Thomas

/Thomas

About Thomas

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Thomas has created 126 blog entries.
15 03, 2017

Overnight drenching hits CQLD & SEQLD

Several areas across South-Eastern and Central QLD have awoken to cut roads, drenched backyards and liquid falling from the sky for the first time in a long time! Above image via Weatherzone

The combination of an upper low/trough over Southern parts of QLD, a localised surface trough and and wind convergence line both on the surface trough CQLD and in the mid levels across SEQLD has generated several thunderstorm clusters overnight.

 

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A HIGGINS STORM CHASING SUBSCRIBER

It started yesterday (Tuesday, March 14th) evening when a line of storms tracked through the Darling Downs and Central Highlands before losing its structure across the Wide Bay and Capricornia. This line of storms ended up producing 76mm at Toowoomba (with localised higher totals being sent in) along with falls of 80mm+ over the Burnett. This (now) cluster of storms converged with onshore winds to produce rain areas across the Wide Bay and Capricornia throughout the night. Ampthill picked up 191mm, Mt Joseph (near Gayndah) 167mm, Mt Walsh 145mm, Mimdale 131mm, with scattered to almost widespread falls of 50-130mm elsewhere. Gladstone scored 72mm, Gayndah 88mm, Gympie 82mm, Tiaro 62mm, Ghost Hill near Hervey Bay 57mm, Hervey Bay a respectable 23mm.

 

7pm Tuesday (March 14th) radar via Weatherzone

7pm Tuesday (March 14th) radar via Weatherzone

 

During the early hours of the morning, the Sunshine Coast region was smashed with torrential rain as thunderstorms and rain areas converged over the region. Intense downpours of more than 50mm/hr were being detected across the region, along with falls of more than 100mm/2hrs. Tewantin has awoken to 198mm, Noosa Heads 175mm, Doonan Creek 166mm, Coolum 135mm, Maroochydore 127mm, Coorooy 122m, Eumundi 111mm, Sunshine Coast 109mm with widespread falls of 50mm+.

 

Then it was the Gold Coast’s turn as rain areas converged just before sunrise. While the totals weren’t as heavy due to the activity not hanging around as long, falls of 82mm at Pacific Pines, 53mm and still raining at Coolangatta and widespread falls of 30-60mm across the Gold Coast were enough to give the garden a drink.

"Chucking down at Merrimac on the Gold Coast" - image via Graham Meade

“Chucking down at Merrimac on the Gold Coast” – image via Graham Meade

 

 

7 03, 2017

Enawo to pose major threat to Madagascar tonight!

Severe Tropical Cyclone Enawo (Category 4) is expected to pose a major threat to the North-East of Madagascar tonight as it makes landfall. Above image – Hi-RES forecast temperature satellite imagery via Tropicaltidbits

Enawo developed in the Indian Ocean on March 3rd (last Friday) and is now only a matter of hours away from making landfall on the small but highly populated island of Madagascar off Africa’s South-Eastern Coastline. The system is forecast to make landfall South of the town of Antalaha before tracking inland and running straight down the spine of the Island. This not only poses a significant risk to all 22 million residents on Madagascar, but also the 500,000 to 1 million residents in the North-East corner where the system will be at maximum intensity!

 

Forecast track map via JTWC

Forecast track map via JTWC


Video footage from Madagascar where residents are already feeling the force of this system!


Its likely to make landfall as a very strong Category 4 system, border lining Category 5 status. The system is at peak intensity right now (approximately 6hrs prior to landfall) with sustained winds of 230km/h and winds gusting to 280km/h!! The system is likely to bring these kinds of winds with it as it makes landfall, posing a significant risk to those Coastal and slightly inland communities over the Northern and North-Eastern Coastlines of Madagascar. Torrential rain is likely with the system also as it and its weakened form dump more than 400mm of rain over the Eastern half of the Island and up virtually 100mm+ over the majority of the island. Destructive seas are also likely to accompany the system with waves to 11m offshore and a dangerous storm surge likely. Due to the way the system is coming in, this storm surge is likely to move up a large inlet over the North-East which has dozens of communities bordering it – increased flooding is likely through this area.

