8 01, 2020

Where is the rain Australia?


Issued 7th January 2020. We are fielding an increased volume of questions ATM and rightly so. We are also starting to see some big shifts forecast in the weather patterns! I’ll make it as short n sweet as possible…. Above image next 5 day rainfall forecast from 7th-12th of January 2020 via 
The most important changes that have finally occurred are in the key major climate drivers that influence our rainfall and temperatures.
1: The Indian Ocean Dipole (sea temperatures) have finally come back to normal values. Why is this so important??? Because for the past 6 months it has contributed to a lack of rainfall across large parts of Australia and also a 2 month delay in the monsoon trough developing. Now it’s normal the monsoon trough is developing and more moisture will feed across Australia from the North West.
2: The Southern Annual Mode has finally come back to near normal values (this determines the position of lows and highs across Australia). Why is this so important? Because from October to late December it was deeply negative which pushed low pressure systems much higher up across Southern Australia. Yes it provided cooler temps and some increased rainfall across Tasmania and Victoria BUT it also destroyed moisture across NSW, ACT & QLD due to very hot dry westerly winds. It WAS a major influence on the bushfires across VIC & NSW generating the very hot dry conditions with periods of very strong winds. Now it’s normal more high pressure systems can develop in the Tasman Sea / Southern Coral Sea and feed moisture in from the easterly winds into surface troughs over NSW, ACT & QLD.
3: The ENSO (El Niño / La Niña) is neutral and has been for for many months and is forecast to stay that way through 2020.
4: The monsoon trough is 2 months late across Northern Australia but it’s finally developing now across Indonesia and PNG. It is likely to also keep developing across Northern WA and Northern NT in the next week. There are signals indicating it will develop also across Northern QLD during the second half of January.
5: The MJO ( Madden / Julian Oscillation) is a tropical pulse that moves west to east along the equator and nearby tropics on about a 30-40 day cycle. It greatly increases the monsoon trough and tropical activity such as lows and cyclones. The MJO is currently located over the Maritime Contentment and is forecast to strengthen significantly 7 days and move slowly East. It will greatly influence tropical development across Northern WA and Northern NT during this time. In the 7-14day outlook it does make it into the Western Pacific which increases tropical development chances across Northern QLD the Gulf and Coral Sea. But models do suggest it will weaken a bit when it does.
So let’s have a look at the next 5 day forecast with a quick look into the 5-10 day forecast range.

The current position of the monsoon trough is circled in yellow. It’s still just north of Australia but with the aid of the MJO has and will continue to develop tropical lows and possible cyclones across WA & NT. White circled area is EX TC Blake tracking South across inland WA bringing good rain and storms. Green is the current tropical low which could become a cyclone in the next few days. It’s forecast to track West / South West and produce rain and storms Northern NT and Northern WA. The blue circled area is a cold front which should bring light falls across Southern SA, VIC and TAS.
The black circle is a trough producing showers and storms through SEQLD & Eastern NSW. The Brown arrows are an onshore wind flow causing showers and storms across Northern QLD from about Mackay to Mt Isa North. Ok that’s the next 5 days.
Here is the 5-10 outlook: There are very good signs in Model data that scattered showers and storms will increase across most of NSW and QLD due to a surface trough. Showers and storms will continue across Northern QLD, Northern NT and WA thanks to the MJO and developing Monsoon Trough.
So as you can see now that the major climate drivers are all back to normal and the weather patterns are starting to slowly respond with increased tropical activity, showers and storms.
Tropical lows and cyclones have a significantly higher risk of developing from now until the end of April. It will probably take one or two to cross the coast and track inland then South to start to break the drought properly – hopefully just not a repeat of the NQLD floods like last year if they do.
As always we have our very own in-house detailed forecasts and maps available to subscribers on our website. They cover the entire Australian region for tropical lows and cyclones. Daily, weekly, monthly and 3 monthly rain, storm and temperature forecasts and maps across QLD, NSW, ACT & VIC. Weekly rainfall and forecasts for TAS, SA, WA & NT.
Check it out here by clicking here! 

