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17 01, 2018

Up to 400mm in 48hrs kicks off the NQLD Wet Season

Over the past 48hrs the evidence has become clear that the wet season has finally arrived in the Northern tropics of QLD following a dry December and start to January. Above image: 24hr rainfall for Wednesday via BOM

 

 

Over the past several days, models have been hinting at the return of the monsoon with widespread good instability leading to heavy storms and rain areas expected. It hasn’t been until the past 36 to 48hrs however that this has become confirmed as overnight storms both Monday into Tuesday and Tuesday into Wednesday have dampened the tropics and brought some of the best rain (if not the best) for the wet season so far. 

Overnight last night (Tuesday into Wednesday), we saw widespread falls of 100mm+ brought on by severe overnight storms hit the Tropical North Coast from about Tully to Cairns. Isolated falls of 300mm+ occurred around Innisfail too. The night before it was more isolated with falls of 100mm+ and scattered falls of 50mm+ but it impacted the same areas and has lead to falls of up to 400mm across the 2 nights, bringing some areas very close to their January average already. 4 stations including Cairns Airport and Cairns City were lucky enough to record back to back 100mm nights! 

 

QLD Rainfall Decile for December 2017 showing a very dry start to the wet season for the Tropics. Image via BOM

QLD Rainfall Decile for December 2017 showing a very dry start to the wet season for the Tropics. Image via BOM

 

 

Some of the high 24 and 48hr totals include:
24 hours:
• The Boulders 320mm

• Mt Sophia 294mm
• Babinda 287mm
• Tung Oil 270mm
• Marco Street 255mm
• Clyde Road 244mm
• Vohland 230mm
• Bucklands 228mm
• Central Mill 219mm
• Fisher Creek 211mm
• Morgan Road, Gordonvale 208mm
• Aloomba 205mm

48 hours: 
• Tung Oil 380mm

• The Boulders 361mm
• Mt Sophia 326mm
• Marco Street 316mm
• Clyde Road 300mm
• Cairns Airport 294mm

 

 

Luckily, the general area is expected to continue seeing good falls over the next several days with all models hinting at 7-10 day totals of 100mm+. So while the individual days may be hit and miss, the overall weekly accumulation should add up!

 

10 day rainfall via Windy showing 100mm+ (red / orange) over the Tropics and isolated falls of 250mm+ (pink)

10 day rainfall via Windy showing 100mm+ (red / orange) over the Tropics and isolated falls of 250mm+ (pink)

 

16 01, 2018

Ex-TC Joyce Delivers Record Breaking Rain to SW WA

Over the past 24hrs, South West parts of WA have been given a change of seasons. The typically warm to hot and dry conditions at this time of year which see January as one of the driest month’s were replaced by colder and wetter conditions more typical of Winter. Above image via BOM – 24hr rainfall for the Perth region.

 

 

Good rainfall was expected for the region as Ex Tropical Cyclone Joyce, who previously made landfall over the Western Kimberley Coast and then again over the Pilbara Coast, tracked down the Western WA Coast and moved by SW WA and Perth during Monday. While the rainfall was expected to match or possibly even exceed January monthly average’s, models weren’t exactly indicating widespread significant rainfall (even for Winter standards) where several locations not only broke January records… but some obliterated them by 2 or 3 times the previous record. Some locations even broke January monthly records off 1 day of rainfall!

Perth was the focus of the weather given the population, with 96.2mm falling from 9am Monday to 9am Tuesday, this on top of the nearly 8mm prior to 9am Monday gave the city a little under 104mm and one of the wettest 24hr January periods in history.

 

Weatherzone Satellite and Radar for SW WA at 5:15pm Monday, January 15th.

Weatherzone Satellite and Radar for SW WA at 5:15pm Monday, January 15th.

 

 

Elsewhere more than 100mm was recorded at 30+ stations (not including those further North on previous days) and all of those with documented records had them broken! While others also recorded remarkable rainfall and totals that likely obliterated any unofficial records. Some of these include: 
• Marradong 163mm

• Saddleback Road Bridge 149mm
• Dwellingup Forestry 147mm (2nd wettest Jan day ever)
• Huntly 144mm
• Rottnest Island 142mm (almost triple the previous daily record)
• Bickley 139mm (more than the previous monthly record, 2.5x the daily record)
• Karragullen North 139mm
• Roleystone 139mm
• Swanbourne 139mm (almost 2x the previous daily record, and 1mm shy of the monthly record)
• Oneil Road 138mm
• Mount Solus 134mm
• Gordon 132mm
• Karnet 131mm
• Mount Curtis 129mm
• Jandakot AP 119mm (smashed the previous daily Jan record).

