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2 07, 2017

Day 2: The cold get colder

Another morning of widespread freezing and even frigid conditions as swept much of NSW, VIC, TAS and Southern QLD with the elusive -10ºc temperature finally occurring. Above image via Jo Hall in a frozen Glen Innes


Over the past 24hrs, a high pressure system which was originally situated over Eastern VIC / Southern NSW shifting North-East and became elongated to stretch over the entirety of Eastern NSW and remain over Eastern VIC / stretch into South-Eastern QLD. This allowed temperatures to remain fairly similar to that of Saturday morning across large parts of NSW and VIC, while South-Eastern QLD saw an even colder morning. TAS remained influence by the ridge and while temperatures weren’t nearly as frigid in the Highlands as those seen on Saturday, there was still enough for the freeze effect to occur.

 

Cool frozen display on the roof of a car in Bathurst, NSW via Miranda Ross

Cool frozen display on the roof of a car in Bathurst, NSW via Miranda Ross

 

• Goulburn  was the coldest of the cold with a new record breaking -10.4ºc, beating yesterday’s record breaker of -9.7ºc and smashing the original record of -9.1ºc.
• Cooma Airport -9.2ºc
• Canberra saw -8.2ºc which has meant Canberra has seen back to back -8ºc days 
• Braidwood -7.5ºc (back to back -7ºc)
• Tuggeranong -7.0ºc
• Young -7.0ºc
• Butlers Gorge (TAS) -6.6ºc
• Bathurst -6.1ºc
• Bombala -6.0ºc
• Temora -5.8ºc
• Mudgee -5.6ºc
• Condoblin -5.5ºc
• Fingal (TAS) -5.5ºc
• West Wyalong -5.5ºc
• Cowra -5.4ºc
• Liawenee (TAS) -5.2ºc
• Glen Innes saw -5.0ºc
• Merriwa had -4.8ºc – again the coldest in the Hunter although much of the Hunter was noticeably colder this morning
• Orange -4.6ºc

 For the major cities, Melbourne scored 1.4ºc again with the outer suburbs below 0ºc, Hobart was 1.1ºc for the second morning running with the outer suburbs down to as low as -4ºc. Western Sydney scored -2ºc and areas West of Brisbane dropped to freezing. 

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For much of Eastern NSW in particularly, the high pressure ridge should remain in place today and into tomorrow morning allowing for another cold morning, but overall temperatures aren’t expected to be as bitter as the previous 2 mornings.

Frozen cricket field in Katoomba via Amanda Playford

Frozen cricket field in Katoomba via Amanda Playford

 

 

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1 07, 2017

South-East Australia shivers through frigid morning!

Temperatures have absolutely plummeted across NSW, VIC and TAS this morning with some locations having their coldest morning for several decades! Above image via Nathan Rowbotham in Broken Hill – the pic says it all!


The elusive -10ºc wasn’t quite achieved this morning, but tell that to the several towns and even Canberra who had to contemplate whether an early frosty wake up call was in order or if sleeping in was the best option as the temperature dropped to at least -8ºc! Almost the entirety of NSW, VIC and TAS are waking up to frost (from a temperature perspective) and for some its the coldest morning in a very long time. This has all been brought on by a strong and large high pressure system moving over the region and combining with freezing air which brought snow to low levels over Tasmania just 24-36hrs ago. The cold air descending towards the surface is being allowed to dominate as crystal clear skies allow the heating to completely disintegrate.

