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5 09, 2017

Category 5 Hurricane Irma heading for Caribbean / U.S

Issued Tuesday night, September 5th 2017. Hurricane Irma has rapidly intensified in the past 6 hours into a Category 5 monster, making it the strongest Atlantic system in more than a decade and it has many places on high alert! Above image – Satellite imagery via NOAA


Irma developed into a Tropical Storm more than a week ago off the Coast of Africa. Since then, Irma has undergone fluctuations of rapid intensified and steadying periods as its tracked at a constant pace and direction towards the West and towards the Bahamas / Antilles Islands. The fluctuations in intensity have been due to water temperatures being only marginally favourable, whilst atmospheric conditions have been exceptionally ideal, its been a matter of which one takes the reins at any given point in time.

Forecast track map via the National Hurricane Center as of Tuesday night AEST

Forecast track map via the National Hurricane Center as of Tuesday night AEST

 

 

Right now, Irma is East of the Leeward Antilles with a landfall expected over the next 24hrs across the Northern Islands of the Leeward Antilles and then a near impact or direct impact over Puerto Rico – most likely as a Category 5. Models have been fluctuating in tracks due to so much uncertainty with ridging patterns, however at this stage Irma is expected to track North of the Dominican Republic and through the Bahamas towards Cuba. Its at this point that a breakdown in the ridge over the Atlantic is expected, and this will cause Irma to rapidly change direction towards the North leading to 1 of 4 scenarios…. 1. She turns North of misses the United States. 2. She turns North and moves East of Florida, with a landfall over the Carolina’s. 3. A direct landfall over Florida with catastrophic impacts. 4. Moves West of Florida into the Gulf and makes landfall over the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Regardless… Florida WILL be impacted to a degree – whether its storm force winds or major hurricane force winds, some sort of impact is likely. 

More than 250mm is also expected to fall over the path of Irma leading to widespread flash flooding. Isolated falls of more than 400-500mm are also possible, but once again these will be highly dependant on the track. 

Despite all the uncertainty, one thing is for sure… Irma is one very nasty and very dangerous system, and Irma will strike someone – there are too many islands and too much scattered land for nobody to be impact. Our thoughts go out to those in Irma’s path.

Forecast 10 day rainfall via WindyTV for Irma. Purple is over 500mm, pink over 250mm, orange / pink over 100mm.

Forecast 10 day rainfall via WindyTV for Irma. Purple is over 500mm, pink over 250mm, orange / pink over 100mm.

 

3 09, 2017

Snowstorm for the Alps, possible Snow in Canberra

Issued Sunday, September 3rd 2017. A surface trough / cold front moving through on Sunday is expected to give NSW its best snowfall for 2017 as it makes room for a vigorous Antarctic blast. Above image – Temperatures at 1500M ASL, with the area most favourable for snow in NSW circled in red via BSCH

On Sunday morning, a trough / cold front combination is situated over Southern Inland NSW stretching into North-Western NSW / South-Western QLD. This system has already produced strong winds over Western NSW and this is likely to continue for all areas, along with constant damaging gusts of 90-130km/h over the Alps over the next 4 days. The trough is also expected to generate some thunderstorms for Northern NSW. Behind the front however, a vigorous pool of Antarctic air is expected to be dragged up, covering the region and mixing with good moisture content to produce very heavy snowfall and blizzards.

Forecast wind gusts for NSW on Monday night. Pink is over 60km/h, aqua is over 90km/h and purple is up to 125km/h

Forecast wind gusts for NSW on Monday night. Pink is over 60km/h, aqua is over 90km/h and purple is up to 125km/h

 


The cold air is expected to arrive late on Sunday lasting until sometime on Wednesday (most likely during the afternoon / evening), with the coldest air arriving later on Monday and lasting until Tuesday evening. During the peak of the event, snow is likely to fall to as low as 500m in Southern NSW and 900m across the Central Tablelands / Blue Mountains. Falls of more than 100cm are likely over the NSW Snowy Mountains, with totals of as much as 140cm possible. The majority of this will fall over Monday and Tuesday where 48hr totals of 70-100cm are expected!