 

24hr rainfall to 9am Tuesday, January 16th via BOM

24hr rainfall to 9am Tuesday, January 16th via BOM

 

 

With further lingering showers and rain areas across the next 24hrs through SW WA, and the assumption that at least 1 more system will move through the region over the next 3 weeks.. it looks like a fair chunk of the SW pocket of WA should see its wettest January ever!

 

Forecast 24hr rainfall for Tuesday via OCF

Forecast 24hr rainfall for Tuesday via OCF

 

10 01, 2018

Heat & Storms returning to SEQLD & NENSW

After a fairly tame but warm and humid period since the turn of the New Year, it looks like the heat is going to ramp up and the storms are set to return to those in NENSW and SEQLD! Above image: Instability for Saturday via BSCH.

 

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A HIGGINS STORM CHASING SUBSCRIBER

 

Over the next few days, a surface through is forecast to sit over the Northern Tablelands and Granite Belt generating a very warm and humid flow over the South East pocket of QLD and North East NSW. While temperatures over the remainder of the working week are expected to be fairly modest for this time of year, the humidity will make things slightly uncomfortable at times. These conditions should help generate some isolated to scattered storms along the Ranges with some cells becoming severe. Storms could struggle to reach the Coast though due to a mid level rotation which is producing unfavourable steering winds.

Instability for Thursday (imaged) with storm potential (circled) -  similar during Friday also via BSCH

Instability for Thursday (imaged) with storm potential (circled) – similar during Friday also via BSCH

 

 

Its over the weekend though that conditions ramp up. The trough is expected to become more consolidated and that will help temperatures rise into the mid to high 30’s across SEQLD & NENSW. This rise in temperatures, whilst retaining moisture levels should lead to a significant spike in instability leading to scattered severe storms and some possibly dangerous.

OCF Forecast Maximums for Saturday via BSCH

OCF Forecast Maximums for Saturday via BSCH

 


During Sunday, forecasts are a bit trickier with models spilt 50/50 on the outcome. Scenario 1 has the cool change moving through during the early morning leading to a cooler and calmer day, scenario 2 has the cool change moving through between 4 & 7pm in SEQLD which will lead to another hot day with maximums into the mid 30’s and another day of severe / possibly dangerous storms! 
Either way, storms are expected to be around regardless of Sunday’s outcome. 

OCF Forecast Maximums for Sunday via BSCH (a combination of several models averaged out). Generally cooler conditions are expected over NENSW but SEQLD is split.

OCF Forecast Maximums for Sunday via BSCH (a combination of several models averaged out). Generally cooler conditions are expected over NENSW but SEQLD is split.

5 01, 2018

Dangerous Fire Day Forecast for VIC!

Dangerous fire conditions are forecast for large parts of Victoria during Saturday as an extreme heatwave sweeps South-East Australia. Above image via Country Fire Authority (VIC). 

 

 

The majority of Victoria is expected to experience their hottest day of the Summer so far, in combination with very strong winds and low humidity leading to one of the most dangerous fire setups since Black Saturday back in 2009. 

A trough is expected to draw very strong North to North-West winds into VIC which are likely to pump the temperature up to furnace-like temperatures with Melbourne set to experience its hottest day of the Summer with 42ºc and the North West of the State in particularly expected to melt under 44-46ºc heat which “could” challenge a few young records. This heat is expected to combine with very low humidity of 15% or less (some places below 10%) and strong to possibly damaging winds along and ahead of the trough line where gusts of 70-90km/h are expected and localised stronger gusts in more elevated areas are possible.

 

Forecast Maximums via OCF for VIC on Saturday, January 6th

Forecast Maximums via OCF for VIC on Saturday, January 6th

 

 

This setup is expected to produce extreme fire danger potential, with the Mallee, Wimmera, South West and Central (including Melbourne City) all under an Extreme Fire Danger. The North Central and Central districts are also under a Severe Fire Danger threat, with the entire State under a total fire ban. 

While the heat isn’t uncommon for Summer in Victoria, its still important to be smart in the heat by drinking plenty of water and staying in the shade as much as possible. The fire danger potential is something that everyone needs to be vigilant and alert about, as any fires that do get going are likely to be fast moving and out of control very quickly!

 

"Forecast

 

 

5 01, 2018

Dangerous, Catastrophic Fire Threat for parts of South Australia!

