19 06, 2019

Know Your District! (Queensland)


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. 



QUEENSLAND has 15 districts according to the Bureau of Meteorology which is the most reliable source for when it comes to district mapping in regards to weather. These districts including their respected towns or cities include – obviously not all towns are named, but if you recognise a nearby town, then chances are you are included in that district:

  • South East Coast: Brisbane, Ipswich, Amberley, Archerfield, Caboolture, Redcliffe, Gold Coast, Beaudesert, Boonah, Esk, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Gold Coast Hinterland, Rathdowney, Coolangatta, Gatton, Kilcoy, Lowood, Moreton Island, South & North Stradbroke Islands.

  • Darling Downs & Granite Belt: Warwick, Stanthorpe, Toowoomba, Clifton, Inglewood, Dalby, Oakey, Chinchilla, Tara, Cecil Plains, Goondiwindi, Meandarra, Wandoan, Miles, Thallon

  • Wide Bay & Burnett: Gympie, Tin Can Bay, Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Childers, Gin Gin, Crows Nest, Nanango, Kingaroy, Murgon, Durong, Mundubbera, Eidsvold, Monto, Seventeen Seventy, Proston, Gayndah, Tiaro, Fraser Island, 

  • Capricornia: Rockhampton, Gladstone, Emu Park, Yeppoon, Mount Morgan, Mount Larcom, St Lawrence, Biloela, Moura, Theodore, Calliope, Miriam Vale, Jambin, Byfield, Shoalwater



  • Central Highlands & Coalfields: Emerald, Taroom, Blackwater, Dingo, Moranbah, Clermont, Sapphire, Springsure, Rolleston, Comet, Dysart, Alpha, Sedgeford, Willows Gemfields, Middlemount, Glendon

  • Central Coast & Whitsundays: Mackay, Sarina, Whitsunday Islands including Hamilton Island, Airlie Beach, Proserpine, Koumala, Carmila, Nebo, Finch Hatton, Eungella Ranges, Bowen, Collinsville, Eton, Marian, Hay Point, Cannonvale

  • Warrego & Maranoa: St George, Charleville, Bollon, Cunnamulla, Morven, Mitchell, Roma, Augathella, Eulo, Dirranbandi, Hungerford, Injune, Surat, Durham

  • Central West: Longreach, Ilfracombe, Blackall, Muttaburra, Barcaldine, Aramac, Tambo, Jericho, Cornfield, Winton, Morella, Tocal, Yaraka

  • Channel Country: Birdsville, Boulia, Thargomindah, Jundah, Windorah, Diamantina Lakes, Stonehenge, Bedourie, Ballera, Eromanga, Quilpie

  • North West: Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Cannington, The Monument, Urandangie, Dajarra, Duchess, Kynuna, McKinlay, Camooweal

  • Herbert & Lower Burdekin: Townsville, Ingham, Ayr, Giru, Rollingstone, Halifax, Mingle, Dalbeg, Ravenswood, Clrae, Home Hill, Alva, Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island, Greenvale, Hidden Valley, Bluewater, Deeragun, Woodstock, Lucinda

  • North Tropical Coast & Tablelands: Cairns, Innisfail, Atherton, Ravenshoe, South Johnstone, Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation, Cooktown, Daintree, Tully, Bilyana, Cardwell, Kirrama, Herberton, Wujal Wujal, Tinaroo, Gordonvale, Babinda, Mareeba, Mossman, Abergowrie, Japoonvale, Hope Vale

  • Northern Goldfields & Upper Flinders: Hughenden, Richmond, Nonda, Georgetown, Charters Towers, Homestead, Einasleigh, Mount Surprise, Forsayth



  • Gulf Country: Mornington Island, Normanton, Kowanyama, Burketown, Karumba, Doomadgee, Myola, Croydon, Four Ways, Gregory Downs, Sweers Island, Pormpuraaw

  • Peninsula: Weipa, Coen, Lockhart River, Musgrave, Aurukun, Thursday Island, Palmerville


    Outline of the South East QLD district with many town names included. Base image via Weatherzone


Know Your District! (Queensland)2019-06-19T12:50:13+10:00
18 06, 2019

What Is A Severe Thunderstorm ‘WATCH’?


