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5 08, 2019

A Winterless July Across Australia Breaks A New Record

2019-08-05T19:08:22+10:00

All we ever seem to hear about is how hot its getting. Well, here is another post as a new record falls across Australia following the results of July’s extremely warm month. Above image – Temperature deciles for July via BOM.

 

Its seeming to be the Winter that hasn’t arrived for Australia, despite a powerful polar blast likely to impact large populations towards the end of the week. Queenslanders are complaining about the typical “we had 1 day of Winter this year”, NSW is dry and warm. Canberra is struggling. Melbourne hasn’t been cold. Adelaide and Hobart are barely seeing a Winter either for their standards. Well, July 2019 has gone down as the 4th warmest July in 110 years of record keeping. It sat at around 1.62ºc above average across the entire national platform and more notably – the only area that wasn’t average or above average was the Northern Tropics of QLD, the NT and WA which host very few data recording locations. While there are many factor for this, it was largely brought on by continuous blocking high’s across the mainland which prevented cold fronts extending over the mainland from the Bight and Tasmania – this also helped Tasmania remain wetter than normal. 

July 2019 temperature anomaly across Australia. Image via BOM

 

The significance of this is that July 2019 has become the 33rd consecutive month in a row above average when looking at a national scale. This breaks the previous record of 32 consecutive months spread between August 2012 and March 2015. That also means since November 2016 it has been warmer than normal across the country. 

What has added insult to injury for those who are severely drought impacted is July 2019 was the 12th driest on record. This number is also somewhat skewed as parts of Western Tasmania have had their wettest July on record locally, which has subsequently bumped the rest of the country average up. So by removing Tasmania from the equation, this could’ve been one of the driest and warmest July’s on record…. a tune that has been played for the past x amount of months now. 

Maybe August can be different.. this polar blast will certainly help that when it places half the country below average for around 3-7 days (depending on the exact location).

July 2019 rainfall decile across Australia. Image via BOM

 

A Winterless July Across Australia Breaks A New Record2019-08-05T19:08:22+10:00
26 07, 2019

Unprecedented Heat Bakes Europe Shattering All-Time Records

2019-07-26T17:57:22+10:00

Europe is in the midst of one of the most vile and unprecedented, dangerous heatwaves the region has ever experienced with multiple countries shattering long standing, all-time temperature records. Above image – Temperatures for 4pm Thursday across Holland. Image via Weerplaza.

We (as Australian’s) love to make fun of Europeans, especially the Poms, for complaining about the heat when it gets into the mid 20’s. This however, would still be classed as a dangerous heatwave in Australia and its affecting countries that cant cope with it. 

An extremely hot airmass is moving through Europe at the moment and surging ridiculous heat across large parts of Europe. During Wednesday and Thursday, Holland (The Netherlands) saw maximums reach 39ºc and 41ºc respectively. This shattered the old all-time record of 38ºc and was the first time ever the country experienced a 40ºc day. Belgium has recorded back to back 40ºc days on both Wednesday and Thursday as well – this is the first time ever that the country has experienced a 40ºc temperature. Unofficial reports from both Holland and Belgium came through with temperatures nudging 42-44ºc in some areas. Before anyone wants to criticise them for complaining – this is about double their average for Summer (Amsterdam averages around 20ºc for July) – so for an unfair comparison, 20ºc above average puts Brisbane on a 51ºc January day… and Brisbanites would have ever right to complain with that. Germany has seen 25 individual locations crack the 40ºc mark with some up around 42-43ºc… prior to this heatwave, Germany had only recorded 40ºc once in its history, that record has been shattered. 

Temperatures across Paris and France in general during Thursday which saw multiple locations shatter all-time records. Image via Meteociel.

London didn’t escape the heat either. Cambridge topped at 38.1ºc, which broke the July record but fell just short of the all-time record for the UK set in August. London pushed the mid to high 30’s as well with unofficial temperatures of between 39 & 41ºc coming out of London leading to many workers sent home. Paris saw maximums climb to 43ºc, shattering the old all-time record of 40.4ºc with large parts of Spain and France climbing into the mid 40’s for the 2nd time this Summer. 

Temperatures across the United Kingdom during Thursday which saw multiple locations reach 15-20ºc above average for Summer. Image via Meteociel.

 

Temperatures are expected to climb into the high 30’s and low 40’s once again across The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France. Further temperatures in the mid to high 30’s are expected over Southern and Central Spain and London may push 30ºc again. European homes are designed to KEEP THE HEAT IN. They are double bricked, and while 80% of Australian’s have air conditioning… only 3% of European homes have air con. The heat is drawn in and trapped. This helps them survive the brutal Winter’s that Australians will never experience. The heat has sparked many out of control wildfires across many Countries with an excessive amount of heat related illness cases being reported. 

Temperatures are expected to cool off over the weekend gradually as a low pressure system moves in off the Ocean and helps produce rain and storms to various regions over a number of days into next week. 

Generalised overview of temperatures across Europe for Friday where further mid to high 30’s are expected (grey & dark red colours), with 40ºc+ possible again across the Netherlands, Belgium & Germany. Image via Windy.