The entirety of South Australia is on fire alert with a State-wide total fire ban kicking in tomorrow (Saturday, January 6th), including Catastrophic fire threats! Above image via Country Fire Service South Australia.

 

Saturday is expected to be a very dangerous day across large parts of South Australia, and most notably over the South East and Greater Adelaide regions as a combination of roasting heat, very low humidity and strong to damaging winds fan the State… seeing heat stress levels, and fire danger levels skyrocket!

A trough moving through is expected to draw in roasting heat, where the entire Eastern half of South Australis and Northern regions of the State are expected to climb into the 40’s. Adelaide is tipped to hit 41ºc – the highest temp of the Summer so far. While other parts of the State are expected to scorch to 45-47ºc! This heat is expected to combine with humidity levels of 10% or less, creating a very dry environment. As the trough moves through, acting as a cool change – winds of 70-100km/h are forecast to occur along it, creating a VERY VOLATILE situation. 

Forecast Maximums via OCF / BSCH for Saturday, January 6th

Forecast Maximums via OCF / BSCH for Saturday, January 6th

 

This setup has lead to the Mount Lofty Ranges, Upper and Lower South East districts being put under a Catastrophic Fire Danger – the first time this has happened for some locations since Black Saturday. The Yorke Peninsula and Mid North are also on an Extreme Fire Danger alert with a State-Wide total fire ban in place!

 

Yes it gets hot in Adelaide, yes its not uncommon for this to occur in Summer, but people need to not be complacent because its the overall setup of dry scorching heat and strong to damaging winds which is fuelling a dangerous situation. Any fires that do get going are likely to move very fast and become quickly out of control! So please be mindful of this and have plans in place, just in case!

Country Fire Service Fire Danger for Saturday - Orange (Severe), Light Red (Extreme), Dark Red (Catastrophic)

Country Fire Service Fire Danger for Saturday – Orange (Severe), Light Red (Extreme), Dark Red (Catastrophic)

 

5 01, 2018

Record Challenging Heat to sweep NSW, ACT & VIC!

Its that time of year when the heatwaves reach a next level across Australia, and this one is no exception as some areas are set to have their January records (and possibly all-time records) challenged over the next few days! Above image OCF Forecast Temperatures for Sunday.

Luckily for the bulk population of Victoria, the heat is a one hit wonder with Saturday set to roast into the 40’s across the majority of the State. While this is nowhere near record breaking potential, its certainly by a country mile… the hottest day of the Summer so far. Maximums in the North West are forecast to climb into the mid 40’s, and those temperatures combined with low humidity and strong winds along a trough are likely to produce potentially dangerous fire conditions.

Forecast Maximums via OCF / BSCH for Saturday, January 6th

Forecast Maximums via OCF / BSCH for Saturday, January 6th

For NSW its a bit different, its hotter… for longer. Saturday the heat comes in, scorching Inland NSW with widespread maximums of 42-45ºc possibly even hotter. Closer to the Coast its expected to push 40ºc+ in Sydney’s West and the Inland Hunter, while Canberra bakes under 37ºc heat. Sunday goes to a next level with Inland NSW baking under similar conditions while Sydney City pushes 40ºc, Canberra 39ºc and Inland parts of Sydney and the Hunter reach the mid 40’s, challenging many long standing all-time records! The heat then lingers in the 40’s during Monday through West Sydney, Inland Hunter and Inland NSW… and further into Tuesday, before finally easing!

Forecast Maximums via OCF / BSCH for Monday, January 8th

Forecast Maximums via OCF / BSCH for Monday, January 8th

 

Yes it does get hot, very hot, this time of year.. but that doesn’t change the fact that these temperatures are dangerous and well above heatwave thresholds. They are up to 12-18ºc above average for some locations, thats ridiculously higher than normal for this time of year. This kind of heat, especially in populated areas can rapidly cause heat stress. The elderly, young children, infants, pregnant women and pets are all at a significant risk of heat-related illness over the next few days. Please look after them, yourselves… mostly by staying in the cool and drinking plenty of water!

BOM Heatwave Pilot valid for Saturday, Sunday, Monday.

BOM Heatwave Pilot valid for Saturday, Sunday, Monday.

29 12, 2017

Large parts of QLD to see Rain & Storms to start the New Year!

Large parts of Queensland, particularly South-Eastern, Central-Eastern and Northern QLD are expected to have a very wet and stormy start to the New Year as a slow moving storm-bearing system looks set to sweep the State! Above image: 8 day rainfall via BOM.

