20 07, 2017

Australian Astronomer Captures Rare Lightning Phenomenon – WATCH VIDEO

 Published 20th July 2017.
Above image (c) David Finlay. An Australian Astronomer has captured incredible multiple episodes of a very rare lightning phenomenon known as “sprites” from Kiama near Sydney, New South Wales this week. Sprites are electrical discharges emitted into space high above a thunderstorm. They occur above the troposphere between a height of 50-90 km and are triggered by the discharges of positive lightning between the thundercloud and the ground. Sprites are colored reddish-orange with researchers naming them based off their visual appearance. In the video below David can hardly contain his excitement while capturing over 20 spectacular Carrot Sprites and Jellyfish Sprites along with a few Elves or Halos. You can’t blame either him given the rarity of the phenomenon…  

Published on Jul 19, 2017

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The Night of Sprites. Dozens of bright Sprites (space lightning) witnessed from Kiama Australia on the night of 18th July 2017 by amateur astronomer David Finlay.

20 07, 2017

A Large High Will Dominate QLD For A Week

Issued 20th July 2017.
A large high pressure system will dominate Queensland’s weather for the next week with no rain forecast on the horizon. 

The Winter cold blast from down South which arrived this week will make way for widespread heavy frosts through South East, Southern and Central inland districts on Friday and Saturday morning. The frost will make it as far East as Ipswich and North to Moranbah with Brisbane, Gold and Sunshine Coasts going for their coldest morning this Winter of just 6C on Friday. All locations along the coastal fringe from Mackay South will drop will into the single digit minimum temperatures. Frosts will then contract to Southern inland districts on Sunday and Monday. qldmintemps21stjuly2017

The large high pressure system with very dry Southerly air mass will mean plenty of sunshine on the way right across the state well into next week.


The strong winds which pushed into the state on Wednesday and Thursday will ease during Friday and become most light and variable through the weekend. This will mean perfect conditions for boaties, sporting events and the general outdoors.

Maximum temperatures will progressively warm up during the weekend with 20-24C in Southern districts, 24-28C in Central / North East districts and 28-33C in the North West and Northern inland. Above average temperatures are expected across the state all next week with 24-26C in the South East. People living in Central and Northern parts will be breaking a Winter sweat with 26-31C forecast… Or should I say “what Winter” for them? Just an endless Summer! qldmaxtemps24thjuly2017

The next 2 weeks is looking very dry across the state with only up to 5mm of rainfall possible along the East Coast. Not good news for those who are desperate for rain. This year there is no moisture assistance from either the Indian Ocean nor the Pacific so below average rainfall should be expected well into August which is our driest month of the year. 

18 07, 2017

Chance Of Snow Just 2hrs From QLD On Wednesday

Issued Tuesday 18th July 2017.
The first chance of snow for Winter 2017 is possible on the New South Wales Northern Tablelands during Wednesday! While the Australian Alps have received a heavy snow dumping over night Monday and during Tuesday, the coldest air mass won’t arrive up North until early Wednesday. Above image: % of models forecasting precipitation on Wednesday via BSCH/OCF. 
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It’s a 50/50 chance at this stage whether or not snow will fall on the Northern Tablelands however global model data is certainly suggesting there is a good possibility. The mid to low level temperatures are about 2c warmer than we would like to see before locking in definite snow falls and atmospheric moisture is slightly on the dry side. Places for snow fall will be limited to the highest elevations above 1200 meters which puts Guyra and Ben Lomond into contention. 

There is an 85% chance of precipitation at Guyra with 1.5mm forecast, should this fall as snow the conversion is 1:10 ratio so around 1.5cm. A minimum of 1c and a maximum of just 5c is forecast so it is definitely cold enough at the surface for snow. There is some variability in exact timing with the best chances between 4am and 10am possibly extending out to 4pm on Wednesday. 