 

Unprecedented Heat Bakes Europe Shattering All-Time Records2019-07-26T17:57:22+10:00
22 07, 2019

Know Your District! (Western Australia)

2019-07-22T00:39:55+10:00

When it comes to severe weather, regardless of the type of the scenario, one of the age old questions we receive on Higgins Storm Chasing, as well as any other weather page across the globe is ‘Will this affect me at x”. Generally ‘districts’ or much broader areas are labelled rather than specific towns. This is largely due to weather being unpredictable down to the nearest town and weather systems being quite large which means their potential is spread over hundreds of kilometres. Its also due to there sometimes being so many town, that the list would be far too long for it to be beneficial. Some setups or systems are easier to predict than others, but even in those situations, districts or parts of a district (i.e Northern WA, South West WA or Inland WA) are labelled. Above image is a base image from Weatherzone.

Western Australia 2 divisions which are divided evenly into 7 forecast districts each according to the Bureau of Meteorology. These districts along with SOME of their respective towns include (Obviously not all towns are named, but if you recognise a nearby town, then chances are you are included in that district):
Mining & Pastoral:
1 – Kimberley: Broome, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Wyndham, Troughton Island, Kalumburu, Kununurra, Wallal Downs, Lombadina, Derby, Bidyadanga, Mandora, Dampier Peninsula, Dampier, Media, Kuri Bay, Mitchell Plateau, Doongan, Mt Elizabeth, Lake Argyle, Warmup, Durack.
2 – Pilbara: Port Hedland, Exmouth, Onslow, Karratha, Roebourne, West Roebourne, Newman, Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Marble Bar, Telfer, Roy Hill, Pannawonica, Wigttenoom, Indee, Goldsworthy, Pardoo, Shay Gap, Dampier, Barrow Island, Nyang, Cane, Learmonth, Karijini, Mardie. 
3 – Gascoyne: Carnarvon, Denham, Shark Bay, Meekatharra, Gascoyne Junction, Useless Loop, Murchison, Yalgoo, Cue, Mount Magnet, Sandstone, Cue, Peak Hill, Paynes Find, Evanston. 
4 – Goldfields: Kalgoorlie, Leinster, Leonora, Boulder, Norseman, Laverton, Coolgardie, Bandya, Sir Samuel, Lawlers, Kookynie, Higginsville, Wiluna. 
5 – Eucla: Eucla, Forrest, Eyre, Balgair, Haig, Caiguna, 
6 – Northern Interior: Balgo Hills, Bamboo Creek. 
7 – Southern Interior: Giles, Warburton, Wingellina, Carnegie.

South West Land Division:
8 – Central West: Geraldton, Dongala, Kalbarri, Morawa, Bunjil, Coorow, Jurien Bay, Leeman, Moora, Calingiri, Bolgart, New Norcia, Dandaragan, Canna, Binnu, Northampton, North Island. 
9 – Lower West: Perth, Gingin, Maundering, Bullsbrook, Mandurah, Herron, Waroona, Rockingam, Rottnest Island, Hillarys, Lancelin, Jandakot, golden Bay, Coolup, Serpentine, Byford, Gosnells, Garden Island, Halls Head, Preston Beach, Scarborough, Two Rocks, Dwellingup. 
10 – South West: Cape Naturaliste, Cape Leeuwin, Windy Harbour, Northcliffe, Manjimup, Bridgetown, Mullalyup, Donnybrook, Collie, Harvey, Busselton, Walpole.
11 – South Coastal: Denmark, Borden, Gnowangerup, Napier, Albany, Manypeaks, Bremer Bay, Jacup, Jerramungup, Mount Barker, Wellstead.
12 – South East Coastal: Esperance, Hopetoun, Ravensthorpe, Grass Patch, Scaddan, Condingup, Salmon Gums, Beaumont.
13 – Great Southern: Lake Grace, Katanning, Narrogin, Cranbrook, Kojonup, Wagin, Boddington, Hastings, Brockton, Corrigin, Hyden, Newdegate, Dumbleyung, Train Rock, Harrismith, Mount Madden, Williams. 
14 – Central Wheat Belt: Merredin, York, Northam, Goomalling, Beacon, Southern Cross, Dalwallinu, Goodlands, Yorkakine, West Golleton, Bruce Rock, Babkin, Quairading, Beverley, Wubin, Koolyanobbing. 

Western Australia is arguably the most diverse State for weather, so sometimes its important to to group large areas, particularly in the South or in the Far North for widespread severe weather. Cold fronts in Winter can impact Southern and South West WA which may include any of the following: South West, Lower West, Southern Coastal, Great Southern, Central Wheat Belt. Storms can often impact the Goldfields, Great Southern, Central Wheat Belt, South Coastal areas and this is often referred to as the Central & Southern Interior districts. Cyclones can impact the Northern districts and so the Pilbara and Kimberley will sometimes be referred to in general as “Northern WA”. Western Central WA is the Southern reaches of the Pilbara, Gascoyne and Northern parts of the Central West. 

BOM Forecast Districts for WA with the Mining & Pastoral + South West Land Division sectors identified.