 

 

It looks as though large parts of Queensland are in for a wet and stormy start to 2018 as a slow moving system brings rain and storms each day to large parts of the State. The trough is forecast to initiate over South-Western, Southern Inland and South-Eastern QLD on New Year’s eve before slowly moving North though Inland QLD whilst also remaining along the Ranges across Eastern QLD. Areas North and East of this trough are likely to be under the influence of a very warm and humid airmass which is likely to produce widespread very high to extreme instability across those areas leading to showers, rain areas and thunderstorms (some severe) each day. 

 

Instability charts for Tuesday (January 2nd) showing high to very high instability (purple) and moderate to high instability (blue) across QLD

Instability charts for Tuesday (January 2nd) showing high to very high instability (purple) and moderate to high instability (blue) across QLD

 

 

Heavy rain is forecast to be a prominent threat with any thunderstorms (severe or non-severe) across the week. This is likely to lead to widespread good rainfall across Eastern and Northern parts of the State where falls of 25-50mm are likely. Further ‘better’ falls due to more consistent storm activity of 50mm+ are expected across the Northern Tropics and South-East quarter of the State. Damaging winds are also possible with any severe storms, and on various days large hail will be a threat. 

Across South-Eastern QLD in particular, the addition of both a weak cool change and some upper level support around mid week is expected to increase the threat of severe thunderstorms. There is also the ‘possibility’ of more dangerous thunderstorms (although this is purely based off current data and may be subject to change).. 

 

Instability charts for Wednesday (January 3rd) showing extreme instability (purple) and moderate to high instability (blue) across South-East QLD

Instability charts for Wednesday (January 3rd) showing extreme instability (purple) and moderate to high instability (blue) across South-East QLD

 

 

Its important to note that the rainfall potential stated above is spread across 7 days or more, and that not all areas are expected to see rainfall each day. Its also important to note that the heavier totals will be highly subject to direct thunderstorm impacts. Whilst storms are expected “most days” for the majority of Eastern and Northern QLD, its still important to check the daily forecasts as the threat areas may shift each day. For access to these detailed daily forecasts CLICK HERE.

 

"Forecast

 

27 12, 2017

Tropical Low / possible Cyclone to impact Broome to Port Hedland!

The WA Pilbara and Western Kimberley on high alert for some flooding as a Tropical Low (Invest 92S) is forecast to impact the region for the next 48-72hrs! Above image: Forecast 4 day rainfall via BOM.

 

Heavyweight models sparred with each other for a considerable amount of time, delaying the system which was expected to become Australia’s second tropical cyclone for the 2017-18 season (after Cyclone Dahlia earlier on). The heavyweight models with their indecision created high uncertainty for the strength and positioning for the system which a few days ago was labelled as Invest 92S near East Timor. 

 

From there, the system began to intensify and move South (as expected), but it did so quicker than expected and this didn’t allow the system to intensify into a cyclone. Now, the fate of the system seems like its unlikely to become a tropical cyclone after all. Invest 92S as of Wednesday morning, was situated OVER LAND 100km North of Broome. The wording “over land” is vital here, because land interaction weakens tropical systems, and that has been the issue with 92S. It moved too close to the Coast and is now over land, so it hasn’t had the fuel to intensify further. That doesn’t mean its not still a dangerous system. Tropical lows are renowned for producing extraordinary amounts of rainfall and thats what Invest 92S is forecast to do, as global models predict falls of 100-200mm becoming likely widespread across the Western Kimberley and parts of the Pilbara, while isolated falls of as much as 400mm are possible! This kind of rainfall in a short period time of 2-3 days can cause creek and river flooding along with low lying areas being inundated and flash flooding being inevitable. Squally conditions are rough seas are also likely.

Forecast 3 day rainfall via WindyTV

Forecast 3 day rainfall via WindyTV

 

There is a brief chance that the system may become a very short lived cyclone, and thats if it can meander over open water for just long enough this afternoon and tonight before making landfall tomorrow. If it can pull far enough away from the Coastline, it may get just enough fuel to reach cyclone intensity… in saying that models aren’t giving it a huge window of opportunity to do so.

Forecast wind gusts on Thursday morning via WindyTV

Forecast wind gusts on Thursday morning via WindyTV

24 12, 2017

SEQLD to Scorch this Christmas! Hottest in 12+ years!

South-East QLD is expected to experience its hottest Christmas in at least 12 years as baking heat peaks over the region on Christmas Day ahead of some severe thunderstorms! Above image via OCF for Christmas Day Maximums.