A new concept for Higgins Storm Chasing is the issuance of a ‘Severe Thunderstorm Watch’. This feature or concept will be greatly used during the severe weather season between October and April in particular, but is plausible any time of year that severe thunderstorms are deemed to be an increased risk. What this feature enables is further advanced warning of severe weather (specifically thunderstorms) on a specific day. 

Firstly, its important to understand what a ‘WATCH’ is. 
Severe thunderstorm ‘WATCH’ areas, are typically areas that are showing signs of producing severe weather (thunderstorms in particular) ahead of any development occurring. This is DIFFERENT to a warning, which is issued specifically for a thunderstorm that has severe characteristics already occurring. Often, the radar will show no activity at all when a watch is issued. This is also DIFFERENT from a forecast. A forecast is an indication of what computer model data is showing potential for, whereas a ‘WATCH’ is also incorporating some live data to not just narrow down more specific areas, but also narrow down more specific threats and more specific timing for such events to occur. 

A ‘watch’ will be issued, when various characteristics are being noted on both forecast models, live data (such as radar and satellite) as well as live soundings (weather balloon soundings). This combination will lead to various areas on any given day being placed under a ‘watch’ area as their specific data is indicating severe thunderstorms are more likely than not to occur. 

Each thunderstorm watch will be a continuing number for the season. This will mean ‘Watch #111’ won’t be the 111th for the day, it will be the 111th for the season. What this will mean is no severe thunderstorm watch will be confused with another, as the same areas may receive multiple watches on multiple days during the season.

What does a ‘WATCH’ mean?
A severe thunderstorm watch means that live data is showing that severe thunderstorms are more likely than not to occur within the specific shaded area or outlined area. While NOT every thunderstorm within this area will become severe, it merely is there for further advanced warning that between these certain times (for example 3pm and 8pm), conditions will be favourable for severe thunderstorms to develop. 

It is worth noting and also important to understand, that severe thunderstorms can occur outside of ‘WATCH’ areas. A ‘WATCH’ zone is not the bee-all and end-all of severe weather. For example, a severe thunderstorm watch may be issued for the Darling Downs, North West Slopes and Plains, Northern Tablelands and Granite Belt districts for 2pm to 7pm. However severe storms may develop over North West NSW and Southern Inland QLD earlier than that and then move into that area. In this scenario, a severe thunderstorm watch isn’t covering the Northern Rivers or South East QLD Coast – this doesn’t mean severe storms won’t reach the Coast, a secondary watch may be required at 4pm for the 6pm to 10pm timeframe as storms move closer to the Coast and conditions remain favourable for severe storms reaching the Coast.

What threats are included in a Severe Thunderstorm Watch?
Severe storms are thunderstorms that are capable of producing damaging winds in excess of 90km/h, heavy rain which may lead to localised flash flooding and large hail (hailstones greater than 2cm). Not every severe storm is capable of producing all 3 threats. Some only produce damaging winds, some only heavy rain, some only large hail and some can produce a combination of the 3. Its important to read the severe thunderstorm watch text which will be provided as each specific watch will indicate the main risks or categorise each risk for their potential to occur – ie. Damaging winds “high chance”, heavy rain “low chance”, large hail “low chance” – this would be damaging winds are the main threat. If all 3 risks are classed as “high”, then all 3 risks may occur.

For reference,
“LOW” is less than a 25% chance, or in other words 1 in 4 severe storms
“MODERATE” is between 25 and 50% chance, or in other words roughly 1 in 3 or every second severe storm
“HIGH” is between 50 and 75% chance, or greater than 1 in every 2 storms
and, “VERY HIGH” is a greater than 75% chance of occurring. 

Of course, in rarer circumstances, destructive winds in excess of 125km/h, giant hail (hailstones in excess of 5cm in diameter) and torrential rainfall may occur – these watches will be classed as “very dangerous”. In the even rarer circumstance that conditions become favourable for tornadoes, then a tornado watch or supercell watch featuring tornadoes will be issued. 

