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26 05, 2017

2 Cold Blasts To End Autumn In South East Aust

Winter is coming and it will be certainly felts across South East Australia over the weekend into next week as 2 cold blasts move through! Snow, showers, frosts, and strong cold winds will be the main features from the upcoming systems on Sunday and Tuesday. South East SA, Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and the ACT will all need to rug up and light the fires, even Southern and Central QLD will feel the chill by mid next week. 

The first system will begin to impact Tasmania during Saturday afternoon and evening with strong North West winds to 90km hr. A band of scattered showers and rain areas will move across the state turning to snow down to 800m by late Sunday. 

The cold front will extend North into South Australia and Western Victoria late Saturday while pushing East across the state on Sunday. Strong Westerly winds with scattered showers across the state. These showers falling as snow above 1000m in the Alps with up to 5cm expected. 

In NSW,  Sunday morning rain areas and scattered showers across Southern and Northern inland districts with the chance of isolated storms through the Eastern half of the state Sunday afternoon. Any storms that do develop are likely to contain small hail due to very cold air aloft. Winds will turn cool to cold Westerlies by the evening. The ACT is also expecting some rain during the day with cold winds developing. 

Across Southern inland QLD on Sunday the weakened cold front will likely produce some scattered afternoon showers and isolated storms. Winds here will also turn much cooler Westerlies behind the trough in the evening. 

The second system on Tuesday and Wednesday is forecast to be even colder across South Eastern Australia while pushing as far North as Central QLD! Snow is likely to be much heavier and lower across Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and ACT. Up to 20cm could fall across the highlands of Tasmania with snow down to 700m. In the Alps and Snowy Mountains 30cm is forecast with snow down as low as 900m. The ACT Brindbellas and Central and Southern Tablelands of NSW should see some snow fall down to around 1000m. Below image: snow forecast via WindyTV

6daysnow26thmay2017windytv

South East SA, Tasmania, Victoria ands the Southern half of NSW including the ACT will all see scattered showers and the chance of some isolated storms with small hail from this second system as well. The highest 8 day totals are forecast through the Western half of Tasmania 50 – 100mm and across Victoria 15 – 25mm. 

The cold air will blast North right up to the QLD border on Tuesday then as far North as Central QLD on Wednesday. This will set up for widespread morning frosts next week through all 5 states including the ACT. 

Hobart won’t get over 13c from Sunday to Wednesday. Melbourne tops at 14 to 15c all next week. Canberra morning frosts and a max between 12 to 14c from Sunday onward. Adelaide is expecting a cool 17c. Sydney will feel the cold while Brisbane mostly escapes it. 

Subscribe here to Higgins Storm Chasing to gain access to detailed forecasts and maps in QLD, NSW, ACT & VIC! 

22 05, 2017

Stormchaser Captures Photos & Video Of Rare Upward Lightning

US stormchaser Max Olson captured these incredible photos and video of rare ground to cloud lightning this week in Oklahoma. Above image: copyright Max Olson via Facebook 

Max and storm chasing friend David Hunger were on their way home after a long day chasing tornados when severe thunderstorms unleashed a barrage of lightning. The pair pulled over and also managed to capture multiple upward lightning strikes on video camera much to their delight! Watch the amazing video below… 

 


Another INCREDIBLE video with already over 17 million views was captured by James Wolff! View the video posted to Facebook here! 