So some of these temperatures…

 

• Canberra -8.7ºc! This is the coldest temperature since -8.8ºc was recorded in July 1982.
• To round out the Capitals – Melbourne dropped to 1.1ºc, Hobart slightly warmer at 1.2ºc, Sydney’s Western Suburbs woke to below 0ºc, Brisbane’s West was just 2ºc

• Goulburn -9.7ºc (July record – Previous was -9.1ºc in 1994)
• Perisher-9.7º
• Liawenee (TAS) -9.6º
• Thredbo Top Station -7.6º
• Cooma Airport -7.4ºc
• Bathurst -7.3ºc (Equal all time / outright July record for the Airport)
• Braidwood -7.0ºc
• Orange -7.0ºc (Coldest July morning in 11 years)
• Condoblin -6.8ºc (Coldest July morning in 20 years)
• Hay Airport -6.2ºc
• Deniliquin -5.6ºc (Equal coldest morning in 110 years!!)
• Parkes -5.6ºc (All-time Record)
• Temora -5.6ºc (Coldest July morning in 46 years)
• Cobar Airport -5.5ºc (Coldest morning in 13 years)
• Glen Innes -5.4ºc was the coldest on the Northern Tablelands
• Merriwa -5.0ºc was the coldest place in the Hunter
• Walgett -4.6ºc (Coldest July morning in 15 years)

Frozen hose in Queanbeyan, NSW (-8ºc air temp, -18ºc ground temp) via Queanbeyan Fire Bridge

Frozen hose in Queanbeyan, NSW (-8ºc air temp, -18ºc ground temp) via Queanbeyan Fire Bridge

 

Frozen horse water cracked with steel pipe in Meadow Flat, Central NSW Tablelands (-7.4ºc) via Deanne Davidson

Frozen horse water cracked with steel pipe in Meadow Flat, Central NSW Tablelands (-7.4ºc) via Deanne Davidson

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While VIC and TAS weren’t nearly as cold as many locations in NSW, the VIC Snowy’s did drop to below -7ºc, some suburbs of Hobart (or in South-East TAS in general) saw -4ºc, apart from Liawenee, most places over the TAS Highlands were between -3 and -6ºc, Launceston Airport scored a bone chilling -5.0ºc which is a July Record, North-Western VIC dropped to almost -5ºc and the suburbs of Melbourne saw below 0ºc!

 

Frozen pants in Shepparton VIC (-3.8ºc) via Shaun McNamara

Frozen pants in Shepparton VIC (-3.8ºc) via Shaun McNamara

 

30 06, 2017

Cooler Weekend in store for South-East & Southern QLD

Much of the Southern half of QLD is expected to finally see a glimpse of Winter as temperatures noticeably drop across Friday and into the weekend following a change overnight. Above image maximum temperatures for Saturday across Southern QLD via BSCH / OCF

Last night (Thursday night) saw a trough produce scattered showers across much of the Southern half of the State leading to falls of up to 15mm across large parts of South-East QLD, the Darling Downs, Warrego and Maranoa and extending into Southern parts of the Central Highlands. This trough had very warm air feeding into it, which is why many areas (particularly across South-East QLD) experienced such a warm night last night. Despite all of that happening though, this are about to change in favour of the Winter lovers.

 

West to South-West winds are feeding into the back end of the trough which is now situated offshore. These cooler winds are dragging cold air out of NSW and VIC and feeding it over Southern QLD which will likely result in temperatures staying very similar to what they were last night and struggling to reach much more than about 20ºc for many areas. Temperatures are set to drop further on Saturday and into Sunday, as a high pressure system moves into position producing crystal clear skies and allowing all heating to escape. Minimums across the Granite Belt could reach -3 or -4ºc both mornings, while the Darling Downs will see many places nearing or dropping below 0ºc, the same across the Warrego and Maranoa, while Western parts of South-East QLD should see frost. Maximums will struggle also, with the Granite Belt barely making it above 15ºc and parts of South-East QLD not reaching 20ºc. Many parts of Southern Inland QLD will also struggle to 20ºc on Saturday before warmer air gets dragged down from Northern QLD ahead of the next system and temperatures rise again on Sunday.