Snow is highly unlikely further North at Mt Mckenzie near Tenterfield or Stanthorpe due to slightly warmer air and lack of any moisture or precipitation expected. It will however be a very cold day across the Darling Downs and Granite Belt with strong South Westerly winds. Toowoomba and Warwick are going for a top of just 14c while Stanthorpe will struggle to get over 10c. The wind chill factor will take up to 10c off these forecast temperatures so standing outside will have a feels like of less than 5c all day. 

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17 07, 2017

Above Average Temps In QLD Before A Cool Change Wednesday

Issued midday 17th July 2017. Queensland, more specifically the Southern half of Queensland is about to see Summer temporarily return on Tuesday. A North-Westerly breeze is expected to flow through parts of Southern and especially South-Eastern QLD which is expected to produce well above average temperatures across the region. These temperatures, which are likely to reach the mid 20’s for most areas are expected to be around 5-6ºc above average. These kinds of temperatures, especially with a warmer breeze in place, will make it feel more like Summer (even compared to the rest of Winter so far). Above image via BSCH / OCF – forecast maximum temperatures for Tuesday.

In addition to the well above average temperatures, a weak surface trough across South-East QLD may also help trigger some isolated to possibly scattered showers through areas South of Brisbane, Toowoomba and Dalby during the afternoon and evening. There is a good chance of these showers occurring, although they are expected to be hit and miss, and also quite brief and light (resulting in falls generally of less than 5mm). There is also the potential for a few brief storms to develop in amongst the shower activity, however the overall setup is far less favourable than what was experienced on Saturday just gone. Any storms that do develop should only produce locally moderate to heavy brief falls. Areas North of Brisbane, Toowoomba and Dalby and are expected to be left high and dry with next to no shower activity expected

Forecast rainfall, Tuesday afternoon via MeteoEarth

Forecast rainfall, Tuesday afternoon via MeteoEarth


On Wednesday, Winter is expected to return to Southern QLD with a cool change pushing through drawing a South-Westerly wind change behind it. These South-Westerly winds, notorious for producing much cooler conditions are expected to drop temperatures by as much as 7ºc for most areas and up to 10ºc in Northern NSW. The temperatures expected on Wednesday are likely to be below average for most areas South of Longreach to Bundaberg for this time of year and especially over the Darling Downs and Granite Belt where places like Dalby and Miles could see temperatures of 2-3ºc below average and Stanthorpe up to 4ºc below average. Despite the colder temperatures, conditions are far too dry for snow to occur. There is the chance of some light frost over the Southern Downs and Granite Belt on Wednesday morning also.

Forecast Maximum Temperatures via BSCH / OCF for Wednesday July 19th

Forecast Maximum Temperatures via BSCH / OCF for Wednesday July 19th



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16 07, 2017

Prolonged Snow Threat for TAS, VIC, NSW

Tasmania, the VIC Highlands and NSW Ranges including the Central Tablelands & Barrington Tops are all under a snow threat from a large low pressure which is expected to hit this week. Above image Pressure Map via WindyTV for Tuesday showing the low over Tasmania and high in the Bight.


A extensive cold front is expected to sweep across South-Eastern Australia (Tasmania, Victoria and Southern / Central NSW) on Tuesday and early Wednesday. This cold front is expected to produce some isolated thunderstorms as it moves through along with damaging winds of up 90-110km/h for the open islands off Tasmania, elevated parts of VIC and TAS and the NSW Ranges along with the Snowy Mountains. Good rainfall is also expected with the system where falls of up to 100mm are expected over Northern TAS (majority falling on Monday), 25-50mm possibly up to 75mm for the Snowy Mountains and Western / Central TAS, and 10-20mm across much of VIC, remainder of TAS and Far Southern NSW.