Where is the rain Australia?2020-01-08T11:18:57+10:00
21 12, 2019

Christmas Rain And SEVERE Storms Across SEQLD & NENSW


Issued 21st December 2019. All that many people would love for Christmas this year is some rain! Well well well, for the South East quarter of Queensland and North East quarter of New South Wales that is exactly what is forecast! There is one down side to the forecast and that is SEVERE storms and some DANGEROUS storms are also very likely to occur. Above image is the next 5 day rainfall via with storm forecast areas highlighted. Monday = Yellow, Tuesday = Red, Wednesday / Christmas Day = Pink.

Highly detailed and accurate Higgins Storm Chasing Thunderstorm risk maps, Rainfall maps and Temperature forecasts are available here for SEQLD & NENSW! 

Lets have a quick look at each day as it stands now on the forecast data!
SUNDAY a few showers & storms are possible across the NENSW ranges.
MONDAY scattered showers and storms are likely during the afternoon across NENSW. Some of these storms may also come across the QLD / NSW border and or develop late across far Southern areas of QLD. Some storms maybe SEVERE with Heavy Rain, Damaging winds and Large Hail especially inland away from the coast.

TUESDAY XMAS EVE: Scattered showers and storms are expected to develop across NENSW first earlier in the day and continue into the afternoon. Showers and storms are also expected to develop during the afternoon across inland areas of SEQLD. A surface low pressure system is forecast to develop across Southern inland QLD on the Darling Downs during Tuesday night. This feature is likely to cause areas of rain, showers and storms during Tuesday night into Wednesday morning across far South East QLD and far North East NSW. Some storms are very likely to be SEVERE during Tuesday afternoon and night. Heavy rain, Large Hail and Damaging Winds a moderate to high risk especially inland during the afternoon. Heavy Rain is a moderate risk during Tuesday night.
WEDNESDAY XMAS DAY: Due to the current forecast position of the surface low over Southern inland QLD in the morning its very possible that the day starts off with areas of rain, showers and isolated storms across SEQLD & NENSW. As the day progresses the surface low is forecast to move East to the coast and could develop a coastal trough as well. This system is expected to produce scattered showers and storms across NENSW and SEQLD before extending some storm activity up into Central East QLD late in the afternoon and evening. Due to faverable atmospheric conditions with very high moisture, high instability and strong winds, some SEVERE and possibly DANGEROUS storms are expected in SEQLD.

Highly detailed and accurate Higgins Storm Chasing Thunderstorm risk maps, Rainfall maps and Temperature forecasts are available here for SEQLD & NENSW! 


Christmas Rain And SEVERE Storms Across SEQLD & NENSW2019-12-21T17:41:46+10:00
13 12, 2019

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dangerous Heatwave Forecast For Perth


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



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


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



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


BOM Heatwave Pilot for Thursday to Saturday.


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


Dangerous Heatwave Forecast For Perth2019-12-12T14:39:05+10:00
28 11, 2019

QLD To Feel The Summer Heat!


An intense DAYTIME heatwave is about to sweep across South East and Central QLD delivering a period of relentless HOTTER THAN NORMAL conditions for these areas. Above image showing maximums for Wednesday, December 4th 2019 across South East and parts of Central QLD. Above image – Maximums for Wednesday across SEQLD & CQLD.




During the weekend, a surface trough is expected to become situated near the Ranges across South East QLD, bending back through Southern Inland and Central Inland QLD. This will allow for Northerly winds to feed across South East and Central Eastern QLD which is likely to see not only temperatures but humidity increase across these areas. For the ‘true’ heat, you will probably need to head Inland as places like Brisbane, Gladstone and Bundaberg are expected to see maybe 32ºc, where as Ipswich, Gatton and Rockhampton are heading for more like 37ºc. 


Forecast maximums for Saturday, November 30th across SEQLD & CQLD via BSCH / OCF.