Forecast maximum temperatures via BSCH / OCF for Southern QLD on Saturday, July 2nd 2017

Forecast maximum temperatures via BSCH / OCF for Southern QLD on Saturday, July 2nd 2017

 

While these aren’t the bone chilling temperatures of NSW and VIC, they are well below average for QLD. Brisbane averages 21.8ºc as a maximum in July, so 19ºc and 20ºc is already below average, but up also up to 5ºc colder than the previous week that has been experienced. The Darling Downs sees maximums around the 19-20ºc mark normally in July, and while this weekend will only be about 1ºc below that, it will be more noticeable thanks to a 6-7ºc drop in temperatures for some compared to a few days ago.

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29 06, 2017

Low Level Snow incoming for TAS!

A cold front has moved through Tasmania this morning and has made way for a burst of freezing air to impact the region tonight and tomorrow morning leading to low level snowfall! Above image via Weatherzone


A cold front moved through Tasmania this morning bringing strong to damaging wind gusts and some reasonable rainfall as expected. Wind gusts of 93km/h were recorded on Maatsuyker Island off the South Coast of Tasmania while Mount Read record a 91km/h gust. Several other locations recorded winds of 80-90km/h during the morning and early afternoon. As for the rainfall falls of up to 20mm occurred to 9am over the Western districts of TAS and up to 15mm from 9am to 2pm over the Southern districts. Again, nothing out of the ordinary, but its the cold air which is now moving overhead that is about to change things up.

2:30pm radar and satellite of Tasmania showing the showers impacting the West via Weatherzone

2:30pm radar and satellite of Tasmania showing the showers impacting the West via Weatherzone

 

 

Satellite imagery at 3pm was showing a large area of speckled cloud coverage starting to impact Western Tasmania behind the cold front, and spreading into the Eastern Bight. This speckled cloud coverage is indicative of very cold air which usually results in snowfall. Global models are indicating that from now (3pm Thursday) until mid Friday morning, an upper trough with much colder than normal temperatures of -5 to -7ºc at 1500m ASL is expected to impact the entirety of Tasmania. This very cold air is expected to combine with a narrow period of increased moisture content to produce snowfall to low levels across Tasmania, likely down to 300m and possibly down to 200m. This should lift on Friday morning to around 500m and then gradually during the afternoon before snowfall stops. Despite low level snow occurring, only 10-15cm is expected in the TAS Highlands and this is due to the narrow timeframe that moisture will be active over the region. Only a dusting is expected below 500m.

Forecast 1500m ASL temperatures for Midnight Friday June 30th over Tasmania via ECMWF / WindyTV

Forecast 1500m ASL temperatures for Midnight Friday June 30th over Tasmania via ECMWF / WindyTV

 

 

29 06, 2017

Winter is about to smash South-East AUS hard this weekend!

After what has been a relatively slow start to Winter in terms of both snow and the requirement for multiple layers of clothing… things are about to change and change quickly across NSW and VIC this weekend! Above image 6am temperatures on Saturday via WindyTV


During Saturday, a high pressure system is expected to move East across VIC and Southern NSW, with a ridge extending out from it to cover the entirety of both States and Tasmania. This high is likely to strengthen during the early hours of Saturday morning whilst combining with upper level cooling to produce very clear conditions, but also very cold conditions as all heating will escape and colder air is expected to be dragged down towards the surface. Its during Saturday morning that Winter will noticeably have arrived as temperatures drop down to -6 to -8ºc across the NSW Southern and Central Tablelands & ACT, -4 or -5ºc across Northern VIC, Southern Inland NSW and the NSW Northern Tablelands and the remainder of both States are likely to be below 3ºc unless you’re on the direct Coastline in NSW. These kinds of temperatures are likely to result in severe and heavy frost across large parts of NSW and Northern VIC and widespread frost across the majority of both States including Inner Melbourne where it may be as cold as 1ºc. Its expected to be no better in TAS where Hobart could drop below 0ºc for the first time in 4 years, while the Highlands could see -7c!

