19 08, 2018

Rain & Storms Likely Across Drought Areas Of QLD & NSW

Issued 19th August 2018. FINALLY some hope! After a very long period of no rain through July and August many computer models are indicating some rain and storms across large parts of drought affected QLD and NSW later this week. Further forecast updates will be required and issued during the week as changes occur. Above image: Rainfall forecast totals (SUBJECT TO CHANGE) via

For the past several days leading global models have been consistently forecast a significant cold cored Low pressure system to move North East across South Australia on Thursday and into South Western QLD and Western NSW on Friday. The exact final track will be critical for some of the area rainfall outcomes during Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Widespread 15 to 25mm rainfall totals are possible at this stage from Rockhampton South and East of Charleville in QLD, North of the ACT and East of Cobar in NSW. Areas further West in South West QLD, Western NSW, Southern NSW and the ACT may also see some thunderstorm and rain activity though falls are expected to remain lighter.

Initially isolated storms could develop through Western NSW on Thursday afternoon before pushing further East into the Eastern half of NSW on Friday and Saturday. Scattered showers and patchy rain areas are also possible.

Showers and storm activity is expected to develop through the South East quarter of QLD on Friday before continuing on Saturday. On Sunday all activity is forecast to shift further East to influence the Central and South East Coast of QLD, Northern Central and Southern coasts on NSW though there remains a fair bit of uncertainty for Sunday. 

It is something which is better than absolutely nothing. It may save a few Winter crops and it may be to late for others. What we do hope is that many people across drought affected areas get some liquid gold so fingers crossed. Highly detailed and accurate 24 hour rainfall and thunderstorm risk maps will be issued over the next few days to cover the system on our premium members weather service. Access is available through our website HERE! Below image: Synoptic forecast via



17 08, 2018

6 Month El Nino Likely From October 2018, Hotter Drier Climate

Issued 17 August 2018. A weak to moderate El Nino climate pattern has up to an 80% chance of developing across Australia from October 2018 to April 2019. Above image: Rainfall deficiencies during the weak to moderate El Nino of 2002-03 which may occur during the rest of 2018 into early 2019 via BOM.

Currently in August 100% of NSW is drought declared, 60% of QLD is drought declared along with large parts of Victoria and South Australia suffering from drought. 

The next 3 to 6 month rainfall and temperature outlooks across Australia are expected to be heavily influenced by the likely forecast of an El Nino weather pattern or Hotter and Drier climate.

So far this year we have been in a neutral ENSO state so we “should” have received near average rainfall across the country. This sadly has not been the case with a severe lack of rainfall across most of Eastern Australia causing severe drought conditions. 

The forecast ahead is very concerning to say the least. It not suggesting it won’t rain its suggesting there is a high risk of well below average rainfall. “You can’t get drier than dry” a farmer told me however you can get prolonged dry conditions which could easily make the current situation much worse for longer. 

If history repeats itself like it has on many occasions, there is a high risk of a later developing Northern wet season by 1 to 2 months. There is also a high risk that large parts of QLD, NSW, ACT, Victoria and SA will receive well below average rainfall. Fodder and grain shortage and livestock losses are already a major problem but as we move forward this forecast also adds enhanced dangerous fire conditions and a growing water shortage issue into the equation. Below image via NOAA showing a likely weak to moderate El Nino (over 0.5) from October 2018 to April 2019. 


Total cyclone numbers are expected to be almost 50% less than across the Australian basin this season however those that do develop have a much higher risk of becoming severe ( category 3 or higher). Dust storms similar to 2009 have a very high risk of occurring during the next 3 months. More frequent severe storms are more likely to develop due to a hotter and drier climate. Large Hail and Damaging to Destructive winds the elevated risks with these. 

Be prepared to endue a very long very hot Spring and Summer with a higher than usual number of heatwaves. Further temperature records are likely to be broken across NSW, QLD, SA, ACT and Victoria as maximum temperatures exceed 40C and edge towards 50C.

IF and it’s a big IF, a cyclone or low depression moves South from up north it may be one of the few chances for decent widespread significant rainfall this season. Historically past El Nino and droughts tend to break in April, May or June in the following year however thats over 6 months away which could spell absolute disaster for Australia.  

I hope I’m wrong, I hope the global forecast data is wrong and I hope that all the other weather agencies suggesting similar are all wrong. People, farmers, hobby farms, primary produces and grain growers need to consider what actions they may take next to prepare ahead using this forecast guidance.  Higgins Storm Chasing issues accurate 3 month long range rainfall and temperature outlooks across QLD, NSW, ACT and Victoria. Access is via our website HERE! Below image: BOMs new NINO34 ACCESS-S forecast model which uses 99 individual outputs with over 80% suggesting an El Nino from October.