More about ground to cloud lightning or “upward lightning”

The most important finding about upward lightning by researcher Tom Warner is that it primarily occurs when there is a nearby positive cloud-to-ground flash. The electric field change caused by the preceding flash causes an upward positive leader to initiate from a tall object such as a building, tower or wind turbine. It is the shape of the tall object and the resulting enhancement in the electrical field that makes it possible for an upward leader to form following a nearby flash. Without the tall object, an upward leader would not develop.  Upward lightning was first studied in the 1930s when upward flashes from the Empire State Building in New York City were observed with Boys cameras and current sensing instrumentation. Source via ZT Research 


gc-typeab 
Ground-to-cloud discharges have been observed in two distinct forms. The first variation, ‘Type A’, is less common but much more visually spectacular, and consists of a tree-like branch network literally ‘sprouting’ skyward off of the tip of the structure. As a ‘Type A’ discharge continues, the number of branches diminishes until only one or two main channels remain to carry secondary return strokes. The second ‘Type B’ is more common and consists of a single, branchless leader rocketing upward from the structure tip. Although ‘Type B’ ground-to-cloud strokes show no low-level branching, they commonly do eventually exhibit upward branching at some point near or above the cloud base. Above image and source via Dan Robinson published at Storm Highway


22 05, 2017

International Space Station Visible Directly Over Brisbane & SEQLD

Monday 22nd May 2017. Be sure to look up in the sky and show the kids! The ISS or International Space Station will make a visible pass directly over Brisbane and South East Queensland this evening for just over 6 minutes. Above image via ISS astroviewer.

The following times are for Brisbane, Ipswich, South East QLD and North East NSW districts. Beginning at 5:17pm this afternoon the ISS will start to be seen in the South West sky while heading towards the North East. At 5:20pm it will be passing directly over Brisbane and much of South East QLD / North East NSW. By 5:24pm it will vanish again off in the North East over the Coral Sea.
For other locations and exact times please click on this link and use the search box! 

These times are about 15 to 20 minutes after sunset which is the best time to view the ISS due to sunlight being reflected off the craft. It will look like a bright star moving across the sky and can be easily seen by eye. While there is some scattered low convective cloud cover across the region today this should mostly be gone by late this afternoon. 

 

ISS Fun Facts 

• It travels at 27,600km hr or 276 x faster than a car going along the highway!
• It orbits around the earth 15.5 times a day! 
• It weighs 419 tons or equivalent to 279 family cars!
• The ISS is bigger than a football field – 108 meters wide x 72 meters long! 
• There are 5 people on board ATM and it can hold 6! 
• It has been up there for 18 and a half years and has gone around the world over 100,000 times! 
• It flies between 330km and 435km above the earth and falls closer to the earth by 2km every month!

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Actual photo of the International Space Station via NASA
The next ISS visible fly over SEQLD will be next Tuesday 30th May 2017. We will post up a reminder! 

11 11, 2016

Heavy rain and strong winds to lash Tasmania this weekend!

SEVERE WEATHER ALERT TASMANIA FOR HEAVY RAINFALL POSSIBLE FLOODING & STRONG TO POSSIBLY DAMAGING WINDS – issued Friday 11/11/16, valid for Saturday 12/11/16 and Sunday 13/11/16

During Saturday a 990hpa low will approach the state from the North West moving East through Bass Straight during Saturday night and Sunday. A strong deep North East wind flow will develop across the state during Saturday morning before a trough attached to the low moves south across the Northern half during Saturday evening. This trough shifts the winds from the North East to the North West before stalling over the Southern half of the state. As the low pressure centre moves East on Sunday a strong deep South East wind flow develops. 

Strong to possibly damaging winds, showers increasing to rain with moderate to heavy falls possible across the North and East during Saturday and Saturday night. Flash flooding, river and creek rises a risk through these areas. 24 hr rainfall totals of 50 to 100mm possible across the North East.

Strong to possibly damaging winds, showers and rain areas continuing on Sunday with moderate to heavy falls possible through the Eastern half of the state. Flash flooding, river and creek rises a risk through these areas. 24 hr rainfall totals of 50 to 100mm possible across the Eastern half including Hobart. 

The low pressure system moves away from Tasmania during Monday with weather conditions easing early. 