On Sunday, the high is expected to linger over NSW with a ridge remaining in place across VIC, NSW, Southern QLD and potentially Tasmania still. Sunday morning is expected to be fractionally warmer although those on the NSW Central and Southern Tablelands / ACT may disagree as another morning of -6 to -8ºc is expected leading to more severe heavy frost, and to Canberra potentially seeing its coldest pair of weekend mornings in 20 years! The last time back to back -6ºc mornings occurred on the weekend was 1997! Widespread parts of NSW and Northern VIC should see below 0ºc leading to another frosty start. TAS is likely to see widespread frost again with Hobart dropping to about 1ºc.

Forecast temperatures for Sunday Morning via EC / WindyTV - Blue colouring is below 0ºc, aqua is below -5ºc

Forecast temperatures for Sunday Morning via EC / WindyTV – Blue colouring is below 0ºc, aqua is below -5ºc

 

 

Despite these freezing mornings, conditions across all 3 States should be near perfect on both Saturday and Sunday with blue skies. Temperature wise it won’t be anything unusual for Winter, and even the minimum temperatures aren’t unheard of, but it could come as a shock after such a warm June. After this high moves off, some low level snow could be on the cards again with a big dumping possible for the Snowy Mountains just in time for school holidays.

 

 

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28 06, 2017

Low Level Snow likely in TAS during Thursday & Friday

A new wave of snow potential is expected to sweep through Tasmania during Thursday night and Friday morning with snow likely down to 400m and possible down to 300 maybe even 200m. Above image via WindyTV showing 3-day snowfall potential.

During Thursday morning, a cold front is forecast to sweep across Tasmania producing a band of showers and strong to possibly damaging winds. While rainfall totals should be fairly normal for this time of year, and winds will be nothing out of the ordinary…. its the pool of freezing air which is expected to be dragged up from Antarctica behind the system and produce conditions favourable for low level snowfall.

During Thursday afternoon and evening, temperatures at 1500m are expected to rapidly drop and bottom out around midnight at -7ºc over Southern TAS and -5ºc or colder over the entirety of TAS. These very cold temperatures are expected to mix with a narrow period of moisture from about 4pm Thursday until about 4am Friday to produce conditions which are favourable for snowfall to occur at low levels. The majority of models are indicating the snow is likely to fall to at least 400m, with snow possible down to 200m in the South of the State (some going even lower than that although the safer bet is 200-300m). While this isn’t anything out of the ordinary as Tasmania does see low level snow each day, the system itself is much awaited after the warmest start to June in a long time for the majority of TAS.

 

Despite the potential for low level snow, snowfall totals at the higher altitudes aren’t expected to benefit with the window of moisture expected to be short enough that snowfall totals are limited to about 15-25cm over the Central and Northern Highlands, and only a dusting at those lower levels. Thinking positively though, after such a warm start… some of these Highland locations could be well over the 50cm mark in just a week of activity following 2 previous snow days in the last 8 days.

ec-tas-snow-june-29-30

28 06, 2017

Showers and Storms expected to impact Northern NSW & Southern QLD

A band of showers and thunderstorms are likely to impact large parts of Southern and possibly Central Inland QLD along with Northern Inland and North-Eastern NSW, possibly spreading into South-Eastern QLD between Wednesday and Friday. This band of activity is expected to produce good off-season rainfall for areas that are needing it. Above image via WindyTV showing 3-day rainfall totals across the region.


Models are indicating that a surface trough is likely to develop and become established between Port Macquarie, Moree, St George and Windorah during Wednesday. This surface trough is expected to draw in high levels of moisture from the Coral Sea / Pacific Ocean on an Easterly moisture fetch, while also drawing in high levels of moisture from the South-West (Great Australian Bight). The combination of increased moisture and upper level support from an upper trough over NSW is expected to lead to an areas of instability developing around the system leading to isolated thunderstorms during Wednesday afternoon over Northern NSW and Southern Inland QLD, while a band of showers and rain periods are more likely. This band of showers and storms is expected to produce falls of 25-50mm across Northern parts of NSW and isolated higher totals not being ruled out, while across Southern Inland QLD falls of up to 15mm are possible.