 

Know Your District! (Western Australia)2019-07-22T00:39:55+10:00
21 07, 2019

Know Your District! (Northern Territory)

2019-07-21T23:59:06+10:00

When it comes to severe weather, regardless of the type of the scenario, one of the age old questions we receive on Higgins Storm Chasing, as well as any other weather page across the globe is ‘Will this affect me at x”. Generally ‘districts’ or much broader areas are labelled rather than specific towns. This is largely due to weather being unpredictable down to the nearest town and weather systems being quite large which means their potential is spread over hundreds of kilometres. Its also due to there sometimes being so many town, that the list would be far too long for it to be beneficial. Some setups or systems are easier to predict than others, but even in those situations, districts or parts of a district (i.e Southern NT, Northern NT, North West or North East NT) are labelled. 

 

The Northern Territory has 9 forecast districts according to the Bureau of Meteorology. These districts along with SOME of their respective towns include (Obviously not all towns are named, but if you recognise a nearby town, then chances are you are included in that district):
1 – Darwin-Daly: Darwin, Berrimah, Wagait Beach, Batchelor, Wangi Falls, Adelaide River, Wadeye, Plump, Dorisvale, Cooinda, Pine Creek, Berry Springs, Florence Falls, Tjaynera Falls, Noonamah, Humpty Doo, Howard Springs, Leanyer, Nightlife, Coolalinga.
2 – Tiwi: Pirlangimpi, Wurrumiyanga, Milikapiti, Nguiu, Bathurst Island, 
3 – Arnhem: Nhulunbuy, Busman, Twin Falls, Minjilang, Galiwinku, Warruwi, Maningrida, Ngukurr, Jim Jim Falls, Jabiru, Ubirr, Gunlom, Milingimbi, Groote Eylandt, North East Island, Alyangula, Numbulwar, Cape Shield, Cape Wilberforce, Cape Wessel, Gove, Ramingining.
4 – Carpentaria: Katherine, Borroloola, Wollogorang, Daly Waters, Mataranka, Centre Island, McArthur River, Larrimah.

5 – Gregory: Victoria River Downs, Timber Creek, Kidman Springs, Lajamanu, Wave Hill, Newry, Daguragu.
6 – Barkly: Tennant Creek, Elliott, Cresswell Downs, Barrow Creek, Ali Curung, Alpurrurulam, Ampilatwatja, Burnett Downs.
7 – Simpson: Alice Springs, Jervois, Ti Tree, Kulgera, Titjikala, Santa Teresa, Ross River, Arltunga, Engawala, Territory Grape Farm, Finke.
8 – Lasseter: Uluru / Yulara, Docker River, Curtin Springs, Watarrka, Hermannsburg, Papaya, Xulungurru, Mereenie, Areyonga, Kintore, Haasts Bluff.
9 – Tanami: Rabbit Flat, Yuendumu. 

 

There are a lot of conflicting boundaries for the Northern Territory, the above list seems to fit the most common and more importantly it follows the Bureau of Meteorology in which we are talking specifically about forecast districts. There is an exceptional amount of space between some towns in districts – for example, there are really only 2 towns in the Tanami district which covers 30%+ of Western NT area. This is why the NT is one of the more favourable regions to group. The Northern NT consists of the Darwin-Daly, Tiwi and Arnhem districts as well as any further districts North of and including the town of Katherine in the Carpentaria district. The North East consists of anywhere that borders the Gulf of Carpentaria Coastline while Southern NT areas include anywhere South of Tennant Creek which favours mostly the Simpson, Lasseter and Tanami districts.

The Northern Territory Districts according to BOM in relation to district forecasting.

 

Know Your District! (Northern Territory)2019-07-21T23:59:06+10:00
21 07, 2019

Know Your District! (Tasmania)

2019-07-21T20:30:11+10:00

When it comes to severe weather, regardless of the type of the scenario, one of the age old questions we receive on Higgins Storm Chasing, as well as any other weather page across the globe is ‘Will this affect me at x”. Generally ‘districts’ or much broader areas are labelled rather than specific towns. This is largely due to weather being unpredictable down to the nearest town and weather systems being quite large which means their potential is spread over hundreds of kilometres. Its also due to there sometimes being so many town, that the list would be far too long for it to be beneficial. Some setups or systems are easier to predict than others, but even in those situations, districts or parts of a district (i.e Southern TAS, Western TAS, North West TAS) are labelled. 

Tasmania has 11 forecast districts according to the Bureau of Meteorology. These districts along with SOME of their respective towns include (Obviously not all towns are named, but if you recognise a nearby town, then chances are you are included in that district):
1 – Furneaux Islands: Whitemark, Long Island, Puncheon Island, Big Green Island, Badger Island, Mount Chappell Island, Little Dog Island, Tin Kettle Island, Clarke Island, Preservation Island, Cape Bareen Island, Loccota, Blue Rocks, Leeka, Killiecrankie, Wingaroo, Inner Sister Island, Outer Sister Island, Lackrana
2 – North East: Bridport, Scottsdale, Forester, Boobyalla, Waterhouse, Cape Portland, Eddystone, BinalongN Bay, Alberton, Herrick, Pyengena
3 – East Coast: St  Marys, St Helens, Scamander, Seymour, Bicheno, Swansea, Fingal, Buckland, Nugent, Triabunna, Coles Bay, Swanston, Lake Leake, Friendly Beaches, Dolphin Sands, Cranbrook, Avoca.
4 – Central North: Launceston, Cressy, George Town, Beaconsfield, Westbury, Melbourne, Bracknell, Holwell, Longford, Lilydale, Legana.
5 – Midlands: Ross, Oatlands, Campbell Town, Kempton, Tunbridge, Stonor, Bagdad, Kempton, Lemont, Jericho, Interlaken. 