What Is A Severe Thunderstorm ‘WATCH’?2019-06-18T21:42:12+10:00
22 04, 2019

2018-19 Australian Tropical Cyclone Season Summary


The 2018-19 Cyclone Season has come to an end across the Australian forecast region and its been an interesting season to say the least as we saw multiple systems become “severe” and also make landfall, whilst delivering much needed but also in the same sentence, very devastating, floods across large parts of Northern and Western QLD as well in pockets of WA. Above image was Cyclone Veronica (the strongest 2018-19 system) at peak strength off the WA Coast. Image via RAMMB / CIRA



For the 2018-19 season (October 1st to April 30th), we (Higgins Storm Chasing) analysed the upcoming long range climate indicators along with the timing of early season tropical waves in particular, and came to the conclusion that the atmosphere was going to favour either a borderline or weak El Nino climate pattern. Historically, El Nino years have favoured below average tropical cyclone numbers. Due to this, we predicted 9 tropical cyclones which is down from the average of around 11. El Nino years however also tend to favour an increase in severe tropical cyclones due to warmer oceans being present. As a result of this, along with previous failed tropical cyclone seasons, we erred on the side of caution and went on the lower side of 50% severe strike rate with 4 severe systems. 


HSC Tropical Cyclone Prediction for Season 2018-19 issued back in late September 2018


So how did the season pan out??
“Normally” Western Australia is the first region to go before New Year. While the season is October to April, there is usually very little activity prior to New Year, with only 1 maybe 2 systems developing and for 14 of the pas 15 seasons, its been WA to take first honours. This year it was Queensland that went first with Tropical Cyclone Owen developing in the Coral Sea and meandering around open waters before making landfall, entering the Gulf of Carpentaria, then crossing back over and back into the Coral Sea. If that wasn’t enough, around New Year Cyclone Penny decided to copy Owen which gave Queensland the first 2 systems of the season. Cyclone Riley then developed mid January over the Timor Sea and surged West, becoming the second severe system, but thankfully not making landfall over WA as it pushed into the open waters of the Indian Ocean.


Tropical Cyclone Owen (Category 3) & Penny (Category 2) track map combination via wikipedia 


While it wasn’t a named system, there was a significant tropical low during the start of February over North West and Northern QLD which never reached cyclone strength. This system produced unprecedented rainfall across the Greater Townsville region where falls of 2000-3000mm were recorded over a 10-13 day period. Further significant rainfall of 500-1000mm occurred over Northern and North West QLD which lead to significant cattle losses and devastating flood heartbreak for a very drought stricken area. 


12 day accumulative totals for the top 5 locations + Townsville City

The much talked about Oma was next on the list, developing in Fijian waters before Australia took responsibility later in its life cycle. It didn’t produce much, but it was yet another prolonged Queensland system. By this stage, all 3 Queensland systems had lasted more than 10 days, with Oma and Owen both pushing the 2-3 week marks. There was then a lull for a month before Mid March does what Mid March does… and thats show off as the peak of the cyclone season. First it was Savannah in the Indian Ocean that reached Category 4 strength. Then it was Trevor that went Category 4 as well before making landfall over the Southern Gulf (NT) and then flooding Western and South West QLD. Next it was Veronica who went Category 4 as well – 3 Category 4 systems in the space of a week. Veronica made landfall over the Pilbara and produced historic rainfall and flooding across the region as well. Wallace then came in a week later and didn’t do much, but added to the season tally. 

Across the season all up, there were 8 tropical cyclones (9 if you include Kenanga which happened earlier in the season, but I believe thats questionable as to whether or not it moved into Australian waters). Of those 8, 6 of them became severe with 3 Category 4 systems, 3 Category 3’s and then Penny / Oma both at Category 2. Queensland and Western Australia both tied for 4 systems each in the end (this was 1 up on our QLD prediction and 1 down on the WA prediction) while the NT also recorded 2 systems (both crossing in from QLD).

