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28 03, 2020

Tornado Outbreak possible across Illinois on Saturday

2020-03-28T13:14:52+10:00

Its only early in the season (technically still pre-season), but the United States is expected to see one of the stronger storm days of the season evolve during Saturday with a tornado outbreak possible across Illinois and immediate surrounding States. Above image showing the Storm Prediction Centre Categorial Risk (which may be upgraded further). 

 

A deep low pressure system is expected to move through the Midwest (Nebraska, Kansas and into Missouri and Iowa) during Saturday with a cold front attached to it. This cold front is expected to draw in excessive amounts of moisture into a triple point wind convergence and warm sector that will create an extremely favourable environment for severe storms and supercells to develop in a line across Eastern Iowa and Eastern Missouri before maturing and spreading throughout Illinois and into Western Kentucky and Indiana as well as the Great Lakes region.

The focus of this threat will be surrounding the potential for a tornado outbreak across Illinois, which will include Chicago City and the immediate surrounding areas – an extremely densely populated region of not just Illinois, but America as a whole. The main tornado threat will be in a narrow window stretching from mid afternoon to around sunset, with storms weakening post-sunset as daytime heating eases and the cold front shifts too far away from the low pressure system. The parameters involved in this setup are off the charts for not just tornadoes, but long tracked and strong tornadoes. Supercells will also yield a giant hail threat as well as damaging to locally destructive straight line winds. There are very high expectations that the Storm Prediction Centre based on the available data will upgrade to a ‘HIGH’ risk with an expansive ‘MODERATE’ risk area. 

Helicity swaths showing areas of rotation in thunderstorms (supercells) moving across Illinois on Saturday. The stronger the helicity swath (the orange, red, purple and blue colours) – the stronger the rotation, and the more potential there is of tornadoes with those cells. Image via HRRR model / COD Weather.

 

This setup is scarily similar to the November 17, 2013 tornado outbreak across the same region which produced 73 confirmed tornadoes across a 10 hour period. The way that day evolved is synoptically almost identical to this setup we are forecasting at the moment. The hope is that morning convection (rain, storms and cloud cover) could hinder daytime heating and lower the overall thunderstorm threat. 

Data from the November 17, 2013 outbreak which is eerily similar to this setup. Image via the Storm Prediction Centre archives.

 

Tornado Outbreak possible across Illinois on Saturday2020-03-28T13:14:52+10:00
7 02, 2020

EXTREME RAINFALL TO POSE MAJOR FLOOD THREAT ACROSS EASTERN NSW

2020-02-07T11:32:17+10:00

** EXTREME RAINFALL TO POSE MAJOR FLOOD THREAT ACROSS EASTERN NSW **

Eastern NSW, in particular Central Eastern NSW (from about Gosford to Nowra) is looking at some very heavy to extreme rainfall accumulations over the next several days. The combination of a Black Nor’Easter and convergence zone will lead to excessive rainfall occurring over the same areas, leading to major flooding becoming a risk.

 

 

Widespread falls across Eastern NSW including fire zones in the South East are likely to be in the 100-200mm range. Very heavy falls on top of what has already fallen of 200-300mm are likely over the Mid North Coast & Hunter. The heaviest rain in the vicinity of 200-400mm likely and potential falls of up to 500-600mm is expected from Sydney / Gosford down to Nowra. This may include back to back days of 200mm+ over the weekend for the Illawarra.

 

This kind of rainfall has the potential to produce MAJOR flooding across a very populated area. Flash flooding is inevitable with this kind of rainfall however widespread minor to moderate creek and river flooding and some MAJOR river and creek flooding is also LIKELY depending on where the highest falls occur.

It is also worth noting that landslides are likely over Southern NSW and potentially over the Blue Mountains with heavy rainfall likely impacting fire zones and the unsettled & fragile ground giving way.

 

 

There is also the potential for some waterspouts along the NSW Coast from the Hunter to the Illawarra along the convergence zone where winds will be turning with height. This isn’t a big threat, but its one worth noting.

Image: 4 day rainfall accumulation via www.weatherwatch.net.au Without our premium members support we wouldn’t exist to provide the huge amount of live updates, forecasts, warnings and information that we do. Sign up today > https://higginsstormchasing.com/higgins-storm-chasing-membership/

EXTREME RAINFALL TO POSE MAJOR FLOOD THREAT ACROSS EASTERN NSW2020-02-07T11:32:17+10:00
13 12, 2019

Very Dangerous, Record-Challenging Heatwave Forecast To Sweep Across Australia!

2019-12-13T20:11:36+10:00

A significant heatwave is set to move across Australia, challenging the 50ºc threshold and All-Time Australian record! Every state is expected to be impacted with the worst of the heat across Western Australia and South Australia. Above image – Forecast maximums on Thursday via OCF / WeatherWatch (the dark blue spot is >50ºc).