On Monday, the trough is expected to become situated right along the Coast throughout South East and Central Eastern QLD. This will direct much hotter and drier winds from Inland QLD towards the Coast. The trough is then expected to bounce between the Ranges and Coastline for the remainder of the week which will enable hot conditions to bake areas away from the Coast.

Across the period of Saturday to Friday (7 straight days) Ipswich is heading for 36ºc or higher, with peak temperatures around 38-39ºc. Gatton is heading for 7 straight days of 36ºc+ as well, with only 1 day below 38ºc during that time. Rockhampton will see maximums of 37ºc+ from Sunday to Thursday with peak temperatures around 40ºc. 


Forecast maximums for Monday, December 2nd across SEQLD & CQLD via BSCH / OCF.



A heatwave is considered 3 or more consecutive days and nights of 5ºc+ above average – DESPITE it being Summer. Ipswich averages 31ºc for December, Gatton averages 32ºc – these locations are looking at temperature anomalies of 5-8ºc above average for 7 consecutive days. This well and truly fits the criteria. The only exception will be the drier winds will allow for temperatures at night to drop to possibly even below average (around the mid teens). Rockhampton averages 32ºc for December, so 5 straight days of 5-8ºc above average fits the criteria for a heatwave. Gympie averages 31ºc for December, so 6 straight days of 5-7ºc above average fits the criteria. It will be far more pleasant closer to the Coast with maximums in the low 30’s, so it might be time to hit the beach if you want to escape the heat for a while! Redcliffe is peaking at 31-32ºc and the Gold Coast Seaway around 30ºc! Or… you could escape to Inland QLD where cooler South Westerly winds will dominate and produce BELOW AVERAGE temperatures as places like Birdsville sit in the low 30’s for several days.


Current BOM heatwave pilot for Monday to Wednesday showing heatwave conditions over Eastern QLD.


QLD To Feel The Summer Heat!2019-11-28T14:03:48+10:00
28 11, 2019

Summer To Begin With Snow!


Winter just hasn’t wanted to leave South Eastern Australia this year, and it looks like the Summer season is expected to begin with snowflakes – and lots of them! Above image: geopotential height anomaly showing the massive low and cold pool over SE AUS on Monday. Image via Tropicaltidbits.



A big cold front is expected to sweep across Victoria, the ACT and NSW on Saturday bringing widespread severe and possibly dangerous thunderstorms to many areas (we have forecasts for that already issued on our members HERE). The interesting thing is that behind this cold front, a vigorous upper level cold pool is expected to trail in behind and mix with the South Westerly flow that will drag cold moisture up from the Southern Bight and over South East AUS. This should lead to snow flurries developing over Tasmania and the Snowy Mountains on Saturday night.


5 day snowfall forecast for SE AUS showing good falls over the Snowy Mountains and some flurries over the Dandenongs. Image via Windy.


While Snow is not unheard of over the Snowy Mountains during December (it basically happens every second year or 2 out of every 3 years) or even as late as Christmas… the impressive thing is this will be repetitive for 4-5 straight days! Saturday night snow flurries begin. They ease on Sunday and then pick up again Sunday night over the same areas before constant snow sets in over Monday with thundersnow being possible and then lasting into Tuesday before the colder air moves offshore. So while its not uncommon, its certainly not usual to see 4 straight days of it this late in the year. 


All up, this might lead to falls of 20-30cm over the Snowy Mountains and 10-15cm over the peaks of the Tasmanian Highlands. If moisture becomes deeper or the showers become more frequent, then we could see even higher totals around Mt Hotham, Perisher and Thredbo who are known for recording more than forecast models indicate. 

5 day snowfall forecast for TAS showing 10-15cm over the Central Highlands and lighter falls elsewhere. Image via Windy.