16 08, 2018

Dust A Risk Across Parts Of NSW & QLD This Weekend

Issued 16th August 2018. Raised dust is a greatly increased risk across large parts of inland NSW & QLD this weekend with some potential it may reach coastal areas. Above image via Windy with dust risk areas circled.

Large parts of both states are very dry and dusty due to ongoing drought conditions. There is very limited ground cover which is leaving a lot of bare dirt exposed and subject to being picked up and carted away by strong winds. 

On Saturday a strong cold front is forecast to move into NSW and South West QLD with West to South West wind gusts between 60 and 80km hr. This change is also very dry so little if any form of rain and storms are forecast.  Given this scenario it is very likely that we will see widespread areas of raised dust through inland NSW, South West and Western QLD on Saturday afternoon. 

On Sunday a secondary surge of strong dry South West winds will push across NSW and well into QLD. These conditions are also likely to continue to produce areas of raised dust through inland districts of both states. There is also the potential that raised dust from Saturday may reach coastal areas of NSW and in a line South from Rockhampton to Mt Isa in QLD during Sunday. 

We are not expecting a similar dust storm intensity as 2009 from this system however a stronger system may produce a dust storm of this magnitude through the rest of August, September and October. This will come down to future forecasts and synoptic patterns with warnings issued if required.

PLEASE NOTE: Fire dangers will be greatly elevated across large parts of NSW & QLD from now until Monday so please have a bush fire plan and keep a close eye on warnings. A separate forecast is being issued for the SEQLD fire dangers on our website. 

16 08, 2018

Fire Danger Rating Greatly Increasing Thursday to Monday!

Issued Thursday, August 16th 2018. South East QLD in particular, as well as large parts of Southern & Central Inland QLD are expected to be on high alert over the next several days for a significant increase in fire danger potential. Above image – Maximums for Saturday via OCF

As of Thursday midday, the Rural Fire Service in QLD has already issued a TOTAL FIRE BAN for the Ipswich, Somerset, Lockyer, Logan, Scenic Rim and Gold Coast regions, while their own mapping is indicating very high fire danger potential cross the South East Coast each day until Monday as well as spreading further Inland and North on some days.

Fire Danger Rating via the Rural Fire Service in QLD for the next several days. Some days may increase to Severe Threats.

Fire Danger Rating via the Rural Fire Service in QLD for the next several days. Some days may increase to Severe Threats.

The cause for all of this is a tongue of warm air aloft which is parked over South East QLD at the moment. This air is combining with VERY dry winds from the West and eventually South West which is pushing the temperature WELL ABOVE average (in some cases up to 10ºc above average), with maximums in the high 20’s and even low 30’s. Winds are also expected to increase in strength over the weekend, gusting frequently above 40km/h and in some cases 60km/h over the South East Coast and Darling Downs. 

OCF Forecast Maximums via BSCH / OCF for Friday

OCF Forecast Maximums via BSCH / OCF for Friday


This combination in normal circumstances would be enough for an increased fire threat, however over the past week, clear skies and light winds have allowed morning temperatures to plummet across the South East Coast, Granite Belt and Darling Downs leading to pockets and sometimes widespread frost which has further killed off vegetation and made it drier than dry. Thus the next several days across large parts of Southern and Central QLD are expected to be quite volatile for fire potential. It won’t be out of the question either for fire danger rating’s to increase over Saturday and Sunday to “SEVERE” levels over the South East Coast and/or Darling Downs given the temperatures and winds in place.


22 07, 2018

Above average July maximums for QLD

Issued 22nd July 2018. Maximum temperatures will warm up to above average across Queensland this week. Above image: temperature anomaly via Tropical Tidbits.

Despite the recent run of cold frosty mornings across Southern and South East districts, daytime temperatures will become very warm across the state this week. 

Large parts of the state will climb to a very warm 25ºc or better with areas in the North West and Northern inland exceeding 30ºc. Southern and South East districts will also be warm with between 20 to 25ºc forecast. 

Brisbane is forecast to reach 25ºc on Tuesday which should last right through the rest of the week. Ipswich a degree warmer on 26ºc. These temperatures are around 5ºc above the July long term average. Both cities are running slightly above average for Winter so far… So much for the “record cold Winter” that other bloke from Brisbane Weather banged on about! Toowomba’s forecast of 21ºc all week is 5ºc above average as well. 

