25 10, 2018

Super Typhoon Yutu batters Tinian!

Super Typhoon Yutu has become the 11th Category 5 system of 2018 and overnight severely impacted the Northern Mariana Islands including a DIRECT hit on Tinian, where the eye was bigger than the island! Above image via RAMMB / CIRA.



Super Typhoon Yutu has rapidly intensified over the past 12-18 hours as it barrels West across the Western Pacific. Overnight, this rapid intensification coincided with a direct hit on the small island of Tinian in the Northern Mariana Island group (North of Guam). The system brought with it 260-280km/h sustained winds with gusts in excess of 350km/h possible along with torrential rainfall. The damaging wind gust swath likely has extended across the entire Northern Mariana Island group with heavy rain being associated with it, leading to likely widespread damage and a small path of catastrophic, life threatening damage near the pinhole eye. While our thoughts and prayers are with those who have just been impacted, we are also looking into the future at what this menace has planned for next.


Wind Swath via EC model showing a dense 200km/h (black colour) path and 250km/h (white) sporadic zones. Image via Windy



Regardless of which model you look at, Yutu won’t be weakening any time soon, as it enters a marginally to moderately favourable environment where will at least maintain its insane strength, or even fractionally intensify a little further. Models are in agreement that the system will maintain its Westerly path before interacting with a ridge which is building to the West over South East Asia. This ridge will be the be all and end all of this system, and something we are watching closely. If the ridge builds as expected or earlier than expected, then Yutu will go North into open waters and die a quick death under very unfavourable conditions (cooler waters and increased vertical wind shear), if the ridge builds slower than expected (keeping in mind its 5-7 days out, so there is subject for change), then places like Taiwan may be in the firing line, or possibly Japan given the ridge will cause it to veer North. Its not a time to panic, but something to keep an eye on.


JTWC Forecast Track for Yutu


14 09, 2018

Super Typoon Mangkhut!

Super Typhoon Mangkhut update: 6:30am PHT 15th Sept 2018. The system is still travelling west across Northern Luzon with extreme heavy rain and damaging to destructive winds. Flash flooding and river flooding is also a very high risk. As Mangkhut continues to move west today severe weather conditions are forecast to ease (rain and winds) from around 6pm local PHT time this evening. Stay safe everyone it’s going to be a long day!

4:30am PHT 15th Sept 2018: Super Typhoon Mangkhut (category 5) has made landfall across Northern Luzon, Philippines with wind gusts of around 300km hr. Our thoughts are with people who will have experienced many hours of terror and destruction including Josh from iCyclone who managed to get into the eye wall. It may be many days before we here of reports from the area. Super Typhoon Mangkhut is forecast to continue heading West before slamming South East Asia (just West of Hong Kong) tomorrow (Sunday). Hong Kong may experience winds of 150km hr maybe even 200km hr from the system.

***IMMEDIATE LIFE THREATENING*** Super Typhoon Mangkhut update 10pm AEST 14/9/18: Landfall is now due in 6hrs or at around 2am Saturday 15th of September Phillipines local time. Northern Luzon brace for Super Typhoon (category 5) impacts tonight with very destructive wind gusts to 325km hr, extremely heavy rainfall leading to dangerous flash flooding and river flooding, dangerous storm surge with coastal inundation. Power, water and communications failure imminent. Taiwan and from Manila SOUTH are outside of the forecast Typhoon impact zone.
Stay safe everyone! Below image: NOAA

September 2018: Violent Super Typhoon Mangkhut (high category 5 system 905hpa) is heading directly towards Luzon Phillipines and is expected to make landfall during the early hours of September 15th 2018. Mangkhut contains wind gusts to an incredible 350km hr along with significant wave heights of 55 feet. Cover image: RAMMB/CIRA

This system poses a deadly threat to Northern Luzon and the nearby Northern islands with VERY destructive winds, heavy rainfall, flash flooding and river flooding along with significant storm surge.  

VIDEO UPDATE 14/9/18: Violent Deadly Super Typhoon Mangkhut (High category 5 system) to directly impact Luzon, Philippines within 18hrs!

Posted by Higgins Storm Chasing on Thursday, 13 September 2018


14 09, 2018


September 2018: Major hurricane Florence impacted North and South Carlolina USA. The system produced life threatening hazards with severe storm surge, flooding and wind damage. Cover image: Alexander Gerst via the ISS. 

UPDATE 7:30AM AEST 15TH SEPT 2018: Hurricane Florence is now situated North of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and continuing on it’s slow track. Torrrential rain of 300-400mm has been observed near Morehead City with widespread falls of 150-250mm over large portions of the North Carolina Coast. A dangerous storm surge is continuing along the North Carolina Coast as well.

Image RadarScope

Mind Blowing destruction left from Hurricane Florence in New Bern, NC at first light.

Posted by WXChasing on Friday, 14 September 2018

VIDEO: Widespread and significant damage is being observed at first light over New Bern, North Carolina (North of Wilmington where Florence’s eye is now overhead)

UPDATE 8:10PM AEST 14TH SEPT 2018: Hurricane Florence is now officially making landfall between Surf City and Wilmington, North Carolina as a Category 1 system with 90mph winds. The system has already produced over 300mm of rain near Morehead City with waterspouts and tornado warnings also active. Significant storm surge impacts are being noted as well along the Coastline. Image RadarScope 


VIDEO UPDATE 14/9/18 AEST: Major Hurricane Florence is nearing the North Carolina US coast… listen to the incredible roar!