 

OCF Forecast Rainfall totals for Wednesday, June 28th 2017 via BSCH

OCF Forecast Rainfall totals for Wednesday, June 28th 2017 via BSCH

 

During Thursday, the system is expected to shift towards the East and continue to impact the Darling Downs, Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Northern Tablelands, Warrego and Maranoa along with parts of the North-West Slopes and Plains and Central Inland QLD. The entire system is expected to intensify leading to more prolonged rain areas and potentially more scattered thunderstorms. While storms will remain hit and miss, the rain areas are what we will focus on as a large area of 25-50mm is possible from Taroom to Coolangatta, down to Port Macquarie and back inland towards Moree and Charleville.

 

OCF Forecast Rainfall totals for Thursday, June 29th 2017 via BSCH

OCF Forecast Rainfall totals for Thursday, June 29th 2017 via BSCH

 

 

During Friday morning, the system is expected to sweep through South-East QLD giving overnight showers and rain so rainfall totals are expected to be on the light side in South-East QLD (up to 15mm possible), and these should continue across the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast (again with light totals) while clearing inland regions. Overall across the 3 days, falls of 50-75mm are possible across some areas over the Northern Tablelands, Northern Rivers, Darling Downs and while some have benefited this year from good rainfall, others in these districts haven’t, so we are hoping maybe this can be the system to lift some hopes.

 

OCF Forecast Rainfall totals for Friday, June 30th 2017 via BSCH

OCF Forecast Rainfall totals for Friday, June 30th 2017 via BSCH

 

 

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25 06, 2017

Another Snow Burst to hit TAS

Issued at 2:30pm Sunday, June 25th 2017. The cold front has just passed through TAS and the cold snow air is about to arrive! Above image is a visible satellite via BSCH

 

The current synoptic situation is showing a cold front, the second in just 3 days, has passed over Tasmania this afternoon and is now beginning to pass through Victoria. This cold front is tracking towards the East and is linked to a strong low pressure system in the Southern Tasman Sea. Along and just ahead this cold front, damaging to near destructive winds have been recorded with Maatsuyker Island seeing a wind gust of 113km/h around 9am this morning and gusts between 85 and 100km/h since. Mt Wellington has seen a wind gust of 91km/h and Hogan Island located in Bass Strait has just seen an 89km/h gust but this may increase as the front nears over the next hour or so.

 

Behind this front, very cold air is once again being dragged up from Antarctica, indicated by the speckled cloud coverage over the Great Australian Bight at the moment (circled in blue on the cover image). This speckled cloud resembles the general region where conditions are favourable for snowfall to occur. Temperatures as low as -3ºc are forecast to occur at 1500m behind the front, once this mixes with shallow moisture then snowfall is likely to occur through Sunday evening into Monday over Tasmania down to about 700-800m and across the Snowy Mountains down to around 1000m. Falls of up to 15cm are forecast across the Tasmanian Central Highlands, with about 5-10cm expected over the Snowy Mountains.

Forecast températures at 5,000ft / 1500m via EC Model for the early hours of Monday Morning via WindyTV

Forecast températures at 5,000ft / 1500m via EC Model for the early hours of Monday Morning via WindyTV

 

 

19 06, 2017

Devastating Wildfires impact Portugal

The Portuguese government have declared Sunday through to Tuesday as National days of mourning as devastating wildfires continue to burn out of control through the country. Above image via Paolo Cunha just outside of Pedrógão Grande

A large fire broke out over Central Portugal in the Leiria region, near Pedrógão Grande. This fire is believed to been caused by weather, as the region battles through an unprecedented heatwave where temperatures have reached the high 30’s and even low 40’s for several days. The scorching heat has lead to some thunderstorms developing and its being reported that some dry lightning may have been the cause of this particular fire. Since the fires began over the weekend, more than 150 fires have been reported with several still ongoing including the main fire in the Leiria region.