Longreach is expected to reach tops of 28 or 29ºc all the week which is 5 to 6ºc above the July average. Emerald, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns all going for max temps 26 to 27ºc.

It will be very warm through North West and Northern inland parts of the state… Mt Isa, Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Richmond, Georgetown, Burketown and Normanton all excepted to reach or exceed 30ºc for most of the week which is 3 to 5ºc above average. 

A cold front is forecast to bring a cooler change to South West and Southern inland districts on Saturday and Sunday. Below image: 7 day QLD average maximums via Higgins Premium.QLD7DAYMAXTEMPS23RDJULY2018








19 07, 2018

Dust possible across QLD and likely across NSW on Friday

Issued Thursday July 19th 2018. There is growing talk about dust storms impacting large parts of QLD and NSW over the next 24-36hrs. Above image showing the QLD threat area and wind gusts via Windy.


Models are indicating that a trough is expected to move through Inland NSW, Southern and Western QLD overnight Thursday into Friday, pushing towards the Coast during Friday. Strong to gusty West to South West winds behind the trough line are expected to pick up and carry loose dust leading to likely dust storms over South West QLD, North East SA and Western NSW.

As the system pushes towards the Coast, its likely to lose intensity over QLD which should lead to raised dust across large parts of Inland QLD – but not necessarily dust storms. While the trough is expected to push through to the Coast, the dust isn’t expected to reach the Coast… or if it was to reach the Coast, it will barely be noticeable for most people. Across NSW however, winds are expected to strengthen over the ACT, Central and Northern Tablelands + surrounding areas – possibly reaching damaging thresholds of over 90km/h in isolated pockets.. this may help push the dust through to the Coast for areas between Wollongong and the SEQLD border. Again, it may not push through as a dust storm, but more so raised dust.


Given the ground conditions across large parts of Inland NSW and QLD and the time of year where fronts typically push through – these kinds of conditions aren’t uncommon. In fact, we’ve already seen a few dust storms across NW VIC and Inland NSW this year.

There has been some talk around South East QLD too about the haze in the sky today (Thursday). This has been caused by smoke as lots of small back burns occur. The smoke has been trapped under an inversion and as the sun shines through, it creates a deep orange or red hue.

Dust threat area with wind gusts for Friday afternoon via Windy.

Dust threat area with wind gusts for Friday afternoon via Windy.


12 07, 2018

Widespread Frost Set To Return For S QLD & N NSW

It looks like skies are set to clear once again with temperatures plummeting into the weekend leading to likely widespread frost. Above image – Minimums for Sunday morning via BSCH / OCF.


Over the past few days, particularly in the South East corner of the State, conditions have been rather bleak with patches of cloud, scattered light showers and cooler temperatures. However over the next few days models are indicating that a trough should push towards the Coast and much drier, cooler winds are set to return. A West to South West flow today (Thursday) should clear skies across the majority of both Queensland and Northern NSW. This pattern is likely to remain in place across the next 5 or so days, combining with an upper level trough, to the South, moving up from NSW to produce much colder conditions each night as the pattern takes its toll on the atmosphere.

OCF Forecast Minimums via BSCH for Saturday morning

OCF Forecast Minimums via BSCH for Saturday morning



The coldest mornings are expected on both Saturday and Sunday with below average, but slightly warmer warnings on Monday and Tuesday. Stanthorpe has the potential to record 3 straight mornings of -4ºc or colder – something that hasn’t happened in July since 2012 for the town. Inverell and Tenterfield in NSW are looking at 3 straight mornings (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) of -5ºc or colder… Glen Innes -6ºc or colder. These temperatures could lead to heavy frost in places.

OCF Forecast Minimums via BSCH for Monday morning

OCF Forecast Minimums via BSCH for Monday morning


Widespread minimums below 0ºc are expected across large parts of Southern Inland QLD, pushing into Central parts of the State as well as Northern NSW. Many places across the Darling Downs, Warrego and Maranoa, NW Slopes and Plains are expected to drop to -2 or -3ºc on several mornings.

Closer to the Coast, Brisbane might see its coldest morning of the year with 6ºc on Sunday… while places such as Ipswich, Boonah, Beaudesert, Gold Coast Hinterland, Kingaroy, Gatton, Toowoomba, Lismore, Casino are all expected to drop below 2ºc on at least Saturday and Sunday, if not for all 4 mornings.

Despite the clear skies leading to cold nights… they should also lead to warmer days. Temperatures should warm up quickly after about mid morning and push into the low to mid 20’s for Coastal areas, which may even be above average for some areas.