Forecast rainfall via WindyTV / ECMWF showing over 50mm in yellow and over 25mm in green

Forecast rainfall via WindyTV / ECMWF showing over 50mm in yellow and over 25mm in green



The Snowy Mountains are expected to see the first of the cold air on Monday leading to some light flurries over the peaks of the Alps. The real activity however is expected on Tuesday when South-West winds feed cold air into the cold pool located over TAS, VIC and Southern NSW. This increased moisture and cold air should help produce falls of 25cm+ over the Snowy Mountains and 10cm+ over the TAS Highlands. On Wednesday, snow is expected to continue with falls of 10-20cm likely over the Snowy Mountains and another 10cm over the TAS Highlands. Despite the constant snow, snow levels are expected to remain elevated above 1000m. Its on Thursday when the coldest air hits, but is limited by moisture, this is when levels may drop down to around 700m in TAS, 800m over the Snowy Mountains and 1200m over the Central Tablelands / Barrington Tops but only a dusting is expected all round as the snow potential is limited by moisture and timing (pre-sunrise). 

As many people anxiously await the Northern Tablelands and Granite Belt to get their first dusting, sadly this system doesn’t look like it’ll produce (based off current models). So its at least another week in waiting, but we are watching closely….

Forecast snowfall via WindyTV showing a dusting over the CT's / Barrington Ranges + good falls over TAS / Snowy's

Forecast snowfall via WindyTV showing a dusting over the CT’s / Barrington Ranges + good falls over TAS / Snowy’s


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14 07, 2017

South-East AUS expecting a Snowy Weekend

Tasmania, Victoria and Southern NSW are about to be hit with snowy weekend as a cold front sweeps through. Above image via BSCH

A cold front swept through Tasmania and South-Eastern Australia early on Friday bringing widespread strong wind gusts of 60-90km/h to Tasmania and 40-60km/h to Victoria with higher gusts in the Alpine region. Behind this cold front, satellite imagery is showing a very large area of freezing air indicated by the speckled cloud coverage. This cold air is expected to begin impacting Tasmania over the next few hours and really impact overnight into Saturday.

During the overnight hours of Friday into virtually all of Saturday, a large area of cold air with temperatures of -4 to -5c at 1500m ASL is expected to cover Tasmania along with -3c across Victoria and Southern NSW at the same height. This freezing air is likely to combine with increased levels of moisture to produce snowfall down to around 700m possibly lower over Tasmania (unsettled snow down to 500-600m) and down to around 700-800m over Victoria and Southern NSW.  Despite the lower levels of snow (especially over VIC and NSW given the slow year so far), snowfall totals aren’t expected to be overly high with 5-10cm expected over the Snowy Mountains (possibly higher up to 15cm is all goes to plan) and up to 10cm over the Tasmanian Highlands. Areas below around 1000m in both regions should only expect a dusting.

On Saturday night into Sunday, there is a very slim chance of a dusting over the NSW Central Tablelands as the cold air surges further North. However given this is a narrow window of opportunity and limited moisture (too many factors hindering it from occurring). We don’t advise people to be heading to the area.

Forecast temperatures at 1500m ASL during Saturday Night via WindyTV

Forecast temperatures at 1500m ASL during Saturday Night via WindyTV




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12 07, 2017

New Zealand Big Winter Storm – Heavy Snow, Rain, Wind & Waves

Posted 12th July 2017. New Zealand is in the grips of a high impact severe Winter storm with high amounts of snow to half a meter, heavy rain to 150mm, storms with hail, gales up to 140km/hr and 7m huge waves still yet to come! The next 3 days is going to wild across many parts of NZ as a deep low cranks up just to the East of the North Island on Wednesday before tracking North – North West on Thursday and Friday. This low is also dragging up very cold polar air from Antarctica already producing snow to sea level in the South with snow expected down to 500m in the North. The weather system has prompted the closure of a number of roads due to black ice and snow. Live photos can be found here! The following Severe Weather Warnings have been sourced via NZ Met Service @ 9:51 am 12th July 2017.