Cyclone preparations are likely already in place with damaging wind gusts being felt along the Coastline already. We hope that everyone across Madagascar remains calm and safe through this terrible time and we hope for as little damage as possible.

Forecast 7 day rainfall via Tropicaltidbits

Forecast 7 day rainfall via Tropicaltidbits

 

6 03, 2017

Blanche makes landfall!

Tropical Cyclone Blanche just before 11am officially made landfall on the Northern Kimberley Coastline as a Category 2 system between Wyndham and Kalumburu bringing damaging to destructive winds and flooding rain. Above image – Rainbow satellite imagery via NOAA

Tropical Cyclone Blanche became the first system of the 2016/17 Season to make landfall as a Cyclone based system with both Yvette and Alfred making landfall as Ex-Tropical Cyclones. Blanche made landfall late on Monday morning approximately 150km NW of Wyndham in the Northern Kimberley.

Blanche crossing the Coast via Wyndham Radar / Weatherzone

Blanche crossing the Coast via Wyndham Radar / Weatherzone

 

The system is continuing to produce heavy rainfall with potential flooding associated with it. Damaging winds with localised destructive winds are also associated the system near its core, this thankfully is in a fairly remote area and will remain fairly remote for a considerable amount of time as it tracks South-West through the Kimberley this afternoon and rapidly weakening.

Over the next 24-36hrs, Blanche and Ex-Blanche are forecast to track towards Broome, with onshore flow wrapping into the Eastern side of the system producing further rain areas and thunderstorms to the Kimberley where falls of 200-300mm are forecast and this is likely to bring further flooding to an already saturated region after heavy rain in December and January brought floods to the region. Blanche is already responsible for producing more than 500mm of rainfall over the Tiwi Islands and falls of 100-250mm over the NW Northern Territory, Darwin itself has largely escaped the deluge of rain with 120mm in the last 3 days.

Forecast track via Tropicaltidbits

Forecast track via Tropicaltidbits

 

 

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A HIGGINS STORM CHASING SUBSCRIBER

HSC Premium Membership badge

 

3 03, 2017

Cyclone Watch issued for NT as Tropical Low develops

A Tropical Low is in the process of developing North of the NT in the Arafura Sea and has a reasonable chance of becoming a Cyclone in the next 72hrs, prompting a cyclone watch to be issued. Above image via PivotalWeather (7 day rainfall) with brown indicating 300mm+, yellow 100mm+

The Tropical Low is only in its early stages of development across the Northern Arafura Sea, however ALL heavyweight models across the globe showing strong indications that this system has the potential to become Cyclone Blanche on either Sunday or Monday.

 

 

The system is likely to track in a South to South-West direction over the next 72hrs+ with sea surface temperatures favourable for intensification to occur. The only thing that may hinder the system from becoming a Cyclone prior to a POTENTIAL landfall over the Tiwi Islands, North of Darwin, is its forward movement. If the system moves too fast it won’t have enough time to strengthen. Indications are that it will have just enough time to develop into a Cyclone prior to a Tiwi Island impact. Due to this scenario seeming the most likely (cyclone prior to Tiwi Island impact), a Cyclone Watch has been issued for the Islands.

 

Bureau of Meteorology initial track map for "Blanche"

Bureau of Meteorology initial track map for “Blanche”

 

Beyond the weekend, its expected to continue tracking South-West into the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, West of Darwin / North of the Kimberley where conditions are even more favourable (based off CURRENT model indicators) for this system to intensify further. Its looking likely that this system has the potential to become Cyclone Blanche – whether its before a Kimberley crossing or before a Tiwi Island crossing.

Forecast position via GFS (BSCH) of the system on Monday night

Forecast position via GFS (BSCH) of the system on Monday night

Regardless of strength though, heavy rainfall is likely across the Top End of the NT and Kimberley with further flooding expected. Falls of 200-400mm are likely and indicated by all models with localised higher totals possible. Isolated thunderstorms associated with the system could become severe quickly, while damaging to destructive winds are possible near the core of the system. The bulk of the heavy rain for the NT is forecast for Sunday where falls of 100-200mm in 24hrs are expected (including Darwin).