6 – South East: Hobart, Kingston, Lauderdale, Sorell, Campania, Bridgewater, Fern Tree, Mt Wellington, Cygnet, Geeveston, Huonville, Franklin, Judbury, Southport, Dover, Old Beach, Clifton Beach, Cape Bruny, Port Arthur, Leslie Vale, Deep Bay, Eggs and Bacon Bay, Sandford, Richmond, Pontville, Dodges Ferry, Forcett, Grove, Collinsvale.
7 – Upper Derwent Valley: New Norfolk, Broadmarsh, Hamilton, Ouse, Strickland, Bradys Marsh, Ellendale, Uxbridge, Westerway, Hollow Tree, Karanja, Bushy Park, Plenty, Bothwell, Osterley, Moogara, Glenfern, Mount Lloyd. 
8 – Central Plateau: Liawenee, Lake St Clair, Cradle Valley, Bothwell, Cradle Mountain, Tarraleah, Mayberry, Miena, Breona, London Lakes, Bronte Park, Mersey Forest, Walls of Jerusalem, Lorinna, Meander. 
9 – Western: Strahan, Queenstown, Rosebery, Melaleuca, Strathgordon, Scotts Peak, Zeehan, Luina, Waratah, Maatsuyker Island, Lake Gordon, Gormanston, Renison Bell, Macquarie heads, Elliott Bay. 
10 – North West Coast: Smithton, Ulverstone, Wynyard, Burnie, Deloraine, Devonport, Yolla, Luncheon Hill, Marrawah, Woolnorth, Sheffield, Wilmot, Hampshire, Abbotsham, Melrose, Stoodley, Floerdale, Sistsr Beach, Edcumbe Beach, Wiltshire, Forest. 
11 – King Island: Currie, Lymbwood, Pearshape, Grassy, Surprise Bay, Sea Elephant, Naracoopa, Reeker, Dungaree, Wickham, Egg Lagoon.

Tasmania is a unique State in that most districts are generally named after their location. However.. in some circumstances we will group the Western half of the State together which will include the West Coast, North West, King Island, Western parts of the Central Plateau. The Central Plateau can sometimes be also named the “Central Highlands” when referring to snow, and this will also incorporate the Midlands district, Southern parts of the Central North (South of Launceston) and the Upper Derwent Valley. The South East in a general sense may include the East Coast (Southern parts of the it), Southern parts of the West Coast, the South East district and parts of the Upper Derwent Valley as well as any offshore Islands.

Outline of the Tasmania South East District including Hobart Metropolitan area with many town names included. Base image via Weatherzone

 

Know Your District! (Tasmania)2019-07-21T20:30:11+10:00
21 07, 2019

Know Your District! (South Australia)

2019-07-21T21:00:57+10:00

When it comes to severe weather, regardless of the type of the scenario, one of the age old questions we receive on Higgins Storm Chasing, as well as any other weather page across the globe is ‘Will this affect me at x”. Generally ‘districts’ or much broader areas are labelled rather than specific towns. This is largely due to weather being unpredictable down to the nearest town and weather systems being quite large which means their potential is spread over hundreds of kilometres. Its also due to there sometimes being so many town, that the list would be far too long for it to be beneficial. Some setups or systems are easier to predict than others, but even in those situations, districts or parts of a district (i.e Northern SA, South Eastern SA, Western SA) are labelled. 

 

 

South Australia has 15 forecast districts according to the Bureau of Meteorology. These districts along with SOME of their respective towns include (Obviously not all towns are named, but if you recognise a nearby town, then chances are you are included in that district):
1 – Adelaide Metropolitan: Adelaide, Elizabeth, Glenelg, Noarlunga, Mount Barker, Edinburgh, Mount Crawford, Salisbury, Grange, North Have, Buckland Park, Tea Tree Gully.
2 – Mount Lofty Ranges: Parawa, Stirling, Strathalbyn, Nuriootpa, Victor Harbor, Mount Lofty, Sellicks Beach, Williamstown, Gawler, Coromandel Valley, Bridgewater, Mount Compass, Harrogate, Palmer, Mount Pleasant, Eden Valley, Gawler.
3 – Yorke Peninsula: Kadina, Minlaton, Stenhouse Bay, Edithburgh, Maitland, Cape Willoughby, Warooka, Bute, Bluff Beach, Ardrossan, Kulpara, Port Broughton. 
4 – Kangaroo Island: Kingscote, Parndana, Cuttlefish Bay, Seal Bay, Gosse, Cassini, North Cape, Stokes Bay, Cape Borda, Flinders Chase, Karatta.
5 – Upper South East: Keith, Bordertown, Meningie, Salt Creek, Willalooka, Coonalpyn. 
6 – Lower South East: Robe, Coonawarra, Naracoorte, Mount Gambier, Padthaway, Cape Jaffa, Penola, Lucinda, Beachport.