24hr rainfall forecast totals for Saturday

24hr rainfall forecast totals for Saturday

24hr rainfall forecast totals for Sunday

24hr rainfall forecast totals for Sunday

 

6 11, 2016

HOT conditions to roast QLD this week

After a mild October maximum temperatures are set to sky rocket over most of Queensland. A stalled low pressure trough system through inland regions of the state will generate a constant hot airmass. There will be no let up from the heat for 5 to 7 days with some locations pushing the 40c mark! Very high fire dangers are also forecast for Central, Southern inland and South East districts.

EAST COASTAL DISTRICTS – VERY WARM & HUMID 
Locations right along the Northern, Central and Southern coastal fringes are likely to see top temperatures each day of between 30 to 35c, however with high humidity levels the “feels like” could be much higher. After midday, afternoon sea breezes on the coast will cool things down but then expect very warm humid nights to follow.
* Brisbane: Mon 30c, Tues 35c, Wed 34c, Thurs 37c and Fri 33c.
* Gold Coast: Mon 30c, Tues 33c, Wed 33c, Thurs 35c and Fri 32c.
* Sunshine Coast: Mon 29c, Tues 32c, Wed 31c, Thurs, 34c and Fri 31c.

seq-nensw-heat-nov-7-to-11
EASTERN HINTERLANDS, VALLEYS & RANGES – VERY WARM TO HOT
There is a heatwave forecast this week for some South East inland districts; Maximum temps of more than 5c above average for 3 or more days running. The afternoon Sea Breeze front is unlikely to reach into these areas.
Locations such as Gatton, Ipswich, Beaudesert, Gympie, Gayndah, Rockhampton, and Biloela the Maximum temperatures are forecast between 35 and 38c each day.
In Toowoomba, Warwick and Stanthorpe Maximum temperatures of between 30 to 35c are expected all week.

ALL REMAINING INLAND DISTRICTS – HOT 
Weather conditions for the entire week are going to be hot with maximum temperatures between 35 and 40c expected. These hot conditions are expected to affect 90% of the state.

STORMS – SOME SEVERE LIKELY
Due to the trough generating high heat and very unstable conditions, thunderstorms are likely across many locations this week. There is a high chance that some of these will be severe. There is also the possibility of a few very dangerous storms and Supercells.

SAFETY DURING HOT WEATHER  
Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are a serious health risks. If they are not treated quickly they may take your life. Here are some precautions to use during hot conditions.
* Drink plenty of water
* Drink less tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages to avoid dehydration
* Wear lightweight, light coloured and loose fitting clothing
* Make sure the clothes you are wearing are made from a fabric which allows you to “breathe” and lets sweat evaporate
* Protect yourself outside. This includes ‘Slip, Slop. Slap. Seek, Slide‘. Seek shade
* Limit physical activity and the time you spend doing outdoor activities.
* Don’t leave children or pets in cars
* Relax and Stay Cool
* Keep your energy level up by eating well nourished foods, which includes plenty of fruit and vegetables
* Watch out for others, including the elderly, young, pregnant and active
* Remember pets and wildlife by offering shelter and plenty of water
* Check your vehicles water / coolant levels to avoid overheating. The safest time to check your engine is before use in the morning when it is cold.

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24 08, 2016

Cold mornings with frost returning to Southern, South East & Central QLD

Where has Jack Frost been? August has seen limited morning frosts in Queensland giving people a false belief that Winter was gone. From Friday morning onwards and through the weekend widespread frosts are expected to develop through Southern inland, South East inland and Central inland parts of the state. Central and South East coastal regions will also shiver as minimum temps drop well into single digits. 

Saturday spells the coldest morning with widespread frosts expected through the Darling Downs and Granite Belt, Warrego and Maranoa, inland parts of the South East Coast / Wide Bay Burnett and Southern parts of the Central Highlands. The coldest temperature forecast in the state is for Stanthorpe with -2.6c on Saturday with most locations across the Downs and Granite Belt going for near 0c or below.

Frost forecast on Saturday via BOM

Frost forecast on Saturday via BOM

Brisbane will drop to around 7c on Friday and Saturday while Ipswich is forecast to get as low as 3c. Other locations near the coast such as the Gold and Sunshine Coast will also fall to between 7 and 9c. 