HEAVY SNOW WARNING – AREA/S AFFECTED – Inland mid and north Canterbury and the Kaikoura District

FORECAST – Further snow expected through today and early tomorrow, easing late Thursday afternoon. In the 33 hours from 9am today to 6pm Thursday, expect 20 to 30 cm of snow above 400 metres with 10cm likely down to 200 metres. Note higher parts of Kaikoura District above 500 metres may get up to 50 cm of snow. FREEZING LEVEL: About 500 metres.

AREA/S AFFECTED – Central North Island High Country, including the ranges of Hawkes Bay and Manawatu

FORECAST – Heavy snow expected above 600 metres from this afternoon through to Thursday afternoon with lesser amounts down to 400 metres. The snow level is forecast to rise to above 800 metres later on Thursday and turn to rain below this level. In the 30 hours from midday today to 6pm Thursday, expect 20 to 30 cm of snow above 600 metres and 10 cm down to 400 metres. Note, higher parts of these regions above 800 metres could see up to 50 cm of snow during this period. FREEZING LEVEL: Lowering to 800 metres this afternoon, rising to 1200 metres Thursday afternoon.


HEAVY RAIN WARNING – AREA/S AFFECTED – Wairarapa including the Tararua District, Wellington, Kapiti and the ranges of Manawatu

FORECAST Heavy rain is expected at times through to early Friday morning, with the heaviest falls during Thursday. In the 24 hours from midnight Wednesday to midnight Thursday, expect 100 to 150 mm about the hills and ranges, with 70 to 100 mm about lower lying parts of Wairarapa and Wellington. Note, this precipitation will fall as heavy snow about higher parts of ranges.


STRONG WIND WARNING – AREA/S AFFECTED – Wellington, Kapiti and Marlborough Sounds

FORECAST – Southerly gales are expected to become severe this afternoon and evening and persist through Thursday before easing early Friday. The strongets winds are expected from Wednesday night through to Thursday afternoon with gusts of 140 km/h or more likely, especially about Wellington.


FORECAST – Southerly gales expected to become severe, with gusts of 120 km/h from Thursday morning until Thursday night.


Large waves up to 7 meters are also expected through Cook Strait and along Southern and Eastern coastal regions. These conditions may lead to some localized low lying coastal inundation especially around Wellington. 


The 9am ferry from Picton to Wellington braved the huge seas across Cook Strait at 9am on Wednesday morning. Everyone traveling on the ferry were sitting on the floor or laying down in toilets with vomit bags. Cutlery and glass were breaking inside with a ceiling panel coming loose. Sailings have now been cancelled until Friday. Image Credit: MONIQUE FORD/STUFF


8 07, 2017

Mid Winter Flood Watch For Parts Of Central Australia

Issued Saturday 7th July 2017. A mid Winter drenching is forecast for parts of Central Australia with a flood watch issued in the Northern Territory! Widespread totals of 25 to 50mm with isolated totals of 50 to 100mm are expected to fall during the next 48 hours over Central and South East parts of the Northern Territory. Above image: 4 day rainfall forecast via BOM. 

The Barkly and Simpson Districts are forecast to receive the heavy rainfall which may lead to flooding causing road closures. Due to these remote areas being flood prone, communities may become isolated this week until water recedes and the dirt roads dry out.  The heaviest rain is also forecast to fall between Alice Springs and Tennant Creek on Sunday. Good rainfall is also expected on and around Jervios Station which is located 300km to the North East of Alice Springs and 350km West of Boulia QLD. Travelers and tourists in these areas need to be very mindful of forecasts and have either an alternate travel plan or wet weather isolation plan if the situation deteriorates. 

Parts of far Western QLD around Boulia, Bedourie and Urandangi may see around 10 to 20mm from the system and while this doesn’t seem much it’s actually up to twice their monthly average for this time of year. 

Jervios Station hasn’t recorded any rainfall in the past 4 months when 28mm fell at the start of February so this rain will certainly be welcomed. Boulia hasn’t recorded any useful rainfall since January so they will be pretty desperate for anything the clouds can offer.  