 

7 – Murraylands: Lameroo, Karoonda, Murray Bridge, Varuna, Coomandook, Milang, Asheville, Mannum, Swan Reach, Alawoona. 
8 – Riverland: Renmark, Morgan, Waikerie, Blanchetown, Wunkar, Loxton, Berri,
9 – Mid North: Roseworthy, Clare, Jamestown, Port Pirie, Snowtown, Roverstown, Eudunda, Kaunda, Balaclava, Spalding, Crystal Brook, Mallala, Angle Vale.
10 – Flinders: Hawker, Port Augusta, Melrose, Peterborough, Orroroo, Carrieton, Blinman.
11 – West Coast: Ceduna, Nullarbor, Cook, Streaky Bay, Wudinna, Yalata, Lock, Port Kenny, Elliston, Minima.
12 – Eastern Eyre Peninsula: Kimba, Cleve, Whyalla, Contra, Iron Baron, Cowell, Arno Bay, Rudall, 
13 – Lower Eyre Peninsula: Cummins, Coffin Bay, Port Lincoln, Butler, Port Neill, Tumby Bay, Karkoo.
14 – North West Pastoral: Woomera, Roxby Downs, Tarcoola, Coober Pedy, Ernabella, Marla, Oak Valley, Iron Knob, Nonning, 
15 – North East Pastoral: Moomba, Marree, Oodnadatta, Leigh Creek, Yunta, Innamincka, Mingary, Manna Hill, Beltana, Farina, Merty Merty.

 

 

Often districts are grouped into larger categories. Some examples of this happening in South Australian areas – ‘Northern’ which consists of both Pastoral districts as well as ares North of Port Augusta. ‘Western’ which includes the West Coast, North West Pastoral and Western parts of the Eyre Peninsula. South Eastern, which includes the Lower & Upper South East, Murraylands and any further areas East and South of the Mt Lofty Ranges. Due to the vastness of rural South Australia, these groupings are used far more often than in some other States, as there are large areas between some towns so its far easier to group them. 

 

Outline of the Adelaide Metropolitan district with many town names included. Base image via Weatherzone

 

Know Your District! (South Australia)2019-07-21T21:00:57+10:00
21 07, 2019

Know Your District! (Victoria)

2019-07-21T21:01:03+10:00

When it comes to severe weather, regardless of the type of the scenario, one of the age old questions we receive on Higgins Storm Chasing, as well as any other weather page across the globe is ‘Will this affect me at x”. Generally ‘districts’ or much broader areas are labelled rather than specific towns. This is largely due to weather being unpredictable down to the nearest town and weather systems being quite large which means their potential is spread over hundreds of kilometres. Its also due to there sometimes being so many town, that the list would be far too long for it to be beneficial. Some setups or systems are easier to predict than others, but even in those situations, districts or parts of a district (i.e Coastal parts of VIC or areas West of the Ranges) are labelled. 

 

 

Victoria has 9 forecast districts according to the Bureau of Meteorology. These districts along with SOME of their respective towns include (Obviously not all towns are named, but if you recognise a nearby town, then chances are you are included in that district):
1 – Mallee: Mildura, Swan Hill, Ouyen, Hopetoun, Donald, Charlton, Berriwillock, Cowangie, Kerang, Manangatang, Robinvale, Tooleybuc, Cohuna, Red Cliffs, Liparoo, Walpeup
2 – Wimmera: Horsham, Nhill, Edenhope, St Arnaud, Stawell, Warracknabeal, Rainbow, Yanac, Mockinya, Paradise, Kellalac, The Grampians, Longerenong, Pyrenees, Ben Nevis, Kanagulk, Halls Gap.
3 – Northern Country: Bendigo, Echuca, Shepparton, Rochester, Kyabram, Cobram, Euroa, Heathcote, Wedderbum, Pyramid Hill, Barraport, Femihurst, Inglewood, Tatura, Yarrawonga, Mulwala. 
4 – North East: Mount Buller, Mount Hotham, Falls Creek, Darmouth, Dinner Plain, Mansfield, Benalla, Beechworth, Corowa, Wangaratta, Wodonga, Corryong, Rutherglen, Myrtelford.
5 – East Gippsland: Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, Mallacoota, Orbost, Point Hicks, Mount Nowa Nowa, Gelantipy, Combienbar, Paynesville, Glenaladale, Bullumwaal, Omeo, Cabbage Tree Creek, Bemm River, Cann River. 