While there are plenty of unofficial 50ºc+ temperatures recorded in seasons gone.. there are only 3 official 50ºc temperatures recorded in Australian history – those being January 2 & 3 at Oodnadatta in Northern SA (50.7 & 50.3ºc respectively) and 50.5ºc at Mardie in WA. A big reason for this is that many areas that ‘could’ have reached 50ºc don’t have official stations to record the data… thats about to change this week.


A VERY DANGEROUS heatwave is expected to move across Australia. The timing of this heatwave will be different for everyone with the system already in place across South West WA which is breaking records. Its expected to intensify over Southern WA over the weekend and into next week whilst pushing in South Australia. Maximums across Wednesday (Dec 18th) to Friday (Dec 20th) are expected to absolute roast! Numerous locations across Inland SA, Western SA and South East WA are forecast to reach 48ºc+ with some locations tipped to nudge 50ºc and possibly challenge the All-time Australian record. This heat will move into Adelaide with 4 straight 40ºc+ days from Tuesday to Friday and then into Northern VIC and Inland NSW from Wednesday to Saturday and possibly beyond where peak temperatures may nudge the high 40’s.

 

Locations such as Forrest in SE WA, Port Augusta, Kyancutta, Wudinna, Kimba, Tarcoola, Coober Pedy, Andamooka, Mount Ive, Roxby Downs, Woomera are all in line to potentially reach 50ºc with all of these locations looking at 48ºc+ on forecasts and some above 49ºc on raw data. 50ºc has never been officially recorded in Australia in December. For numerous locations, December records are LIKELY to be SHATTERED by several degrees!

Forecast maximums for Australia on Wednesday via OCF / WeatherWatch. Pink >47ºc, light blue >48ºc, dark blue >50ºc.

Eastern parts of NSW will feel a 1 day burst of heat on Thursday with maximums into the mid 40’s across areas away from the Coastline. While Eastern QLD will see the heat into the weekend as well and towards Christmas with maximums again into the 40’s over SEQLD and into the mid 40’s for much of the week over Inland QLD. For Tasmania and Southern VIC it won’t be dramatic, but it’ll be a change from recent weeks where Winter has lingered. 

Forecast maximums for Australia on Friday via OCF / WeatherWatch. Pink >47ºc, light blue >48ºc, dark blue >50ºc.

There is a major concern with the cool change. While its expected to drop temperatures by 12-18ºc between days, the change is likely to bring winds of 50km/h+ with it and gusts nearing 80-90km/h on the latest data. These winds coupled with temperatures into the high 40’s is disastrous for fire conditions. This will be something to monitor closely. These temperatures are also extremely dangerous to human health with fit adults succumbing to heat stress VERY QUICKLY. It has the potential to pose a risk to human life for those who are directly impacted for excessive periods of time – and this includes anyone, but especially the elderly, young, pregnant and ill. 

Further updates will apply to various areas in the lead up!


Very Dangerous, Record-Challenging Heatwave Forecast To Sweep Across Australia!2019-12-13T20:11:36+10:00
12 12, 2019

Dangerous Heatwave Forecast For Perth

2019-12-12T14:39:05+10:00

Perth is about to endure a record breaking run of heat which is likely to become very dangerous to human health as the Department of Health in WA issues a dangerous heatwave alert for the region. Above image showing temperatures into the 40’s across SW WA on Sunday afternoon. 

 

 

Perth is about to endure 4 consecutive days of 40ºc+ as it is impacted by a vile heatwave. Perth averages 29ºc for December, so anything at 35ºc+ is classed as a heatwave. The City earlier this month was impacted by 5 consecutive days of 35ºc+ which included a maximum temperature of nearly 42ºc on Day 2 of that heatwave. This system however is expected to be much stronger – delivering 7 consecutive days of 35ºc+ with 4 of those days above 40ºc! 

 

Forecast temperatures via EC mid afternoon on Friday showing temperatures into the high 30’s and low 40’s. Image via Windy

 

 

This level of heat has only been experienced once before in February 2016 when the City recorded 4 straight 40ºc days. That prompted the Department of Health to issue a heatwave warning as the level of unrelentless heat being experienced was a significant threat to those who are most at risk which include pregnant women, children / toddlers, the elderly and workers who spend excessive periods outdoors. This period of heat is expected to be no different with dangerous heat levels for 4 consecutive days forecast to affect those who spend excessive hours in the sun with work, children and toddlers, the elderly, pregnant women and even fit adults to a degree. 

 

BOM Heatwave Pilot for Thursday to Saturday.

 

This is a timely reminder to drink plenty of water and spend as much time in the shade as possible. Wear light clothing that can breathe and avoid strenuous activity as much as possible. Please also check on those who are most at risk. If you wish to claim that ‘its just Summer’ then go for it, but there are many people who WILL suffer and its respectful to look after them! 

 

Dangerous Heatwave Forecast For Perth2019-12-12T14:39:05+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