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8 07, 2017

Frosty morning expected for Northern NSW & Southern QLD

Frost is likely across large parts of Southern QLD and Northern NSW during Sunday Morning. Above image – Forecast minimums via BSCH / OCF

A large high pressure ridge is expected to extend across Central Australia, Southern QLD and Northern / Central NSW. This high pressure ridge is expected to help produce a clear morning across essentially the entire Southern half of QLD and the entire Northern half of NSW leading to all heating being evaporated out of Inland districts and frost being allowed to settle in the early hours near sunrise.

The colder temperatures are expected to be over the Northern Tablelands in New South Wales where minimums of -4 to -6ºc are likely near Glen Innes and possibly down to Armidale. This will likely lead to some moderate frost, possibly localised heavy frost in the region. Cold enough temperatures of -2ºc or lower are expected across the Granite Belt also including Stanthorpe, as well as across the remainder of the Northern Tablelands. While across the NW Slopes and Plains, Western parts of the Northern Rivers, Western parts of South-East QLD including Ipswich, Boonah, Beaudesert, the Warrego and Maranoa, and the Darling Downs should all see conditions cold enough for frost also. Areas closer to the Coast like Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast should be warmer and avoid the frost.

Forecast ground temperatures via OCF / BSCH for Southern QLD / Northern NSW on Sunday Morning (July 9th)

Forecast ground temperatures via OCF / BSCH for Southern QLD / Northern NSW on Sunday Morning (July 9th)



This is pretty typical for a normal Winter, but so far these kinds of mornings have seemed a bit scarce. Recent shower activity across parts of the Darling Downs and South-East QLD may lead to enough ground moisture for that “frostier” look. Conditions should lead to a mild and sunny day across the region.



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30 06, 2017

Cooler Weekend in store for South-East & Southern QLD

Much of the Southern half of QLD is expected to finally see a glimpse of Winter as temperatures noticeably drop across Friday and into the weekend following a change overnight. Above image maximum temperatures for Saturday across Southern QLD via BSCH / OCF

Last night (Thursday night) saw a trough produce scattered showers across much of the Southern half of the State leading to falls of up to 15mm across large parts of South-East QLD, the Darling Downs, Warrego and Maranoa and extending into Southern parts of the Central Highlands. This trough had very warm air feeding into it, which is why many areas (particularly across South-East QLD) experienced such a warm night last night. Despite all of that happening though, this are about to change in favour of the Winter lovers.


West to South-West winds are feeding into the back end of the trough which is now situated offshore. These cooler winds are dragging cold air out of NSW and VIC and feeding it over Southern QLD which will likely result in temperatures staying very similar to what they were last night and struggling to reach much more than about 20ºc for many areas. Temperatures are set to drop further on Saturday and into Sunday, as a high pressure system moves into position producing crystal clear skies and allowing all heating to escape. Minimums across the Granite Belt could reach -3 or -4ºc both mornings, while the Darling Downs will see many places nearing or dropping below 0ºc, the same across the Warrego and Maranoa, while Western parts of South-East QLD should see frost. Maximums will struggle also, with the Granite Belt barely making it above 15ºc and parts of South-East QLD not reaching 20ºc. Many parts of Southern Inland QLD will also struggle to 20ºc on Saturday before warmer air gets dragged down from Northern QLD ahead of the next system and temperatures rise again on Sunday.

Forecast maximum temperatures via BSCH / OCF for Southern QLD on Saturday, July 2nd 2017

Forecast maximum temperatures via BSCH / OCF for Southern QLD on Saturday, July 2nd 2017


While these aren’t the bone chilling temperatures of NSW and VIC, they are well below average for QLD. Brisbane averages 21.8ºc as a maximum in July, so 19ºc and 20ºc is already below average, but up also up to 5ºc colder than the previous week that has been experienced. The Darling Downs sees maximums around the 19-20ºc mark normally in July, and while this weekend will only be about 1ºc below that, it will be more noticeable thanks to a 6-7ºc drop in temperatures for some compared to a few days ago.


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