For those wondering if it will snow in Canberra.. its possible. Elevated parts of the ACT should see snow, but Canberra itself may come under the influence of a rain shadow caused by the Brindabella Ranges. A rain shadow is when the Ranges block the moisture, causing an area of dryness on the opposite side of the Range (in this case over Canberra). So while temperatures may be ideal, and elevation is spot on, a lack of moisture may occur and thats why its only “possible” and not likely.

Forecast 6 day snowfall via WindyTV, yellow is over 50cm, red over 100cm.

Forecast 6 day snowfall via WindyTV, yellow is over 50cm, red over 100cm.

 

 

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3 09, 2017

Late Season Snow Storm for VIC

Issued Sunday, September 3rd 2017. Victoria could see its best snow dump for the season to date over the next 4 days as a cold front drags Antarctic air over the region leading to heavy snow in the Alps and low level snow elsewhere. Above image temperatures at 17,000ft via WindyTV on Monday afternoon


A cold front is expected to push through later this morning (Sunday) resulting in widespread strong wind gusts across Victoria with damaging winds likely over Bass Strait and the Snowy Mountains / elevated parts of the State. Onshore Westerly winds are expected to trail in behind the cold front producing scattered to widespread showers which may contain small hail as they interact with cold air. Snow is likely to begin falling down to around 800m over VIC but its the frigid air lagging behind that will excite snow-goers.

 

Forecast wind gusts on Monday afternoon via WindyTV. Aqua is over 90km/h, pink is over 60km/h

Forecast wind gusts on Monday afternoon via WindyTV. Aqua is over 90km/h, pink is over 60km/h

 


A frigid cold pool being dragged up from Antarctica is expected to move over Victoria later on Monday resulting in snow dropping from 800m down to 400m with lower unsettled snow possible. Snow is then may fall down to as low as 300m early on Tuesday when the coldest air moves overhead. Snow will then gradually rise to 500m later on Tuesday, 800m on Wednesday and 1000m by Wednesday evening as the cold air moves East. These kinds of levels are likely to match, if not better the lowest snow for the season so far in Victoria and with good moisture being fed in, some healthy totals are expected. 

Falls of 50-75cm are likely over the Victorian Alps between Sunday night and Thursday morning along with some blizzards, falls of up to 100cm cant be ruled out. Snow is also likely over the Otway Ranges, Dandenong Ranges, Ballarat and Grampians.

 

Forecast 6 day snowfall totals via WindyTV. Yellow is over 50cm, red over 100cm

Forecast 6 day snowfall totals via WindyTV. Yellow is over 50cm, red over 100cm

 

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2 09, 2017

Late Season Snow coming for TAS

Issued Saturday evening, September 2nd 2017. Tasmania is expected to see a late heavy snow dump with low level snow liking over the next several days! Above image via WindyTV showing temperatures at 17,000ft very early on Tuesday morning.


During Sunday night, a cold front is expected to move through Tasmania bringing widespread strong winds, with damaging winds of 90km/h or greater likely over elevated areas and over open waters (particularly Maatsuyker Island and Mt Wellington). Some isolated thunderstorms are possible with this front as it moves through, along with a band of scattered light to moderate showers – particularly in the West. Its the cold air behind the system that is expected to produce a good late season snow dump!

 

Forecast wind gusts for Sunday afternoon via WindyTV where pink is over 60km/h and aqua/blue is over 90km/h.

Forecast wind gusts for Sunday afternoon via WindyTV where pink is over 60km/h and aqua/blue is over 90km/h.

 


A large pool of frigid Antarctic air is expected to track over Tasmania from very late Sunday and remain over the region until late on Wednesday with the coldest air moving over the region late on Monday and early Tuesday. Temperatures as cold as -37ºc at 17,000ft and as low as -6ºc at 1500m ASL are expected to produce snow to 300m on Monday night and 200m on Tuesday morning with unsettled snow possible to below 100m on the West Coast on Tuesday also. The constant moisture flow will allow for more than 60cm to fall over the Cradle Valley between Sunday and Thursday with heavier totals possible. Widespread falls of 25cm+ are expected over the entire Western half of the State, and snow is also possible in the suburbs of Hobart. Blizzard conditions are also expected over Mt Wellington.

This is quite late in the season to have such a low and heavy snow event and its possible that another event may follow later in the week adding to what has been quite a snowy Winter in 2017.