Aerial view from video footage of the bushfire in the Leiria Region. Image Credit: REUTERS / Rafael Marchant

Aerial view from video footage of the bushfire in the Leiria Region. Image Credit: REUTERS / Rafael Marchant

 

 

Tragically, more than 60 people have lost their lives during this fire outbreak, with some of the victims being children as young as 3 years old. The majority of the deaths came from the Pedrógão Grande region, where people were fleeing the oncoming fire. Its being reported that several people were fleeing the Pedrógão Grande region as the large fire approached. However the fire quickly jumped ahead, swept the roads and trapped the victims. Its been reported that 30 people were found burned in their cars, while another 17 were found in the open – where its assumed they were trying to flee by foot once the road was cut. More than 60 people have also reported to be injured, with at least 5 people in a critical conditions (including children). Unfortunately both the fatality and injury names are expected to climb.

Hillsides burning during Portugal Wildfires. Image Credit: Getty Images

Hillsides burning during Portugal Wildfires. Image Credit: Getty Images

 

 

More than 1700 firefighters have been deployed across the entire Country, with 600+ firefighters battling the Pedrógão Grande blaze. Some firefighters have been injured. At least 5 water bombing planes have been deployed out of France and Spain, and at least 300 soldiers have also been deployed in a fight to get on top of both the blazes and rescue/recovery mission. Our thoughts go out to not only the residents in Portugal, but the emergency workers who are working tirelessly around the clock during what has been described as one of the Country’s greatest tragedies.

Firefighters run for cover amidst flames and smoke in Capela Sao Neitel, Central Portugal. Image Credit: Paulo Cunha, European Pressphoto Agency (EPA)

Firefighters run for cover amidst flames and smoke in Capela Sao Neitel, Central Portugal. Image Credit: Paulo Cunha, European Pressphoto Agency (EPA)

 

18 06, 2017

Rough beach conditions expected over the next 24-72hrs

The beaches from the Sunshine Coast to Port Macquarie are about to cop a bit of a lashing as strong winds and large seas caused by a low pressure system impact the region for several days. Above image – Monday wave heights via WindyTV/ECMWF model


A low pressure system located well East of the Northern Rivers on Monday is forecast to slowly move East and away from the South-East QLD / North-Eastern NSW Coast, however the low itself is expected to morph into more a broad low pressure region on Tuesday and into Wednesday whilst keeping a slow Easterly movement in tact. This low whilst producing some isolated showers along the DIRECT Coastline between the Sunshine Coast and Port Macquarie, is also expected to generate strong winds and a potentially dangerous surf.

During Monday, the focus of the above average seas and large swell are forecast to be situated over the North-Eastern NSW region. Seas of 3-4m are likely, with offshore buoys potentially seeing waves as high as 6m. This is forecast to combine with winds of 40-60km/h with gusts of up to 75km/h to create potentially hazardous beach conditions. For South-East QLD its expected to be a bit calmer during Monday, however conditions are forecast to deteriorate as the stronger winds surge further North Monday night into Tuesday morning.

 

Forecast winds via EC Model / WindyTV during Monday morning (red >50km/h, purple >90km/h)

Forecast winds via EC Model / WindyTV during Monday morning (red >50km/h, purple >90km/h)

 


During Tuesday, the entire region mentioned above should be under the influence of strong winds of up to 60km/h and wind gusts of up to 75km/h, along with waves of up to 4m likely and potentially up to 5 or 6m and this is likely to last into Wednesday morning where conditions should begin to ease, but still staying above normal for height and wind strength. 

Whilst this isn’t uncommon, especially during Winter, it could come as a little of a shock to anyone within close vicinity to the beaches as the Low itself isn’t really going to make its presence known. Apart from the odd shower producing falls of less than a few mm, there should be plenty of breaks in the cloud for the sun to creep through and produce pleasant days, although the wind will likely keep the “feels like” temperature down a fair bit.

 

Forecast wave heights via EC Model / WindyTV on Tuesday (June 20th) - maroon 4m height, lighter red >5m

Forecast wave heights via EC Model / WindyTV on Tuesday (June 20th) – maroon 4m height, lighter red >5m