Daytime temperatures across Southern inland parts of the state will have a chill about them on Friday and Saturday with top temps between 14 and 18c. Fresh dry cold South to South West winds will also cause a chill factor of up to 5c on both days. 

We have a week left of Winter and it is not done just yet!

image

 

 

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23 08, 2016

Late August drenching for half of Queensland!

The rain is beginning to fall over Western and Southern Queensland with a drenching on the way during the next 2 days! In the 24hours to 9am Tuesday good widespread rainfall reports of 10 to 20mm have filtered in from inland parts of the state. This is only just the start with much more widespread rain and isolated storms to come across Western, Southern and Central inland districts. Most places average around 20mm for the entire month of August and this system has the potential to deliver up to 5 x that. Above image: Total forecast rainfall from the system ( widespread 25 to 50mm in blue and purple, isolated 50 to 100mm, in red ) via Pivotal 

QLDVISSATBSCH23RDAUGUST2016

Satellite image of QLD 10am, 23rd August 2016 via BSCH

A strong large upper level trough of very cold air has pushed North into Central parts of Australia, this trough then draws in vast amounts of deep moisture from Northern and Eastern regions. The two then work together creating a large area of low pressure which then in turn produces rain and thunderstorms. The stronger the upper and surface features are the heavier the rain becomes… With this system they both significant! 

While the North East and Central East parts of the state will largely miss out the same can’t be said for everywhere else. Western, Central inland, Southern and South East districts will all get a good drenching from this system where widespread totals of 25mm are almost guaranteed, 25 to 50mm is likely and localised totals to 100mm are possible! 

On Tuesday the heaviest rain is likely fall through the North West, Channel Country, South half of the Central West, Maranoa and Warrego, Darling Downs and Granite Belt and possibly the South East Coast late. Basically South of a line from about the Sunshine Coast to Dalby to Longreach to Mt Isa is where 25mm is likely and 50mm is possible. Isolated storms may also occur over these regions with heavy rain and strong winds.

Early Wednesday the system shifts East early in the day with the heaviest rain being focused through the South East Coast, Darling Downs and Granite Belt, Southern Central Highlands and Coalfields and the Central West districts. So say South and West of Gympie to Emerald. Again 25mm is likely and 50mm is possible. Isolated storms may also occur over these regions with heavy rain and strong winds. 

Places through the Central East will also get some rain and the odd storm during Wednesday early Thursday but at a much more reduced amount than others. The Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett, remaining Central Highlands and Coalfields and Central Coast could pick up around 15mm from this system. During Thursday the entire system shifts off the East Coast of QLD and a return of fine conditions is expected. image

 

 

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18 08, 2016

A wetter finish for August expected over much of Queensland

It has been a relatively dry first half of August for much of Queensland however this is likely to change mid next week with a widespread rain and storm system on the cards for much of the state. A second follow up weather pattern could also bring another round of rain and storms across the state during the final 3 days of August. Above image: 14 day rainfall forecast totals via Pivotal Weather ( blue = 10 to 25mm, purple = 25 to 50mm, red = 50 to 100mm )

Note: Due to this being an extended prediction, rainfall totals, timing and locations may vary with amendments to be made as required.

At this stage the first signs of weather will occur through Southern inland QLD during Monday afternoon and evening due to a surface trough. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms are expected through the Maranoa and Warrego districts possibly extending East to include the Western Darling Downs. 24 hour totals should remain less than 15mm.

On Tuesday the surface trough strengthens ahead of an upper trough moving into South West parts of the state. A band of showers and thunderstorms are likely to stretch from the North West through the Central West into Southern inland QLD districts while moving slowly East. The South East Coast, Wide Bay and Burnett could also see some afternoon scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms. The best 24 hours falls are forecast through the Warrego and Maranoa, Darling Downs and Granite Belt where up to 25mm is possible.