 

Central Victoria highlighted, including Greater Melbourne. Base image via Weatherzone

 

6 – West & South Gippsland: Latrobe Valley, Sale, Rawson, Moe, Churchill, Traralgon, Yarram, Leongatha, Foster, Yanakie, Seaspray, Loch Sport, Mt Moornapa. 
7 – Central (includes Melbourne Metropolitan): Melbourne City, Essendon, Geelong, Ballarat, Kyneton, Meredith, Torquay, Lorne, Ocean Grove, Frankston, Sunbury, Doreen, Healesville, Brighton, Port Phillip Bay, Lara, Creswick, Daylesford, Bacchus Marsh, Melton, Glen Waverley, Lancefield, Craigieburn, Wonga Park, Coldstream, Beaconsfield, Emerald, Pakenham, Koo Wee Rup, Coronet Bay, Cape Paterson, Wonthaggi, Hastings, Mornington, Sorrento.
8 – North Central: Maryborough, Castlemaine, Dunolly, Yea, Kilmore, Alexandra, Seymour, Wallan, Marysville, Flowerdale, Bradford, Eildon, Buxton. 
9 – South West: Warrnambool, Colac, Hamilton, Dartmoor, Portland, Port Fairy, Mortlake, Casterton, Cape Otway, Ararat, Beaufort, Skipton, Lismore, Camperdown, Dundonnell, Terang, Avoca. 

 

 

Often districts are grouped into larger categories. Some examples of this happening in Victoria area – ‘Inland’ which consists of all areas North of Greater Melbourne and West of the Victoria Alpine region. ‘Western’ which consists of areas West of Greater Melbourne and Yarrawonga. ‘Eastern’ which consists of the Gippsland and North East (Victorian Alps) of the State. Coastal which consists of the Gippsland, South West and Greater Melbourne districts. 

 

Broader ‘combined’ districts across VIC – coloured text matches colour coded boxes. Note: Boxes are overlapping into SA & NSW (those States aren’t included in this). Base image via Weatherzone

 

Know Your District! (Victoria)2019-07-21T21:01:03+10:00
17 07, 2019

Know Your District! (New South Wales & ACT)

2019-07-21T18:32:44+10:00

When it comes to severe weather, regardless of the type of the scenario, one of the age old questions we receive on Higgins Storm Chasing, as well as any other weather page across the globe is ‘Will this affect me at x”. Generally ‘districts’ or much broader areas are labelled rather than specific towns. This is largely due to weather being unpredictable down to the nearest town and weather systems being quite large which means their potential is spread over hundreds of kilometres. Its also due to there sometimes being so many town, that the list would be far too long for it to be beneficial. Some setups or systems are easier to predict than others, but even in those situations, districts or parts of district (i.e Coastal parts of the Northern Rivers and South East QLD Coast) are labelled. 

 

Outline of the Sydney Metropolitan district with many town names included. Base image via Weatherzone

 

NEW SOUTH WALES and the AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY includes 17 districts according to the Bureau of Meteorology. These districts along with SOME of their respective towns include (Obviously not all towns are named, but if you recognise a nearby town, then chances are you are included in that district):

 

1 – Northern Rivers: Lismore, Casino, Yamba, Evans Head, Grafton, Brooms Head, Maclean, Kyogle, Murwillumbah, Tweed Heads, Ocean Shores, Rappville, Coraki, Nymboida, Mullumbimby.
2 – Mid North Coast: Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Kempsey, South West Rocks, Taree, Gloucester, Wauchope, Nambucca Heads, Sawmill, Macksville. 
3 – Hunter: Newcastle, Singleton, Denman, Merriwa, Scone, Murrurundi, Cessnock, Gosford, Barrington Tops, Muswellbrook, Maitland.
4 – Northern Tablelands: Armidale, Inverell, Tenterfield, Guyra, Glen Innes, Ben Lomond, Walcha, Emmaville, Uralla, Ebor, Tingha, Woodenbong.
5 – Central Coast & Sydney Metropolitan: Sydney City, Penrith, Manly, Sutherland, Hornsby, Mona Vale, Campbelltown, Richmond, Parramatta, Blackown, Camden, Rockdale, Mulgoa, Cowan, Randwick, Epping, Quakers Hill, Terrey Hills, Bondi, Liverpool, Holsworthy.
6 – Illawarra: Wollongong, Helensburgh, Bowral, Moss Vale, Nowra St Georges Basin, Tahmoor, Appin, Albion Park, Kiama, Port Kembla.
7 – South Coast: Ulladulla, Montague Island, Bega, Gabo Island, Batemans Bay, Moruya, Bemboka, Towamba, Merimbula, Eden, Tuross Head

 