Last light on Cyclone Trevor post-landfall on March 23rd. Image via RAMMB / CIRA


2018-19 Australian Tropical Cyclone Season Summary2019-04-22T19:30:54+10:00
2 04, 2019

Possible Cyclone Brewing For WA


After Severe TC Veronica produced historic rainfall and severe, dangerous flooding across the Pilbara.. it appears as though WA might need to prepare for another system which is brewing North of the NT at the moment. Above image via RAMMB – Cyclone Watch Zone is via HSC. A ‘Cyclone Watch’ refers to an area where conditions ‘may’ become favourable for tropical cyclone development – it doesn’t mean that a cyclone is guaranteed. 


Its common for people to believe that April isn’t a cyclone month, however this is simply untrue and 2019 may prove that once again. Historically, some of the strongest cyclones ever recorded have occurred in April (even late April) and in 2019, while a ‘major’ cyclone isn’t on the cards at this stage, we are monitoring a cluster of thunderstorms situated across the Arafura and Timor Sea’s North of the NT which is currently being forecast by several global models to consolidate over the next few days into a weak tropical low. This will inevitably produce increased showers, rain periods and thunderstorms across the QLD Peninsula and Northern NT areas. However from the weekend onwards, things are looking a little more interesting.


Global models are remaining in some form of agreement of tracking and intensify of the tropical low, albeit greatly varying timeframes. The majority of global models are expecting the system to intensify while tracking West to South West into the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, West of the NT / North the Kimberley. From there, the system is currently ‘more likely than not’ to become a tropical cyclone over the Indian Ocean North or North West of the WA Kimberley. 

While a landfall location is very hard to pinpoint so far in advance, as a lot will depend on the timing of an approaching high pressure ridge – models are currently favouring the system to turn back towards the Coast which “could” mean that the Pilbara may be under threat again. At this stage, if the system were to become a tropical cyclone then models are indicating it will probably remain below ‘severe’ strength. In saying that though, sea surface temperatures are remaining extremely warm, so if a period of very little wind shear occurs, then rapid intensification cant be ruled out. Further updates will occur for the progression of this system over the next few days.

ECMWF showing a Category 2 cyclone over the Indian Ocean on Sunday night (April 7) – via Windy


Possible Cyclone Brewing For WA2019-04-02T18:29:57+10:00
31 03, 2019

Freezing Temperatures Hit NSW


Parts of NSW have recorded their lowest March temperatures on record, with many locations along and surrounding the Ranges showing the potential for their first frost’s for 2019 overnight as temperatures plummeted across the State. Above image is a stock image.  


Across NSW, the temperature across most locations dropped considerably compared to previous nights / mornings, with areas along the Ranges potentially recording their first frost of 2019! Generally, most locations across the State will have recorded their coldest March morning since 2015. It was the Northern Rivers as a district and Eastern or Coastal parts of NSW that went a little harder with the anomalies and records.



• Thredbo -4.2ºc – Coldest March temperature since 1984!
• Mount Ginini -2.9ºc
• Perisher -2.6ºc
• Nullo Mountain 2.5ºc
• Mount Boyce 3.0ºc
• Armidale 3.1ºc
• Bathurst 3.1ºc
• Canberra 3.1ºc
• Glen Innes 3.6ºc
• Port Macquarie 7.9ºc – Tied March record on current site
• Casino 11.2ºc – Coldest March Morning in 11 years
• Grafton 11.2ºc – Coldest March morning in 11 years
• Newcastle 12.4ºc – Coldest March morning in 18 years
• Sydney City 12.5ºc – Coldest March morning in 14 years
• Byron Bay 15.9ºc – Coldest March morning in 11 years



Note: Large parts of Western Sydney fell to between 7 and 11ºc, with the majority of locations recording their coldest March morning in 11 years (since 2008). Parts of the Hunter fell to as low as 5ºc, with most of that district recording its lowest March temperature since about 2015. Large parts of Northern and Central Inland NSW dropped well into single digits as well, with temperatures at their coldest since about 2015 for March too.


Real-time temperatures as of 7:10am across NSW and VIC showing the large area of cooler minimums. Image via BSCH, data provided by BOM.


Freezing Temperatures Hit NSW2019-03-31T07:57:39+10:00
31 03, 2019

Temperatures Plummet across Southern QLD


South East QLD and large parts of NSW have endured their coldest March morning for about the last decade thanks to widespread dry and cool South to South West blowing across both areas. 


