Brisbane, with delays to the Gold Coast via Kristy Collins

Planes in a holding pattern and grounded at Maroochydore en route to Brisbane, with delays to the Gold Coast via Kristy Collins

 

 

3 07, 2017

Winter Rain coming for Adelaide & South Australia

After the driest June in 39 years for Adelaide, things are about to change in the City of Churches and along the SA Coast as consistent showers and some storms over the next few days break the dry spell. Above image – 3 day rainfall via ECMWF / WindyTV


A broad low pressure region (an area consistent of about 3 or 4 low pressure centres at the moment) is situated offshore from the South Australia Coast, over the Central and Eastern Great Australian Bight. Over the next 24hrs, this low pressure region should develop into a distinct rotating centre (a singular low) and move in an East to South-Easterly direction, while a high pushes into Western Australia during this time. The combination of onshore winds brought on by the Low behind the system and onshore winds brought on by the high ahed of the system is likely to result in scattered showers developing each day along the South Australia Coast with models highlighting Adelaide Metropolitan as the place to be for the better falls.


Across the next 2-3 days while this system is in place.. all models are indicating 30-50mm being likely across Adelaide Metro, while some heavyweight models showing the potential for as much as 75mm in isolated areas. Lighter falls are expected along the South-East Coast and along the West Coast / Eyre Peninsula regions where falls of 15-30mm are likely. Adelaide averages 78mm for July, so to get anything above 50mm would be a big chunk of the monthly average taken care of and with several more systems expected in the week following this event, that total is no doubt expected to rise. There is the chance of some isolated thunderstorms on Tuesday, however this is unlikely to pose a significant threat with any storms remaining fairly tame and either producing small hail or just heavier localised rainfall.

 

ECMWF / WindyTV pressure - blue indicates lower pressure, warmer colours (red, yellow) indicate higher pressure. Onshore flow highlighted into SA

ECMWF / WindyTV pressure – blue indicates lower pressure, warmer colours (red, yellow) indicate higher pressure. Onshore flow highlighted into SA

 

 

3 07, 2017

Forecast Discussion: Good snow incoming for Snowy Mountains

A cold front is in the process of sweeping across Inland NSW and VIC with a low pressure region noted over the Bight which is likely to help trigger snow over the Snowy Mountains for the next 48hrs. Above image via BOM – Himawari Satellite


The current synoptic setup assisted by satellite and radar imagery shows a cold front which is just passing through Central Victoria and Inland NSW at the moment. This cold front is linked to a low pressure region (a series of about 3 low pressure centres) situated over the Great Australian Bight. This cold front has helped generated reasonable showers across much of Western and Central VIC already today with falls of 10-15mm over the West and up to 20mm so far over Central / Northern Districts so far. Strong to damaging winds have also been noted with gusts of 98km/h over Mount Hotham, 82km/h over Mt Buller and Mt William. Gusts may increase, along with shower activity as the front moves over later this afternoon through Eastern VIC and the Snowy Mountains.

Weatherzone satellite / radar showing activity already over Central VIC

Weatherzone satellite / radar showing activity already over Central VIC

 


Behind this front, the low pressure region is expected to move towards the East to South-East later today and overnight tonight. This shift in positioning will allow for cold air to be dragged up behind the low and interact with increased moisture coming out of the South-West across VIC to generate idealistic conditions for snow to occur down to around 1500m across the Snowy Mountains. This should lower to 1200m and possibly 1100m or 1000m during Tuesday as the components required all peak (temperatures being at their lowest, moisture being at its highest). This will allow for snow showers (which have already started over the Snowy’s) to continue from Monday night until Wednesday morning and good falls of 25-40cm likely and the potential for 50cm+. 

Snowfall forecast via WindyTV / ECMWF for the Snowy Mountains

Snowfall forecast via WindyTV / ECMWF for the Snowy Mountains


This isn’t the only system this week with another heavy dumping expected before the weekend. So if it is possible, then be sure to make a late school holiday dash to soak up some of the winter wonderland which has been lacking over the Snowy Mountains this season so far.

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2 07, 2017

Good Snow Dumping just in time for School Holidays

The Snowy Mountains are expected to benefit from a winter blast over the next few days with the best snow of the season so far expected to arrive just in time for resorts to benefit from a holiday rush. Above image: Forecast snowfall via WindyTV


During Monday, a low pressure region is expected to become situated over the Bight, with a cold front / trough system extending up through Western VIC and Inland. During Monday afternoon and evening, this trough / cold front is expected to sweep through bring some strong winds to elevated regions along with isolated showers across both much of Inland NSW and scattered showers across much of VIC. Behind this system though, a pool of ‘cold enough’ air is expected to creep up from the Southern Bight and move over the South-East corner of Australia. This pool of ‘cold enough’ air is expected to linger through Tuesday to allow snowfall to continue before easing back on Wednesday as the lower level cooling warms up and conditions become heavily reliant on upper level activity.

So for the snowfall, up to 50cm, yes half a metre, is expected across parts of the NSW Snowy Mountains and 30-40cm is expected across the VIC Snowy Mountains. Good moisture should remain active over the Snowy Mountain region which will allow for nearly all precipitation to become snowfall during Monday afternoon until Wednesday morning. The small difference in totals is expected to come from the peak cooling remaining over NSW throughout the snow period. Despite the very good totals that are expected, snowfall is only expected to fall down to around 1200m and this is due to the cold burst of air only being -2ºc at 1500m ASL. This is perfect timing after such a poor start to the season, the ski resorts can hopefully salvage something from this occurring during school holidays.

Forecast températures at 1500m ASL during Tuesday morning via WindyTV / ECMWF

Forecast températures at 1500m ASL during Tuesday morning via WindyTV / ECMWF

 

 

As for the other weather associated with this system, scattered showers with falls of 5-15mm are expected across VIC and better falls (stated above) across the Snowy Mountains. Reasonable falls of 5-10mm are expected across Southern NSW / ACT also. The rainfall and cloud cover should keep maximum temperatures down on normal, but thankfully minimums should come back to at least normal if not slightly above average after the deep freeze experienced over Saturday and Sunday morning.

ECMWF / WindyTV - Forecast 3 day rainfall with blue being around 10mm and green / aqua being as much as 25mm

ECMWF / WindyTV – Forecast 3 day rainfall with blue being around 10mm and green / aqua being as much as 25mm

 

 

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