8 – Central Tablelands: Bathurst, Orange, Oberon, Lithgow, Crookwell, Mudgee, Cowra, Blayney, Shooters Hill, Katoomba, Fullerton, Portland, Blackheath, Blaxland, Kandos, Gulgong.
9 – Southern Tablelands: Goulburn, Yass, Bungendore, Braidwood, Captains Flat, Gunning, Nerriga, Murrumbateman, Krawarree, Kain, Wee Jasper, Taralga, Queanbeyan.
10 – Snowy Mountains: Cooma, Jindabyne, Bungarby, Nimmitabel, Bombala, Thredbo Village, Perisher, Perisher Valley, Charlotte Pass, Cabramurra, Adaminaby, Rhine Hills, Mt Kosciuszko 
11 – North West Slopes & Plains: Moree, Walgett, Gunnedah, Tamworth, Wee Waa, Gurley, Bullarah, Baradine, Quirindi, Weeis Creek, Barraba, Bingara, Warialda, North Star, Wallangra, Ashford, Bonshaw, Nundle, Burren Junction, Rowena, Mungindi, Come By Chance, Boomi, Collarenebri.
12 – Central West Slopes & Plains: Coonamble, Trangie, Dubbo, Peak Hill, Forbes, West Wyalong, Lake Cargelligo, Condoblin, Tottenham, Narromine, Girilambone, Coonabarabran, Mendooran, Dundeoo, Wellington, Parkes, Temora, Grenfell, Warren, Gilgandra, Quambone.
13 – South West Slopes & Plains: Young, Gundagai, Tumbarumba, Boorowa, Tumult, Cootamundra, 
14 – Riverina: Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Hay, Albury, Deniliquin, Narrandera, Junee, Culcaim, Finley, Maude, Conargo, Holbrook, Hillston, Merriwagga, Warbum, Darlington Point, Gunbar, Lockhart, Jerilderie, Coolamon, Barellan, Rankin Springs. 
15 – Lower Western: Broken Hill, Pooncarie, Menindee, Ivanhoe, Scotia, Balranald, Mildura East, Darrick, Oxley, Nymagee, Mulurulu, Lake Victoria.
16 – Upper Western: Bourke, Tibooburra, Cobar, White Cliffs, Wilcannia, Lightning Ridge, Hungerford, Brewarrina, Tilpa, Fowlers Gap, Milparinka, Smithville, Borrona Downs.
17 -Australian Capital Territory (ACT): Canberra, Brindabella Ranges, Mt Ginini, Kambah, Gordon, Hall, Naas, Tuggeranong, Tharwa, Tidbinbilla, Holt.

 

 

Often, districts can be grouped into larger categories. For example, “Inland” is classed by areas West of the Great Dividing Range, while “Coastal” districts are those that are East of the Great Dividing Range. Northern Inland NSW consists of the NW Slopes & Plains, parts of the Upper Western & Central West Slopes & Plains. Central Inland consists of the Central Tablenads, Central West Slopes & Plains and immediate surrounding areas. South East NSW includes the South Coast, Southern Tablelands, ACT, Snowy Mountains. North East NSW includes the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast & Northern Tablelands… and yes, Canberra / the ACT is INCLUDED in South East NSW, Eastern, Southern NSW forecasts. The weather doesn’t magically stop at the ACT border, so even if the “ACT” isn’t specifically mentioned, it is included as if it were a district of South Eastern NSW. 

 

Outline of the Australian Capital Territory with many town names included. Base image via Weatherzone

 

Know Your District! (New South Wales & ACT)2019-07-21T18:32:44+10:00
16 07, 2019

Drought Crisis: No Water By Christmas For Some Towns!

2019-07-17T17:23:53+10:00

The drought is taking a turn for the worse, as horrific conditions continue to create heartbreak for many towns across New South Wales & Queensland in particular. A scary prospect for 10 individual towns though, is the thought that with how things are going, there will be no water left AT ALL… some face this prospect by Christmas 2019.

 

 

Local Government NSW president Linda Scott has stated in blunt but very real terms – several regional cities and towns are now facing the prospect of a ‘day zero’ for water – i.e. no more water left at all. Some of these towns will face it within 12 months, others within 3 to 6 months and it wouldn’t be a shock for some to run out in just weeks. The only way for water to reach these towns is through bores which are drying up, or water trucks which have to endure several hundred kilometre long tracks to reach various towns.

 

Local dam photo near Tenterfield via “My Notes From New England

 

Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Tracy Dobie has stated its the worst drought the region has ever had. It hasn’t rained for some towns across the region in over 2 years (thats rain that is beneficial, not just a passing shower that barely wets the ground). Summer storms are becoming more and more hit and miss as well which is adding insult to injury during the hot Summer months. 

The 10 towns facing this ordeal include:
• Tenterfield, NSW
• Armidale, NSW
• Tamworth, NSW
• Stanthorpe, QLD
• Warwick, QLD
• Dubbo, NSW
• Orange, NSW
• Narromine, NSW
• Cobar, NSW
• Nyngan, NSW

 

Dry dam near Ballandean, QLD (Darling Downs). Image via Kym Dachs

 

Warwick: The town itself since 2017 hasn’t done “too badly” for rain. 2017 and 2018 combined were near average for rainfall, however 2019 has been harsh with just 25% of the annual rainfall to July being observed. Further major problems are coming out of Warwick with Leslie Dam suffering at almost single digit percentage for capacity. Warwick is an anomaly on the list with about 18 months left of water… but even that is horrid. 

 

QLD Drought situation via BOM from January 2018 to June 2019

 

 

Stanthorpe: Similarly to Warwick, Stanthorpe has been near average or on the drier side of average over the past few years. Its 2019 that is being harsh with just 27% of the normal rainfall being observed, and only about 10% of the normal January / February rainfall was observed. Stanthorpe is in a horrible situation where its possible the town may run out of water by Christmas 2019. 