Across South East QLD, it was noticeably colder this morning compared to the rest of Summer as the South Westerly surged in after midnight, dropping the temperature by several degrees in the space of a short period of time. The difference for many locations between about midnight and sunrise was 7-9ºc with many locations sitting in the high teens / low 20’s around midnight and waking up to the low teens or even sub-teen temperatures. Along the Ranges, areas such as Toowoomba, Warwick and Stanthorpe dropped into single digits for the first time in 2019. 

• Stanthorpe 6.5ºc – Coldest March morning in 7 years
• Toowoomba 9.3ºc – Equal coldest March morning since 1993 (26 years)
• Warwick 9.4ºc – Coldest March morning in 7 years
• Canungra 9.6ºc
• Kingaroy 9.7ºc – Coldest March morning in 7 years
• Dalby 10.2ºc
• Wellcamp 10.3ºc
• Amberley 10.4ºc – Coldest March morning in 11 years
• Oakey 10.7ºc
• Gympie 12.1ºc – Coldest March morning in 11 years
• Brisbane Airport 13.0ºc – Coldest March morning in 11 years
• Gatton 13.5ºc – Coldest March morning in 11 years
• Redcliffe 14.4ºc – Coldest March morning in 11 years
• Brisbane City 15.3ºc – Coldest March morning in 11 years

Note: For many areas, especially over South Eastern QLD, minimums this morning (Sunday morning) were around 10-14ºc colder than Saturday morning, purely thanks to the incredibly different winds and air masses that moved over the region in such a short period of time. 

Real-time temperatures as of 7:10am across Southern QLD showing the large area of cooler minimums. Image via BSCH, data provided by BOM.

Temperatures Plummet across Southern QLD2019-03-31T07:50:08+10:00
10 03, 2019

Australian March Record Broken In The Pilbara


The Pilbara has copped some absolute furnace-like heat today with temperatures scorching to those normally experienced in the peak of Summer! This was all brought on by a surface trough located near the Pilbara Coast drawing in hot, dry, desert heat across the region for an extensive period of time which allowed temperatures to continuously scorch. Roebourne was the pick of the bunch though, breaking the Australian March Record of 47.8ºc set back in 2007 and 1998! Above image via Weatherzone, the yellow circle shows the 48ºc captured at Roebourne during the afternoon.


Top Temperatures:
• Roebourne 48.1ºc – New State & Australian Record!
• Marble Bar 47.4ºc – New March Record
• Onslow 47.2ºc – New March Record
• Port Hedland 47.0ºc – New March Record
• Telfer 46.3ºc – New March Record
• Wittenoom ~46.0ºc – New March Record
• Karijini North 45.8ºc
• Christmas Creek 45.7ºc
• Paraburdoo 45.7ºc
• Karratha 45.5ºc – Second hottest March day
• Mandora 45.5ºc – 0.1ºc off the March Record
• Fortescue Dave Forrest 45.3ºcLearmonth 45.2ºc
• Newman 45.2ºc – New March Record
• Warburton 44.8ºc – New March Record
• Degrussa Aerodrome 44.6ºc



• 4 of the 12 recordings of 47ºc+ in March for Western Australia have occurred today.
• Roebourne has broken its March record of 47.8ºc with records dating back to 1957. Roebourne has also broken the State and Australian record of 47.8ºc set by both Carnarvon, WA in 2007 & Roebourne itself in 1998!
• Marble Bar (118), Port Headland (109) both have records dating back over 100 years, Onslow over 75 years, Telfer over 50 years, Newman and Warburton around the 40-45 year mark.
• A side note worth mentioning, Marble Bar has now officially recorded 107 consecutive days above 100ºF (37.8ºc). Their world record of 160 consecutive days will take some beating, but another 7 days above 100ºF are expected to stretch the run to 114+ days and it wouldn’t be a shock to see the 122 day run a few years ago get a run for its money.


Official Australian Records showing the maximum record for March across the Country being 47.8ºc. Note: all top 10 temperatures held by WA

Australian March Record Broken In The Pilbara2019-03-10T20:04:17+10:00
25 02, 2019

Super Typhoon Wutip – The Strongest February Typhoon In History!