OCF Forecast Maximums via BSCH for Tuesday

OCF Forecast Maximums via BSCH for Tuesday


11 07, 2018

Light Snow possible over Central & Southern NSW

It looks like elevated parts of the Southern and Central Ranges of NSW may get a brief snow tease tomorrow as a cold pool moves through. Above image – mid level temperatures via BSCH showing the cold pool over South East NSW.


HSC Members > Your snow map has been refined and updated based on the latest data HERE.

A strong upper trough / upper low is expected to move North to North East during the next 24-36hrs over Victoria and across Southern, Central and Eastern NSW. This system is expected to be cold enough to bring some snow to the Snowy Mountains (not much for their standards) along with flurries around the Brindabella Ranges and National Parks East of the ACT. Despite the snow level dropping to ‘maybe’ 800m over Southern NSW, dry air aloft is expected to combine with a narrow wind of opportunity to suppress snow potential, leading to just a few cm expected – certainly nothing worth driving long distances for.


Forecast snow accumulation over the next 5 days via Windy - only light dustings are expected in the blue.

Forecast snow accumulation over the next 5 days via Windy – only light dustings are expected in the blue.



Later in the day as the cold pool slowly drags North, there is the chance of some snow flurries around the Jenolan Caves and highest peaks of the Central Talblenads – again, dry air aloft… narrow wind of opportunity and elevated snow levels will suppress the snow totals, but it could be something fun for the locals.

While this isn’t exactly the most unheard of weather for this time of year – snow in the Snowy Mountains… theres not much else happening around the Country at the moment. This system isn’t expected to reach Northern NSW but the cooler air trailing in behind it should allow for at least some cooler nights towards the weekend.

Potential snow areas for Thursday night circled in red - but only if the criteria of 800m / 1000m and enough moisture is met (not all places in the red).

Potential snow areas for Thursday night circled in red – but only if the criteria of 800m / 1000m and enough moisture is met (not all places in the red).


4 07, 2018

Snow dump for the Alps & light snow CTS

Issued 4th July 2018. Another round of fresh snow is on the way for the Alps on Friday and Saturday with snow possible on the NSW Central Tablelands Saturday night into Sunday morning. Above image via BSCH 500mb cold pool on Saturday. 

A deep low to the South of Tasmania will extend a cold front up into Victoria and Southern NSW on Friday. The cold front is likely to sweep East during the day which will trigger scattered showers, isolated storms with small hail and snow on the Alps above 1200 meters later in the day. 

A second stronger and colder front is expected to move East across Victoria and Southern NSW on Saturday. This front has a much more significant mid level cold pool of air with it. Scattered showers, isolated storms with small hail and snow above 900 meters is forecast across Victoria. The Alps and Snowy Mountains are likley to see blizzard conditions develop with damaging winds and heavy snow falls. Up to 20cm could fall on Saturday alone across the slopes. 

As the coldest air moves across the NSW Central tablelands on Saturday afternoon and night with snow forecast to fall above 1000 meters. Places like Crookwell, Oberon, Jenolan Caves, Lithgow and Orange could see a few cms of snow over night into Sunday morning. Below image via Higgins premium


By Sunday the system moves well off into the Tasman Sea leaving mostly fine conditions. This is followed up by a large high pressure system producing plenty of sunshine and light winds which will make for perfect skiing conditions on the slopes well into the week. 

4 07, 2018

Winter cold blast & frosts returning to QLD

Issued 4th July 2018. A second round of Winter is on the way this weekend after an extended warm period across the state. Above image via BSCH showing minimum temperatures on Monday. 

After an unseasonably warm few weeks with patchy rain around, dry cold conditions are set to make a return this weekend. On Saturday a cold front will push through North West, Western, South West and Southern inland areas. Ahead of the front some showers and possible isolated storms are expected through Central and South East districts. 

During Sunday the cold dry gusty South West to South East winds will push right across the state. Maximum temperatures across the South East inland and Southern inland districts will struggle to reach above 18C but thats not all… take 5 to 10C off the forecast temps due to the wind chill factor. Below image max temps on Sunday via BSCH. 


Brisbane and the South East Coast will feel the chill bit it won’t be too bad with tops around 20C… just stay out of the wind. The colder airmass will also be felt right across Central and Northern QLD on Sunday and Monday. 

On Sunday morning some frosts areas are likely to develop across the Granite Belt but then on Monday and Tuesday they will become more widespread across South East inland, Southern inland and Central inland districts. 

It won’t last long as winds turn more from the East on Tuesday and Wednesday causing temperatures to warm up again.