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A HIGGINS STORM CHASING SUBSCRIBER

HSC Premium Membership badge

 

20 02, 2017

Alfred named in the Gulf!

Tropical Cyclone Alfred has become the second Cyclone named this season and the first for the general Queensland region (being the Gulf of Carpentaria). Above image – Rainbow Satellite of Alfred via NOAA

Over the past week, Alfred has been struggling to intensify to cyclone status as he has heavily interacted with both the NT and QLD Gulf Coastlines. While Alfred showed promising signs back on Friday of becoming a Cyclone prior to its first landfall in the Gulf, this didn’t quite eventuate and he then spent the next 36hrs over land before re-entering the Gulf of Sunday morning where he has slowly moved away from land for long enough to intensify enough to reach Cyclone status.

Over the last 72hrs, the system has delivered some impressive rainfall across the Gulf with 3-day totals of more than 500mm being observed at Sweers Island and 300mm+ widespread. Winds at Centre Island have been nearing 100km/h, which is where the core of Alfred now lies.

 

 

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-8-29-59-am

Over the next 24-36hrs, Alfred is expected to maintain Cyclone status as a Category 1 system. During this time he’s expected to loop around the South-Western Gulf and make a run for the Coastline again, however due to the overall weak nature of the system, any land interaction will kill him off quickly and its not expected that Alfred will cross the Coastline as a Cyclone but more of a strong Tropical Low.

 

BOM Forecast Track Map of Alfred

BOM Forecast Track Map of Alfred

 

 

Regardless of his official crossing status, heavy rain, squally to damaging winds and rough seas are likely to accompany him with further significant falls of 200-400mm+ likely over the Southern Gulf including areas such as Sweers Island, Mornington Island, Burketown, Centre Island and Borroloola. Falls of nearly 1000mm (around Sweers Island) are possible by the time this system moves off into the Northern Territory, while bands of heavy rain and storms associated with Alfred are likely to continue sweeping the Peninsula of QLD.

 

Forecast 5 day rainfall via Tropicaltidbits

Forecast 5 day rainfall via Tropicaltidbits

 

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A HIGGINS STORM CHASING SUBSCRIBER

HSC Premium Membership badge

10 02, 2017

Hell on Earth Temperatures set to sizzle QLD

The next 3 days across South-East, Southern Inland and Central parts of QLD as well as Northern Inland and North-East NSW are forecast to sizzle with records being smashed across the region. Above image: Maximums for Sunday via OCF/BSCH

The severe heatwave which has been responsible for many records being smashed across South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales in the past 3 days is expected to drift more into Southern QLD and the Northern half of NSW over the next 3 days. The surface trough blocking any cool change at the moment is likely to lie over the NSW Central Coast and along the NSW Northern Ranges while very warm North-East winds feed into the Coastal side of it, combining with very hot Westerlies and a hot airmass overhead. This is likely to produce sizzling temperatures on Saturday, which are only going to climb to likely break records on Sunday as the trough moves closer to the Coast. On Monday, a cool change is forecast to move through Northern Coastal NSW early bringing a much cooler day, while a very warm and muggy start for SEQ should be halted in the early afternoon by the change.

 

 

Many records are likely to be broken this weekend, some of these include
•Brisbane 36 / 39 / 34 
• Beaudesert 40 / 43 / 34 (Record: Feb 38.9ºc, All-Time 43.1ºc
• Birdsville 46 / 47 / 38
• Cunnamulla 45 / 46 / 36
• Gatton 42 / 43 / 37 (Record: Feb 41.9ºc)
• Ipswich 40 / 43 / 34 (Record: Feb 40.6ºc)
• Nambour 36 / 40 / 32 (Record: Feb 40.5ºc)
• Nerang 37 / 40 / 34
• Oakey 42 / 42 / 38 (Record: Feb 39.5ºc)
• Bourke 47 / 47 / 36 
• Casino 42 / 44 / 38 (Record: Feb 42.1ºc, All-Time 44.1ºc)
• Lismore 38 / 41 / 32 (Record: Feb 40.9ºc)
• Grafton 41 / 44 / 31 (Record Feb 41.3ºc, All-Time 44.6ºc)
• Moree 44 / 45 / 40 (Extend the 35ºc streak to 49 straight days)
• Narrabri 44 / 45 / 38 (Record – Feb/All-Time 45.4ºc)

Note: Sunday is potentially going to be Brisbane’s hottest day in 9 years!