Super Typhoon Wutip has made history today, becoming the strongest typhoon in recorded history through the month of February. Thankfully it has achieved such a feat over open waters. Above image via RAMMB / CIRA.


Wutip has achieved history, becoming a Super Typhoon during Monday, February 25th 2019. The system is producing sustained winds of around 260km/h and wind gusts to well over 300km/h which makes it comfortably a Category 5 system but also, more importantly for history reasons, the strongest typhoon (not cyclone – specifically typhoon) for February. Such a feat has been achieved due to the fact February is virtually the complete opposite month for a typical typhoon season. To put it into perspective, this would be like Australia getting a system stronger than Cyclone Yasi in July. 

Rainbow Satellite imagery shows the perfect eye of Wutip via NOAA



For now, Wutip is remaining over open waters and not really bugging anyone – located well North of Yap and well West of Guam. The system has a perfectly symmetrical eye wall feature which is conducive of your typical Super Typhoon. Models are in full agreement that over the next 3 days, the system is expected to be very slow moving over favourable waters. This will at least maintain the system’s strength for a short period of time. Beyond the next 3 days there is a general agreement that the system will move towards either the Northern Philippines or Southern Taiwan. The good news is models are in full agreement that whatever path the system takes from Wednesday or Thursday onwards, it will enter very unfavourable much cooler waters and increased vertical wind shear which will rapidly weaken the system. Its likely to weaken so quickly that it may not even reach land as a circulation, but completely wash out. 

This makes it perfect for weather lovers, weather chasers and general enthusiasts alike to admire what is simply a perfect storm in the most unlikely of situations.

Super Typhoon Wutip forecast track by JTWC


Super Typhoon Wutip – The Strongest February Typhoon In History!2019-02-25T19:24:37+10:00
25 02, 2019

Record Heat Streak Ends for Brisbane – Continues for Ipswich!


Brisbane has finally ended its run of record breaking heat which has SMASHED the previous record. For those just West of the City though in Ipswich and surrounds… the record continues! 

It certainly hasn’t been “insanely hot” or “unbearably hot” by any means, but Brisbane has finally ended its record breaking run of 30ºc. The City reached 29.4ºc today (February 25th) which broke a run stretching from January 9th to February 24th – a total of 46 consecutive days. This obliterates the previous record of 30 consecutive days from January 27th to February 27th 2017. So you definitely cant argue that this is “normal”.

What is probably the most impressive feature of this stretch of heat, is that no individual days were excessively hot. In the 46 day stretch, only 2 days exceeded 34ºc (February 12 and 13). The only feature which is where people probably started complaining about the relentlessness of that heat was the 18 straight days above 32ºc which is pushing the realms of “noticeably above average” and is also a record for Brisbane for consecutive days above 32ºc. The addition of 57 consecutive nights above 20ºc probably didn’t help either (that streak ended this morning as well with 19.8ºc). During that stretch, only 2 nights were above 25ºc and only a handful above 24ºc – so nothing “excessive” just consistently relentless. This run of heat topped off a record hot January in terms of monthly average’s as well. 

Weatherzone Data for Brisbane from January 1 to February 25th

Ipswich on the other hand has pushed the streak much further. Ipswich reached 30.2ºc today, which makes it the 61st consecutive day above 30ºc and continues on a record breaking streak that is now over 20 days above the previous record. The last time Ipswich failed to reach 30ºc was 29.8ºc on Boxing Day, so that means today has been the coldest day of 2019 so far for the area. Apart from the 41ºc scorcher a little under 2 weeks ago, there hasn’t been an excessive number of days excessively above average so to speak – similar to Brisbane City, its just been relentless and consistently above 30ºc. Models are indicating Ipswich may only reach 29ºc tomorrow (Tuesday) but if it happened to make it to 30ºc, then it could be more than a week before sub-30 occurs again. Note: There are 3 blank maximum days for Ipswich on January 23, 24, 25 – When clicking on the data for those days, Ipswich either neared or exceeded 35ºc on all 3 days, well above the 30ºc requirement. So even though a true maximum wasn’t obtained, the 30ºc+ threshold we know was reached.