Summer To Begin With Snow!2019-11-28T13:41:20+10:00
24 11, 2019

Cyclone develops in the South West Pacific


Issued Sunday 24 November 2019. Invest 90P has been upgraded to a Tropical Cyclone by the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre today. Fiji met service will be responsible for naming the system later today or tonight. TC One is currently located 800kms north of Port Vila Vanuatu and is tracking towards the South. Current intensity is 80kms hr with gusts to 100kms hr. Above image via BOM.

The system is in a favourable environment for further intensification during Sunday night until Tuesday where it is expected to reach a category 2 system. During this time it is forecast to track towards the South – South East with a likely track to the East of Vanuatu as this time. Squally showers and thunderstorms with wind gusts to 70km hr are possible across the Vanuatu Island group during the next 3 days provided the system maintains its forecast track. During Wednesday global models indicate the system will encounter strong Vertical Wind Shear and drier mid level humidity thus rapidly weakening it below TC strength. 

It will not affect Queensland’s weather in any way. The South Pacific Convergence Zone lies from PNG to Fiji and will be closely monitored for Tropical Cyclone development this season. Systems that form in this region can pose a significant threat to Queensland if they track South and West similar to previous seasons. Higgins Storm Chasing provides in-house Tropical Low and Cyclone forecasts and track maps for Queensland through our Premium Membership Subscription HERE! Below image via JTWC.

Cyclone develops in the South West Pacific2019-11-29T07:53:58+10:00
22 11, 2019

First cyclone of the season possible in South West Pacific


Issued 22nd November 2019. The first Tropical Cyclone of the 2019-20 season could develop in the South West Pacific during the next 3 – 5 days. A low pressure system (Invest 90p) is currently located to the East of the Solomon Islands surrounded by a large area of disorganised convection. During Saturday and Sunday global models indicate the low pressure system is expected to enter a favourable environment for intensification with low vertical wind shear, warm 30C seas surface temperatures and high humidity levels. 90p is forecast to track East initially before a subtropical ridge builds to the East and steers the system towards the South on Sunday and Monday.

The ECWMF models suggests rapid intensification during Tuesday due to a highly favourable environment with maximum winds of 245km hr and a central pressure of 955hpa. At this stage ECMWF positions the potential severe cyclone of category 3 or 4 strength to be located just the the North of the Vanuatu Islands on Tuesday before rapid weakening on Wednesday over Vanuatu.
The GFS model is much more modest with intensification on Monday up to 120km hr winds and 995hpa before weakening and crossing the Vanautu Islands on Tuesday. 
The track of the system towards the South is reasonably confident at the stage. Due to vast intensity forecasts, confidence of a Tropical Low development is High, a weak Tropical Cyclone of category 1 -2 strength is moderate and a severe category 3+ system is low. Interests throughout the Vanuatu group should closely monitor the system for further updates during the weekend. These types of tropical systems in the South West Pacific have been known to rapidly intensify in the past providing very little warning and preparation lead time. Above image via shows the current position marked with X, the likely track in red and track possibilities in yellow. The below image is the GEPS ensemble track and pressure for 90p via Tropical Tidbits. 

First cyclone of the season possible in South West Pacific2019-11-22T19:56:44+10:00
20 11, 2019

Dangerous Fire Conditions LIKELY across VIC on Thursday.


A CODE RED warning has been issued for Northern and North West Victoria ahead of horrific fire conditions developing on Thursday as the entire State receives a TOTAL FIRE BAN. Above image – Fire Danger Threat for Victoria via the CFA for Thursday.


A front is expected to push across Victoria during Thursday which is likely to produce an extremely volatile combination for some of the worst (if not THE worst) fire conditions the State has experienced since Black Saturday. Temperatures are likely to scorch early after a very warm night and push quickly into the low 40’s across Northern Victoria with widespread maximums in the mid to high 30’s elsewhere. These temperatures are likely to coincide with damaging winds in excess of 90km/h and in some cases, more than 110km/h across large portions of the State along with extremely low humidity (below 5%) to produce CATASTROPHIC fire conditions (labelled as ‘CODE RED’ in Victoria). 