 

Forecast 6 day snowfall from Saturday onwards via WindyTV. Green is over 25cm, yellow is over 50cm.

Forecast 6 day snowfall from Saturday onwards via WindyTV. Green is over 25cm, yellow is over 50cm.

 

 

2 09, 2017

This could be the biggest snow dump for 2017!

Issued Saturday, September 2nd 2017. A cold front is expected to move through South Eastern Australia this weekend making way for potentially the biggest snow dump of the 2017 Season. Above image – Current satellite via BSCH of the cold pool moving across the Bight.


As of Saturday midday, a low pressure system is situated over the Central / Southern Bight, South of the WA / SA Border. This cold front is expected to push towards the South-East and push South of Tasmania during Sunday and Monday. A cold front linked to this low is expected to sweep South Australia on Saturday & Sunday, and through VIC / TAS and Southern NSW on Sunday and Monday bringing widespread strong winds to damaging winds, showers and hail. Its the activity behind it though that is of interest…

 

Wind gusts on Monday afternoon via WindyTV with blue/aqua over 90km/h (damaging) and pink over 60km/h.

Wind gusts on Monday afternoon via WindyTV with blue/aqua over 90km/h (damaging) and pink over 60km/h.

 


Behind the cold front, an extremely large area of very cold Antarctic air (-39ºc at 17,000ft) is expected to push through and produce cover all of TAS, VIC and Southern NSW from late Sunday until Tuesday. The system is likely to produce low level snow down to 300m across TAS, 400m across VIC and 500m across Southern NSW during the peak of the system, with flurries possible 100m lower in all regions, along with likely heavy snow and blizzard conditions across the Alps. In Victoria, snow is expected to fall in Ballarat where up to 5cm is forecast, while up to 10cm is expected over the Otway’s South-West of Geelong. Snow is also likely over the Dandenong Ranges. 

More than 100cm is likely across the NSW Snowy Mountains between Sunday and Thursday as residual snow showers continue between Tuesday and Thursday, while 80-100cm is expected over the VIC Snowy Mountains. Falls of 50-70cm are likely across the Cradle Valley in Tasmania with widespread good falls of 25cm+ covering the Western half of TAS. All areas may also see higher totals.

 

6 day current Snow Forecast via WindyTV. Red is over 100cm, orange over 75cm, yellow over 50cm.

6 day current Snow Forecast via WindyTV. Red is over 100cm, orange over 75cm, yellow over 50cm.

 

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26 08, 2017

Low Level Snow possible in TAS tonight!

Another round of low level snow is possible across Tasmania tonight as a burst of Antarctic air moves through. Above image via BSCH showing the cold air (circled in yellow) approaching.


A cold front is expected to move through Tasmania this evening bringing strong winds (possibly damaging to elevated regions) and shower activity. The best falls are expected across the Western half of the State where falls of 25-40mm are expected, and isolated higher totals cant be ruled out due to the constant onshore flow trailing in behind the front which will occur all night. Its the cold air behind the front though that is the focus. 

Frigid Antarctic air is expected to trail in behind the front and cover the entire State overnight Saturday into Sunday. This frigid air, where temperatures may drop down to as low as -7 or -8ºc in the South at 1500m ASL, and -5ºc in the North at 1500m ASL will mix with just enough moisture to produce snow down to 200m with unsettled snow possible to even lower levels over the Far South. As the cold air moves through, snow levels should begin to rise to about 500m during late Sunday morning and 800m later in the day. Despite the low snow levels, totals are expected to be limited with just flurries below 500m, 5-10cm over Mt Wellington and put up to 15cm possible over the Cradle Valley

 

Forecast 1500m ASL temperatures via WindyTV for 1am Sunday, August 26th. Blue is <0ºc, aqua -5ºc, pink -10ºc.

Forecast 1500m ASL temperatures via WindyTV for 1am Sunday, August 26th. Blue is <0ºc, aqua -5ºc, pink -10ºc.

 

 

During Sunday, temperatures may struggle to reach double digits across large parts of the State with the South to South-Westerly flow remaining active over the region, and this will make it feel more like 0ºc at times (especially in the South).