Weatherzone data for Ipswich from January 1st to February 25th

Record Heat Streak Ends for Brisbane – Continues for Ipswich!2019-02-25T18:01:27+10:00
8 02, 2019

Ridiculous Rainfall Accumulations Up To Day 12 Of The Townsville Floods


After 12 days of non basically non stop rain, it appears as though the event is finally over – from that perspective, as the flooding is still ongoing and will be for days, maybe even weeks in some areas. While we will have a full summary report done up over the next few days highlighting certain things (from a State perspective, not just Townsville, as North West QLD has some insanity from a numbers perspective that we wish to share), the past 12 days from a brief summary perspective have been well and truly historic for the Greater Townsville region.


Another day and night of continuous rain has lead to more falls of 100mm+ across Greater Townsville, and for the first time for the event, nobody “officially” recorded more than 200mm – we do need to acknowledge though that there were multiple reports coming into page of more than 300mm at Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island from multiple rounds of severe weather yesterday!

Top 24hr rainfall totals include:
• Clarke Range 186mm
• Bushland Beach 171mm
• Paluma 160mm
• Nelly Bay 154mm
• Toolakea 152mm
• Stony Creek 143mm
• Bluewater 141mm
• Townsville Airport 132mm
• Rollingstone 126mm
• Townsville City 118mm

24 hr Rainfall for Greater Townsville via BOM



Unless something dramatic happens over the next 24 hours, its unlikely these locations will add to their 12 day totals (i.e. make it a 13 day event). So the top-5 12 day accumulation totals are as follows:
• Paluma 2731mm
• Upper Bluewater 2347mm
• Rollingstone 2044mm
• Woolshed 2035mm
• Upper Black River 1955mm

12 day accumulative totals for the top 5 locations + Townsville City

Note: Paluma has a second gauge which also recorded welly over 2000mm however with multiple days now missing, we have elected to leave it out of the official data. The days it does have available for the previous 12 exceed 2000mm on their own anyway, but its likely that the station – give what it has, with whats its missing, cross checked with the valid Paluma gauge… it probably recorded something similar in the vicinity of 2600mm+
Its also worth noting that we have unofficial but reliable data coming out of Hervey Range where falls for the past 12 days have exceeded 2700mm as well. We will look to source that information more thoroughly over the next few days for posting purposes and for the finalised rainfall event summary blog over the weekend.


Perspectives and Streaks:
• Townsville has broken its 6 day, 7 day, 8 day, 9 day, 10 day, 11 day and 12 day accumulative records from this event. A final 12 day total of 1391.4mm has been observed.
• Townsville has also broken its February record of 960.8mm set in 2009 with 998.2mm already. 
• 5 locations (including the secondary Paluma gauge) cracked the 2m mark for rainfall.
• Over 115 locations that we know of, could be much more, broke the 1m mark for rainfall
• Upper Bluewater was the only location to crack 300mm+ on 3 individual days, multiple locations did it twice – some back to back
• Several locations recorded 3-4 consecutive days of 200mm+, Woolshed was the only location to achieve 5 straight days
• Upper Bluewater and Rollingstone recorded 10 straight days of 100mm, Paluma baring something unforeseen today, will have 12 straight days for the event. This “could” be an Australian record but the data to source through will take an extremely long time – we do know its more than any of Mount Bellenden Ker’s record breaking streaks. 
• Paluma’s 2731mm is likely the highest rainfall event (regardless of length) total for Australia outside of Mount Bellenden Ker who holds many records in that regard – it is also the highest rainfall event total since 1979 when Mt Bellenden Ker recorded 3847mm in 8 days
• We will keep the “x number of days since x location recorded 2731mm” for the main blog – but Paluma’s total is the equivalent of 16.5 years of “normal” rainfall at Birdsville – essentially, if youre in school right now, Birdsville hasn’t recorded that much rain since you were born. 

Ridiculous Rainfall Accumulations Up To Day 12 Of The Townsville Floods2019-02-08T10:50:47+10:00