 

 

OCF Forecast Maximums for Southern QLD / Northern NSW (Saturday February 11th)

OCF Forecast Maximums for Southern QLD / Northern NSW (Saturday February 11th)

OCF Forecast Maximums for Southern QLD / Northern NSW (Monday February 13th)

OCF Forecast Maximums for Southern QLD / Northern NSW (Monday February 13th)

Thankfully there is some cooler weather on the way in the form of showers, some rain areas and thunderstorms. The warmth is expected to return mid week to those in NENSW and SEQ however it should be much more bearable, while Northern NSW and South-West/Southern QLD who have seen endless heat now since before Christmas are expected to finally drop out of the 40’s!

Did you know, excessive heat or “heatwaves” are responsible for more weather related hospitalisations in Australia than all other weather phenomenon combined? Thats why its important to look after the elderly, look after your pets and animals, look after young children and look after pregnant woman. These 4 categories of living beings are the most at risk for heat related illness or injury. Drink plenty of water and avoid outdoor activities.

 

 

9 02, 2017

Record February Temperatures to smash NSW & ACT

NSW and the ACT are about to experience the hottest run of February heat seen in many decades. The heat that is about to engulf the region is LIKELY to not only break, but smash records by potentially several degrees. Above image Saturday maximums via OCF/BSCH

A surface trough is forecast to become established along the NSW Southern and Central Coast’s during Friday before lying over the entire Coastline during Saturday and Sunday. This trough is likely to combine with a seperate trough over Southern Inland districts of NSW and very warm to hot airmass overhead to produce stifling temperatures where numerous locations (potentially half the State) could experience 44ºc+ over the next 3 days. This kind of heat IS abnormal and will likely result in total fire bans, increased fire danger ratings and a a significant increase in heat stress ratings. The kinds of temperatures which are forecast are expected to be in the realms of 10-17ºc above average!! Saturday is forecast to be the worst day across the State with virtually all inland regions seeing at least 43ºc, while numerous locations are likely to exceed 45ºc and break records.

 

 

BOM Heatwave Pilot for Friday, Saturday, Sunday

BOM Heatwave Pilot for Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Over the next 3 days here are SOME of the temperatures and likely candidates for breaking records.

• Canberra 41 / 41 / 34 (Feb Record 38.8ºc)
• Sydney 38 / 39 / 30

• Bathurst 40 / 42 / 38 (All-Time Record 40.7ºc)
• Casino 35 / 42 / 43 (Feb Record 42.5ºc)
• Cessnock 44 / 46 / 44 (All-Time Record 45.0ºc)
• Gosford 40 / 39 / 38
• Hay 47 / 46 / 28 (Feb Record 47.2ºc)
• Ivanhoe 45 / 47 / 47
• Menindee 46 / 47 / 32 (Feb Record 47.2ºc)
• Moree 40 / 43 / 43
• Penrith 44 / 45 / 41 (Feb Record 45.0ºc)
• Richmond 44 / 44 / 42 (Feb Record 43.7ºc)
• Scone 42 / 45 / 43 (All-Time Record 44.2ºc)
• Tamworth 40 / 42 / 42 (Feb Record 42.0ºc)
• Wanaaring 44 / 47 / 46 (Feb Record 46.9ºc)
• White Cliffs 45 / 46 / 47 (Feb Record 46.9ºc)
• Wilcannia 45 / 46 / 48 (Feb Record 47.1ºc)

For places out in Western NSW and North-West NSW these temperatures will be the peak of what has been a month long heatwave, with the hottest temperatures experienced during the last month likely to come during this weekend. These same places are on the brink of breaking records as well for number of days in a month above 40ºc and the number of days in a Summer above 35, 40 and 45ºc. 