Image: Low pressure system over Eastern Au on Tuesday 23rd August 2016 via Pivotal Weather

Image: Low pressure system over Eastern Au on Tuesday 23rd August 2016 via Pivotal Weather

Durning Wednesday a broad trough remains in place from the North West to South East of the state. A band of showers, rain areas and isolated thunderstorms are expected to be located from the North West through Central West across the Southern inland to the South East QLD Coast. Late Wednesday evening the system pushes further East where the Central Highlands, Wide Bay and Burnett should see an increase in activity. The highest falls are forecast through the Darling Downs, South East Coast, Wide Bay and Burnett, Central Highlands and Coalfields where up to 25mm is possible.

For Thursday the entire system progresses East to Coastal districts from Townsville south to Coolangatta. Widespread showers, rain areas and isolated thunderstorms likely through most Eastern districts of the state before clearing off the coast late in the day. Dry cool West to South West winds across the state in the systems wake.image

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A secondary follow up widespread rain and storm system is forecast to move across the state on the 29th, 30th and 31st. Totals of around 30mm are being projected by extended forecast models at this stage. While both systems are not expected to bring high totals each they should certainly offer reasonable amounts for this time of year.

30 05, 2016

Frozen end to May in Southern QLD & Northern NSW

Above image: Chris McFerran SE QLD Weather Photography -2.7c near Warwick

After above average temperatures through most of May, widespread inland frosts with frozen fences have finished off the end of the month through Southern QLD and Northern NSW. A large high pressure system in NSW made way for clear skies and the winds to ease during late Sunday night into early Monday morning. Conditions were primed for frosts to develop with many inland locations falling below zero by sunrise. Along the coast people also felt the cold chilly air with temps well into the single digits.

The coldest location early Monday morning was at Glen Innes where a numbing -6.2c was recorded and an apparent temp of -11.3c! Numerous locations across Southern inland QLD fell to below zero including an unofficial report of -6.5c near Kingaroy which generated wide spread frosts. Along the South East Coast Amberley reached 0c, Brisbane 9c, Coolangatta 7c, Maroochydore 4c with local inland frosts.

Michelle Pillon near Kingaroy -6.5c

Michelle Pillon near Kingaroy -6.5c

A warm fine sunny day is expected across both regions on Monday with further frosts expected on Tuesday morning before retracting to the Northern Tablelands on Wednesday. Become a HSC Subscriber HERE!

 

 

25 05, 2016

The El Nino of 2015/16 has ended!

Above image: May 23rd 2016 SST anomalies via NOAA’s Climate Predication Centre

After 14 months of existence the worlds equal strongest ever recorded El Niño climate pattern has ended. There is also a near zero chance of it redeveloping for the rest of 2016 and through the first half of 2017 along with a 75% chance for the opposite La Niña developing.

On May 24th 2016 the latest observation data from Climate Predication Centre revealed Equatorial Pacific Ocean temperatures had rapidly cooled to just 0.2c above average. This is 0.3c below the El Nino threshold. Trade winds have returned to near normal and the Southern Oscillation Index rising to -2.3 with Neutral ENSO conditions now current. La Niña is likely in about 3 months time, maybe sooner.

What influences did El Niño have on Australia?

* Hotter than normal minimum and maximum temperatures with record heat across the country

* Below average rainfall across many parts

* A failed wet season in the tropics

* Lowest number of cyclones ever recorded

* Worsening drought conditions

* Increased Dust storms and Bush fires

* Coral bleaching

“It’s going to take time for the atmosphere to respond and rainfall to return to those people who have been significantly affected” said Jeff Higgins.

“We won’t just see an overnight change across Australia especially through the Northern half of the county. Winter is typically the driest time of year for these areas and I can’t see it being any different” he said.

The Southern half of Australia has a moderate chance of above average Winter rainfall due to other local climate factors. Over the next few months key climate indicators will continue to be closely monitored for changes which paint a much clearer forecast picture for Spring and Summer.