Tenterfield: Tenterfield has seen below average rainfall for the past 8 years, with several years being up to 25-30% below normal. Over the past 18 months (since the start of January 2018), the town has barely received 50% of its normal rainfall for that period. The local dam is sitting at 32%, but its not a big dam – so while the percentage isn’t dramatic – the overall scenario is. The town is pumping bore water but they believe it has less than 200 days before the bore is run dry – 2 days of pumping is worth 1 day of town usage. Its estimated that Tenterfield will need 1400 B-double trucks worth of water per month to remain at par. 

Across the other locations listed… Over the past 8 years, rainfall totals have been mostly below average apart from a good year in 2016 where all locations were at or above average. All locations have also suffered more intensely over the past 18 months with around 50% of their normal rainfall occurring during that time along with several failed Summer’s in a row. All locations are also situated in areas that suffer badly during Summer from heatwaves, meaning any passing showers are useless, and Winter frosts typically cause more harm than good. All locations listed due to the extremely dry conditions will likely suffer black frost during the Winter of 2019 that will kill any crops (if there are any that are alive, after many failed harvesting seasons in a row). 

 

NSW Drought situation via BOM from January 2018 to June 2019

 

 

Council is in a discussion with the State government to help fund $3.2million towards the search for new bores. This theoretically will only help in the short term though, as the speed these towns are running out of water at will mean any new bores found will soon become a casualty to the drought as well. All towns listed are also on heavy water restrictions, some the worst ever. For places like Stanthorpe and Tenterfield, they were unfortunately at a greater disadvantage as well, with larger towns in similar circumstances surrounding them – they’ve essentially become the nucleus of the greater crisis. Its been estimated that it would cost around $1million per month to cart water from Warwick to Stanthorpe. Thats all well and good though, but the 18 month deadline for Warwick will then become 12 months, then 6 months and while Stanthorpe plateau’s… Warwick runs out. Then Stanthorpe is in a world of pain themselves. 

 

 

Locations like Orange that are included in the list, are in a slightly more different scenario. As the town has storm water harvesting available and a water pipeline, it has a little more breathing room – but even then the worst case scenario is 12-18 months before day zero occurs. Guyra is currently carting water in, but Armidale and Tamworth are in horrible circumstances. Glen Innes is “okay” for now, but with all towns surrounding them in horrible situations – its only a matter of time. 

While people in better off situations sit at home and ponder how they can help. Its been urged to continue with tourism to these towns. There is plenty to do in several towns on a weekend, from a weather perspective there is also the potential for some snow chases or even a frost chase if youre game enough. What these little trips do is help supply the town with tourism money. It may only be a little, but when these towns rely on farming and agriculture and they’ve suffered through bushfires, storm damage and now a slow painful drought… they source of relevance and purpose becomes vulnerable. Adding some tourism money can soften the onslaught they are currently enduring. It will also allow many city people who aren’t used to these conditions, a chance to see reality. There can only be so many drought campaigns that happen. We at Higgins Storm Chasing have conducted many, however the continuous (albeit slow) cash flow and sustainability will need to come from tourism where people visit attractions, landmarks or even do small camping trips (including weather chasing) and inject revenue back into the towns. 

 

Local dam near Ballandean, Southern Darling Downs / Granite Belt. Image via Jude McGovern

 

Drought Crisis: No Water By Christmas For Some Towns!2019-07-17T17:23:53+10:00
16 07, 2019

Partial Lunar Eclipse for Australia on Wednesday Morning

2019-07-16T18:05:58+10:00

Issued Tuesday, July 16th 2019. Australia is expected to experience a partial lunar eclipse during Wednesday morning, giving some reward to those who are willing to brave the cold to watch the phenomenon, and some reward for those who have a tedious winter morning school run.

 

CLICK HERE FOR COLD TEMPERATURE BLOG FOR WEDNESDAY MORNING.

A partial lunar eclipse is when the Earth passes between the sun and a full moon, but they don’t precisely align. When they precisely align, thats when a full lunar eclipse occurs, however in this scenario only part of the moon turns a reddish hue. A lunar eclipse (or partial eclipse in this regard) can last for as long as 3 and a half hours, however this one for Australia will be lasting a little over 60mins over Eastern areas and between 2 and 3 hours over Central and Western parts of the Country.

 

 

Unfortunately for those in Southern & South East South Australia, Southern & elevated parts of NSW, much of Victoria and the entirety of Tasmania – heavy cloud coverage is expected to hinder the viewing process during Wednesday morning. Eastern & Northern NSW, large parts of QLD, the NT and WA as well as Northern SA should be much clearer and these areas will be the most ideal for viewing. 

 

Forecast cloud coverage via Windy for 6am Wednesday July 17th morning.

 


Viewing times:

• Brisbane 6:01am to 7:38am (clear skies expected)
• Sydney 6:01am to 7:02am (clear skies expected)
• Canberra 6:01am to 7:14am (50/50 chance for viewing)
• Melbourne 6:01am to 7:38am (if cloud wasn’t around)
• Hobart 6:01am to 7:44am (if cloud wasn’t around)
• Adelaide 5:31am to 7:27am (if close wasn’t around)
• Darwin 5:31am to 7:13am (good views expected)
• 
Perth 4:01am to 6:59am (clear skies)

 

Times for Partial Eclipse via 7 News

 

Partial Lunar Eclipse for Australia on Wednesday Morning2019-07-16T18:05:58+10:00