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for NSW/VIC on Friday, February 10th

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for NSW/VIC on Friday, February 10th

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for NSW/VIC on Sunday, February 12th

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for NSW/VIC on Sunday, February 12th

As seen by some of the temperatures above, a significantly cooler day is expected on Monday for the Southern half of the State as the trough moves towards the North. This should then move through the Northern half of the State late on Monday bringing a much cooler day on Tuesday. A special mention should go to Moree who is forecast for 34ºc on Tuesday.. this will break a streak of 49 consecutive days above 35ºc which is almost double the previous State Record.

This is another reminder too to look after the elderly, young children, pregnant woman, those who are unwell and pets/animals. All of these are the most susceptible to heatstroke and heat stress related illnesses during periods of excessive heat.

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A HIGGINS STORM CHASING SUBSCRIBER

HSC Premium Membership badge

7 02, 2017

Welcome to hell on Earth in Australia

The strongest heatwave for 2016/17 is about to sweep South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland bringing extremely hot conditions with increased bushfire and heat stress risks. Above image – Maximums via OCF/BSCH for Saturday, February 11th.

Over the next 4 to 5 days, a low pressure trough is forecast to move slowly though South Australia and VIC before drifting North through New South Wales and Queensland. This trough is forecast to combine with a ridiculously hot airmass overhead and dry in very dry and hot conditions ahead of it to produce widespread severe to extreme heatwave conditions.

BOM Heatwave Pilot for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

BOM Heatwave Pilot for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

 

5 capital cities are forecast to be in the firing line with the following temperatures over the next 4 to 5 days.
• Adelaide 41 / 41 / 39 / 37
• 
Melbourne 34 / 37 / 27 / 28
• Canberra 26 / 35 / 40 / 41 / 35
• Sydney 26 / 29 / 35 / 39 / 36
• Brisbane 31 / 31 / 32 / 35 / 37

While most people will be feeling the above temperatures given the population density in cities. Spare a though for those in Western NSW, Eastern SA, North-West VIC and Southern/South-West QLD. Maximums, which for an extensive period of time have been in the mid 40’s, are about to get even hotter. Here are some of the following temps.

• Mildura (VIC) 40 / 44 / 44 / 42
• Moomba (SA) 46 / 46 / 45 / 46
• Birdsville (QLD) 46 / 46 / 45 / 45
• Port Augusta (SA) 45 / 45 / 44 / 45
• St George (QLD) 39 / 39 / 40 / 43 / 45
• Ivanhoe (NSW) 42 / 43 / 45 / 47
• Wilcannia (NSW) 45 / 44 / 46 / 47
• Penrith (NSW) 27 / 34 / 43 / 43 / 40

Some locations are expected to at least challenge February records, some of these could be long standing. The addition of Summer records is also possible given many locations in NSW are closing in on records for the number of days above 35ºc and 40ºc. The heat is forecast to continue over Northern NSW and Southern QLD beyond these 5 days, however there will be a seperate blog for that.

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for Wednesday, February 8th

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for Wednesday, February 8th

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for Thursday, February 9th

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for Thursday, February 9th

There is a heightened bushfire risk, the temperatures alone over such a large area pose a significant risk, however these temperatures are occurring over extensively dry regions and should occur with very low humidity. Total fire bans are expected and should be respected. 

This is also another reminder that with upwards of 15 million people being impacted by this heat, avoid strenuous activity during the day.. the body will struggle to breath with increased sweat and lead to an increased risk of heatstroke. Drink plenty of water, dehydration is a major factor in heatstroke and heat related illness. Look after young children, the elderly, pregnant woman, those who are currently sick as well as pets and animals – all of these have an increased risk of heat stress. 