Forecast 3 day snow totals over Tasmania (majority falling prior to Midday Sunday) via WindyTV

Forecast 3 day snow totals over Tasmania (majority falling prior to Midday Sunday) via WindyTV

 

26 08, 2017

Major Hurricane Harvey about to cross the Texas Coast

Major Hurricane Harvey is just hours away from crossing the Texas Coast and becoming the first U.S Major Hurricane to make landfall in 12 years. Harvey will likely become the first Category 4 or stronger hurricane to hit Texas since Carla in 1961! Above image via NOAA

In the past 24hrs, Harvey has rapidly intensified into a Category 4 Hurricane with sustained winds of more than 215km/h. Harvey is still slowly intensifying due to very favourable conditions near the Coast, and is likely to make landfall over the next few hours just to the North of Corpus Christi, Texas. 

While the very destructive winds have warranted an “Extreme Wind Warning” from the National Weather Service which is quoted expressing concern for widespread tornado-like damage across large parts of the Texas Coastline. The main threat isn’t the wind. The main threat is the extreme, LIFE THREATENING, rainfall. Forecast models continue to pump ridiculous rainfall totals over Southern Texas between Corpus Christi and Houston. Widespread falls of more than 600mm are likely over the next 6 days with scattered falls of more than 1000mm and isolated falls of up to 1400mm expected to occur. This kind of rainfall is likely to combine with a very dangerous and constant storm surge to create HISTORIC flooding which will not only inundate homes but completely isolate communities for more than a week. The combination of wind and rain is expected to be nearly unprecedented for the United States.

 

 


On the future of Harvey…. models are all in agreement over the next 3-4 days that Harvey will slowly move North towards Central Texas leading to Southern Texas receiving a 3-4 day torrent of non-stop rainfall. Its beyond 4 days where models become divided… some are suggesting that Harvey may loop back around, re-enter the Gulf of Mexico, re-intensify and then make landfall AGAIN over Texas, while others suggest it may either move inland further or move into Mexico. It appears as though the loop and second crossing is more favoured by the National Hurricane Center at this stage, and if that was to happen then it be only one out of a handful of times a system has struck the same State more than once in US history. We can only hope that everyone is prepared and safe for what will likely be a record breaking and historic hurricane.

 

Forecast track map via the National Hurricane Center as of 10am Saturday AEST

Forecast track map via the National Hurricane Center as of 10am Saturday AEST

 

 

25 08, 2017

Texas bracing for Harvey’s fury

Hurricane Harvey is currently rapidly intensifying into potentially a Major Hurricane as it heads for Texas where extensive life threatening flooding and destructive winds are expected! Above image – Forecast 6 day rainfall via WindyTV


The Untied States is currently on a massive 12 year drought for a major hurricane (Category 3 or greater) to make landfall with the record breaking Major Hurricane Wilma being the last in 2005 (a year which saw 4 Category 5’s including Katrina and Wilma). Texas is also on a 9 year hurricane drought with no action since Ike in 2008 which caused mass devastation. This is all about to change though with forecast models showing Hurricane Harvey is expected to rapidly intensify over the next 24-36hrs into potentially a Category 3 or 4 major hurricane shortly prior to landfall over the Texas Coastline between Corpus Christ and Houston. Harvey is forecast to make landfall late on Friday or early Saturday, with its initial impacts potentially being felt as early as Friday morning local time along the Texas Coast. 

 

National Hurricane Center forecast for Harvey as of 4am Friday AEST.

National Hurricane Center forecast for Harvey as of 4am Friday AEST.


High resolution models are indicating that within 6-12hrs of landfall, Harvey could be packing wind gusts of more than 220km/h, but its not just the winds that are an issue. A life threatening storm surge is expected to impact the Texas Coastline causing flooding, and potentially major flooding through Coastal areas. Then there is the phenomenal rainfall… Harvey is predicted by most models to slow down / stall for a few days shortly after making landfall which will mean areas from the Louisiana Border to Corpus Christi are pumped with endless rainfall. Models are indicating the potential for 800mm near Houston over the next 6 days with widespread falls of 400mm+ across much of Southern Texas. Given the layout of the land, this along with the storm surge would cause catastrophic and potentially life threatening flooding throughout the entire region which is home to millions of people. This flooding will also take days to recede. Major cities such as Austin, Houston, San Antonio are all in the path of this flooding, with all of these cities being heavily flooded in 2015 due to a record shattering month long deluge.