OCF maximums for VIC on Thursday. Image via BSCH.



The worst of the fire conditions will be over Northern areas of the State where winds of 90-110km/h, humidity of less than 5% and temperatures of 38-42ºc are expected. The timing of the front will also mean that these peak wind gusts may coincide with maximum temperatures. Despite this, any fires across the entire State may become dangerous and uncontrolled extremely quickly with widespread wind gusts reaching damaging thresholds of more than 90km/h. So while the ‘highlighted’ threat is in the North… the whole State should be on watch. 

Any fires that do develop need to be called into emergency personnel ASAP with all instructions from emergency personnel requiring the utmost respect. 

There is also an increased risk of significant dust storms across a large portion of the State given the damaging wind gusts and extremely dry landscape. This dust may also impact Greater Melbourne as North Westerly winds feed from NW VIC into Southern Central VIC ahead of and along the front line. This will be another thing to monitor for people who have respiratory problems – and in some cases, the dust ‘could’ be thick enough that people without respiratory problems may also feel the effects.


Wind gusts via the EC model showing widespread strong / very strong (pink) to damaging (aqua and purple). Image via Windy.



Dangerous Fire Conditions LIKELY across VIC on Thursday.2019-11-20T16:01:18+10:00
19 11, 2019

CATASTROPHIC, Dangerous Fire Conditions Forecast For South Australia


Widespread EXTREME to CATASTROPHIC, dangerous fire conditions are expected to impact South Australia on Wednesday as a combination of very strong to damaging winds, low humidity and extreme heat sweep the State. Above image: Fire danger ratings for Wednesday via BOM.


A surface trough and cold front combination are expected to sweep East across South Australia during the day, resulting in very hot and gusty conditions being funnelled down from Northern WA and the NT into the region. These hot and gusty winds are likely to impact virtually the entire State and this will likely result in widespread maximums of 40ºc+ across the State along with peak temperatures in both the South East and West of 44-47ºc! Some of these maximums are likely to challenge November records which have been long standing – including Adelaide who is going for a top of 42ºc, just 1ºc shy of its all-time November record (however on a day like Wednesday, seeing the temperature jump to 43 or 44ºc wouldn’t be a total shock). 

OCF Forecast maximums for SA during Wednesday. Image via BSCH.



This extreme heat is likely to coincide with very low humidity in the single digits or even down to as low as 1-3% for some areas. While gale force Northerly winds of 60-90k/h dominate much of the State during the day, even stronger winds of 80-100km/h are expected along and behind the front. These winds will not only see fire danger ratings skyrocket but they will also likely produce widespread dust storms across rural areas and Western areas. The combination of 44-47ºc, 1-3% humidity and >80km/h winds is well and truly above CATASTROPHIC fire thresholds and this will ultimately mean that any fires that do develop, are likely to become extremely fast moving and out of control very quickly. 

Forecast wind gusts across SA during the afternoon. Gale force Northerlies of 60-90km/h (pink to aqua) ahead of the front and the same, but stronger, behind the front. Image via Windy.



Districts that are currently seeing CATASTROPHIC fire conditions include: The West Coast, Eastern Eyre Peninsula, Lower Eyre Peninsula, Mid North, Mt Lofty Ranges, Yorke Peninsula. EXTREME fire danger threats which will likely have localised CATASTROPHIC conditions are expected to be situated over the Flinders, Kangaroo Island and Lower South East. The remainder of the State is at SEVERE with no doubt some localised EXTREME conditions. This setup is essentially as dangerous as it can get. Firefighters will be working around the clock the ensure everyone is safe, but if you do see a fire – please report it ASAP to emergency services and follow their instructions!

Fire Danger Rating for SA during Wednesday. Orange is SEVERE. Light red is EXTREME. Dark red / maroon is CATASTROPHIC. Image via CFS


CATASTROPHIC, Dangerous Fire Conditions Forecast For South Australia2019-11-19T10:28:38+10:00