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for Friday, February 10th

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for Friday, February 10th

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A HIGGINS STORM CHASING SUBSCRIBER

HSC Premium Membership badge

6 02, 2017

Another week of HOT & DRY for the Southern half of QLD

Hot, dry.. hot, dry… hot, dry. Its becoming a familiar forecast for those across the Southern half of Queensland. The only exception to this, is when hot has become really hot. Well guess, what, theres another week of it and if anything its looking worse. Above image via BSCH/OCF – Maximums for Saturday, February 11th

Lets get the “hope” out of the way first. During Tuesday and Wednesday, there is the CHANCE, and thats the definitive word… CHANCE, of some cooler temperatures than what we’ve seen along with MAYBE the odd storm or shower across areas East of Charleville/Longreach and South of Mackay. This is being brought on by an upper level trough which is increasing instability. Realistically, the showers are expected to produce less than a few mm, the moisture increase will only ramp up humidity and the storms should be isolated and brief at best. By cooler temperatures, we still mean 1-2ºc above average… just cooler than what we’ve been having, but the humidity might sort that out and make it feel just as hot.

qld-feb-6-to-13-rain

 

Now to the bad news… areas South of a line stretching from Mount Isa to Townsville, which includes Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Darling Downs, Ipswich, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Gympie etc. Temperatures are expected to be well above average for another week with next to no rainfall likely. The only hope for rain is stated ^^^ above.

OCF Forecast Maximums for Tuesday (February 7th) via BSCH

OCF Forecast Maximums for Tuesday (February 7th) via BSCH

 

In fact, the South-East quarter of the State could be on the brink of another extreme heatwave, with early indicators showing maximums into the low 40’s across inland parts of SEQ, Wide Bay, Capricornia and much of the Darling Downs over the weekend. Temperatures of 5ºc+ for 3 days straight are required for heatwave status, Saturday, Sunday and Monday are expected to be as much as 6-10ºc above average for SEQ. 

OCF Forecast Maximums for Thursday (February 9th) via BSCH

OCF Forecast Maximums for Thursday (February 9th) via BSCH

 

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A HIGGINS STORM CHASING SUBSCRIBER

HSC Premium Membership badge

4 02, 2017

Endless heat challenging NSW records

A record breaking heat stretch for Northern Inland and North-West NSW is forecast to continue well into February as another wave of stifling heat is forecast to move through. Above image – Forecast maximums for Saturday, February 11th via OCF/BSCH

Much of the Northern half of NSW baked during January with excessive continuous heat and prolonged dry periods. This lead to Bourke recording 16 days or more (4 days during a hot spell were unrecorded) above 40ºc compared to their January average from 121 years of records of 8. Penrith, West of Sydney, saw 7 days above 40ºc including 3 above 43ºc… this is compared to their average of 2. Cessnock in the Hunter saw 7 days above 40ºc compared to their average of less than 1 while Moree has now notched up 36 consecutive days above 35ºc which is obliterating the State record.

 

 

So whats to come?? over the next 7 days, this heat is going to remain firmly in place with Northern and North-West NSW seeing consistent daytime maximums above 40ºc with many locations seeing maximums into the mid 40’s. This will combine with overnight minimums struggling to drop below 30ºc to continue what has been oppressive and relentless heat. Towards the end of next week, another very strong burst of heat looks set to move through with maximums expected to reach the high 40’s for some locations and POSSIBLY challenge some records. Long standing streaks are also expected to be extended (in the case of Moree) and challenged in the case of places like Bourke and Walgett.

OCF Forecast Maximums via BSCH for Monday, February 6th

OCF Forecast Maximums via BSCH for Monday, February 6th

OCF Forecast Maximums via BSCH for Friday, February 10th

OCF Forecast Maximums via BSCH for Friday, February 10th

By this time next week, Bourke will have seen 14 straight days above 40ºc (next 7 days above 42ºc). Moree will be up to 46 straight days above 35ºc which will be almost doubling the previous State record (next 7 days forecast for 39ºc+). Areas such as Ivanhoe and Pooncarie in the South-West are forecast for 48ºc maximums. Even places like Dubbo may have recorded their 11th 40ºc this Summer already, compared to the 3 month average of 2. All of this comes with next to no rain forecast for the Northern half of the State (apart from the Northern Tablelands who may see some isoalted storms).

 

NSW 7 day rainfall via Tropicaltidbits. Green areas indicate less than 15mm, light green less than 2mm.

NSW 7 day rainfall via Tropicaltidbits. Green areas indicate less than 15mm, light green less than 2mm.