 

 

Christmas is known for its heat.. in Australia, and particularly in Queensland, you have hot Christmas’s, but this one may catch a few by surprise. During Christmas Eve, temperatures across the region are expected to scorch into the mid 30’s (well above heatwave thresholds) as a trough a very warm air mass combine over the region. There will be very little relief apart from maybe a handful of towns that “could” receive a brief afternoon storm caused by the heat and humidity… 

 

Then Christmas Day is expected to arrive, and while Santa is expected to bring presents to everyone, he’s also expected to turn the heat up! Brisbane is going for 34ºc, that’ll be the hottest temperature on Christmas Day since 2001 when the City scorched in 39ºc heat! Ipswich is going for 37ºc, it hasn’t been that hot since 2005. Other long streaks include Gatton 38ºc (2005), Nambour 34ºc (2005), Kingaroy 36ºc (2005), Gympie 35ºc (2005), Dalby 39ºc (2005), Oakey 37ºc (2005), Toowoomba 34ºc (2005), Warwick 37ºc (2005), Texas 39ºc (2005).

 

OCF Forecast Maximums for South-East QLD on Christmas Eve

OCF Forecast Maximums for South-East QLD on Christmas Eve

 

 

As stated above, it does get hot at this time of year.. so this is nothing foreign to us. However, with increased humidity combining with the heat, and given the amount of outdoor activities going on through parks, beaches and backyards, along with increased alcohol consumption. This is simply just a reminder to be smart, be safe and spend it enjoying Christmas – not suffering from heat-related illness which can be preventable. 

A weak change is expected to come through LATE on Christmas evening / night and bring severe thunderstorms with it across South-Eastern QLD – click HERE for access to those forecasts! Milder temperatures are expected to return on Boxing Day across the region, but high moisture levels will continue to produce muggy conditions.

 

OCF Forecast Maximums for South-East QLD on Boxing Day

OCF Forecast Maximums for South-East QLD on Boxing Day

 

22 12, 2017

Hottest Xmas in more than a Decade for SEQLD, SQLD & CQLD

The majority of South-East, Southern Inland, South-Western and Central Inland QLD is about to experience their hottest Christmas in at least a decade as temperatures peak during the next heatwave! Above image: OCF Forecast Maximums for Christmas Day

 

Historically speaking, the last week of December has thrown up some cracking heatwaves across Queensland and it looks like 2017 will be included in that list for years to come as a vile 4 to 5 day heatwave across large parts of Inland QLD and a 2-3 day hot spell over South-Eastern QLD peaks on Christmas Day. There have been around 5 extremely hot Christmas periods in the last 50 years across Queensland. They include 2008, 2005, 2001 (in South-East QLD), 1989 and 1972. 

For the bulk majority of places across the Southern half of Queensland, Christmas Day is expected to be the hottest since 2005. That includes places like Brisbane (33ºc), Ipswich (35ºc), Nambour (34ºc), Gatton (38ºc), Warwick (35ºc), Dalby (37ºc), Gympie (35ºc), Roma (40ºc), Gladstone (32ºc), Tambo (40ºc), Longreach (43ºc), Bollon (43ºc), Winton (43ºc).

 

For others the streak is a bit longer…
2003 was the last time St George had a 41ºc Christmas, and Thargomindah a 44ºc Christmas. For Birdsville you have to go back to 1989 since their last 46ºc Christmas, Windorah even longer at 1972 since their last 45ºc Christmas.

Charleville lost its observations on Christmas Eve / Day during an epic heatwave in 1972, so if it didn’t exceed 43ºc then, then you need to go all the way back to 1938. While Cunnamulla it will be the hottest Christmas ever with 45ºc!

"Forecast

 

 

Yes its Queensland, yes it gets hot, yes these temperatures aren’t foreign. That however doesn’t change the fact that on a day when hundreds of thousands of people will be drinking and consuming alcohol, outdoors with family and friends, playing beach cricket or in parks.. the risk of heatstroke and heat-related illness dramatically increases! Please take the necessary safety precautions by seeking air conditioning if you can, or stick to the shade and drink plenty of water / wear appropriate clothing.

 

Luckily (or unluckily) for those in South-East QLD and parts of the Darling Downs, severe thunderstorms are forecast to develop during the afternoon which will cool things down. For those further Inland and North though, expect to endure a stinker of a night! Click HERE to gain access to the thunderstorm & rainfall forecasts for Christmas.

Forecast minimums for Boxing Day via OCF

Forecast minimums for Boxing Day via OCF