So far its been a quiet hurricane season with 8 storms (including Harvey) and 2 hurricanes developing and only 2 of these (neither of them hurricanes) impacting the US Continent. Harvey is about to change that, and we hope everyone in its path remains safe and secure.

Forecast high resolution model simulation of Harvey's track via Tropicaltidbits

Forecast high resolution model simulation of Harvey’s track and 850mb wind speed via Tropicaltidbits

 

 

19 08, 2017

Wind Easing but Temperatures Remaining Mild

Its been a very blustery Saturday across South-Eastern QLD which has helped it feel much colder than what it really is…  the good news is Winter lovers should be kept happy for the next few days! Above image: Wind gusts for Sunday afternoon via BSCH


Saturday has been noticeably colder across the South-East with temperatures struggling to make it to the August norm. Brisbane struggled to make it above 20ºc just after 3pm, with most places sitting at 18-21ºc. Along the Ranges and across the Darling Downs it was much cooler with Oakey maxing at 16.1ºc, Warwick 15.9ºc, Toowoomba 13.9ºc while Stanthorpe managed only 11.4ºc. Winds gusted between 50 and 70km/h throughout the day for most places which made it feel between 6 and 14ºc colder than what was actually being recorded. Places like Toowoomba and Stanthorpe didn’t feel warmer than 4ºc all day.

Temperatures during Saturday via Weatherzone

Temperatures during Saturday via Weatherzone

 


There is good news for those who despise the wind. Its easing tonight!  Winds are still gusting to around 30-50km/h during Saturday evening but this should change overnight as a large high becomes dominant. The high is expected to become positioned over NSW with its associated ridge covering Southern QLD. This will produce lighter Southerly winds and clear conditions, leading to a near-typical Winter’s day. Winds should ease back to 15-25km/h during Sunday morning with stronger gusts still evident along the Coast and possibly the Border Ranges over the Gold Coast Hinterland, and then further to a light 5-15km/h by Monday. The Southerly winds will help produce near normal Winter temperatures (around the high teens / low 20’s) for the next 2 days also (Sunday & Monday) before a change in wind direction sees temperatures rise again. 

Forecast Maximums for Sunday via OCF / BSCH

Forecast Maximums for Sunday via OCF / BSCH

 

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16 08, 2017

Blizzard of Oz 2 Upgrade! Flooding Rain turning into a Blizzard!

Issued Wednesday, August 16th 2017. Over the last 24hrs, the ski resorts have been subject to warmer air and exceptional rainfall and while it wasn’t record breaking rainfall, the 146mm at Perisher, 135mm at Falls Creek (76mm at the AWS was 4mm shy of the record) and 128mm at Thredbo have no doubt accelerated the snow melting process, as temperatures remained above freezing for the majority of the time the rain was falling. Widespread falls of 50mm+ fell over the remainder of the Snowy Mountains. This rainfall was also accompanied by near-destructive winds with 120km/h recorded at Thredbo before the AWS stopped recording wind speeds.

tuesday-rain-via-weatherzone


While that isn’t great news for the Alpine Resorts, this next news is… as the colder air now trails in behind the cold front which produced all the rain last night, its expected to produce a huge dumping of snow over the next week! The latest modelling data suggests falls of 80-120cm are expected across the Alpine resorts over the next 6 days with the heaviest snowfall occurring over Thursday and Friday where 50cm+ is likely and possible higher totals around the 75cm mark cant be ruled out. Reasonable falls of 15cm+ are expected tonight (Wednesday) and also on Saturday and while Sunday may see sunnier conditions, another cold front impacting the region through Monday may produce another 10-20cm again. Snow is likely to fall down to around 700m during the peak of this event, with snow consistently falling down to around 1000m throughout the event. Snow flurries or unsettled snow is also possible down to 600m during the peak which will likely impact areas such as Jindabyne, the Brindabellas and maybe even the Ranges North-West and North-East of Melbourne. Strong to damaging winds are likely also to accompany the snow which will lead to hazardous blizzard conditions. If these winds combine with heavy snow then whiteout conditions are likely.

windytv-snow-aug16to21

This kind of snowfall will match fell last week in one of the best snow dumps in the last decade, and despite some snow melting in the past 24hrs it looks like the Alps are having an epic finish to round out the season!


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