Posted by Higgins Storm Chasing on Thursday, 13 September 2018

9 07, 2018

150 Million people at risk from Super Typhoon Maria

The insanely perfect eye of Super Typhoon Maria is now barrelling towards Taiwan and China who face severe impacts over the next several days! Destructive winds and flooding rains are both likely! Above image via RAMMB colour satellite image.


Maria developed in the Pacific Ocean almost a week ago (July 3) before rapidly intensifying into the first Category 5 typhoon since Nock-ten in 2016. Satellite and data indicated that Maria slightly weakened after it underwent an eye wall replacement cycle… however the latest data says Maria has regained Category 5 intensity as she barrels towards Taiwan and China.


Over the next 24hrs, conditions are expected to deteriorate across Taiwan and the Okinawa Prefecture (the islands between Japan and Taiwan) as Maria moves towards and through the region. The good thing is that all models are indicating Maria will miss land areas, but destructive winds and torrential rain are still both expected and could cause significant damage in the way of structural damage over Northern Taiwan, mud slides, flooding rain and potential storm surges. Higher rainfall totals than currently being forecast cant be ruled out due to the steep orographic component of Taiwan’s geography – and this would only enhance the flood / mudslide threat downhill from these isolated falls.

JTWC Forecast Track for Maria as of July 9th

JTWC Forecast Track for Maria as of July 9th



On Wednesday as the system bypasses Taiwan to the North, conditions are likely to deteriorate over Eastern China as the (by then) Category 3 system with winds to 200km/h makes landfall to the South of Jiaojiang (between Wenzhou and Fuzhou – a fairly populated area of the Coastline. Heavy to torrential flooding rain which will likely cut roads and cause mudslides, damaging to destructive winds which will likely lead to infrastructure damage and a dangerous storm surge are all expected for large parts of Eastern China.

Post-landfall the system is forecast to continue moving Inland, producing further heavy rain leading to mudslides and flooding.

Forecast rainfall accumulation totals for Maria over the next 5 days via Windy - red is over 100mm, pink is over 250mm

Forecast rainfall accumulation totals for Maria over the next 5 days via Windy – red is over 100mm, pink is over 250mm


15 05, 2018

Space Station Visible Over Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne!

Issued for Thursday 17th May 2018. Be sure to look up in the sky on Thursday night shortly after sunset and show the kids! The ISS or International Space Station will make a visible pass directly over South East Australia for 6 minutes at each location. Above image via ISS astroviewer.

The following times are for South East QLD and North East NSW districts. Beginning at 5:48pm this the ISS will start to be seen in the South West sky while heading towards the North East. At 5:52pm it will be passing directly over North East NSW. By 5:55pm it will vanish again off in a North East direction over the Coral Sea.
Sydney and Canberra beginning at 5:47pm this the ISS will start to be seen in the South West sky while heading towards the North East. At 5:50pm it will be passing directly over Central inland NSW. By 5:53pm it will vanish again off in a North East direction.
begins at 5:45pm and the ISS will start to be seen in the South West sky while heading towards the North East. At 5:48pm it will be passing directly over Central Victoria. By 5:52pm it will vanish again off in a North East direction.

For other locations and exact times please click on this link and use the search box! 

These times are about 25 to 40 minutes after sunset which is the best time to view the ISS due to sunlight being reflected off the craft. It will look like a bright star moving across the sky and can be easily seen by eye. There is some cloud cover forecast across Victoria though NSW, ACT and Southern / South East QLD are expecting clear skies. 


ISS Fun Facts 

• It travels at 27,600km hr or 276 x faster than a car going along the highway!
• It orbits around the earth 15.5 times a day or once every 92 minutes! 
• It weighs 419 tons or equivalent to 279 family cars!
• The ISS is bigger than a football field – 108 meters wide x 72 meters long and 20 meters high! 
• There are 6 people on board ATM which is maximum capacity! 
• It has been up there for 19 and a half years and has gone around the world over 100,000 times! 
• It flies between 330km and 435km above the earth and falls closer to the earth by 2km every month!
• Expedition 55 is the 55th expedition which began upon the departure of Soyuz MS-06 on February 27, 2018. Anton Shkaplerov, Scott D. Tingle and Norishige Kanai were transferred from Expedition 54, with Anton Shkaplerov taking the commander role. They are currently in space.


An actual photo of the International Space Station via NASA

10 05, 2018

South East AUS Low – Rolling Updates, May 2018


The deep low pressure system is located well off the NSW coast though is it still causing some strong winds and showers to the Central NSW coast. The low is forecast to move South East towards New Zealand during Sunday and Monday with showers being maintained along the NSW coast. This severe weather system has delivered widespread rain to South East Aust (some record breaking rain and flooding in South East Tasmania), damaging and destructive winds from 90 to 135km hr across large parts of South East Aust, large dangerous surf, very cold temperatures, snow to low levels in Victoria, snow on the NSW Central Tablelands with blizzards on the Alps.
We hope everyone has remained safe during this unusual May weather pattern. Our thoughts are with those who suffered damage and losses in South East Tasmania due to severe flooding. Thank you for following Higgins Storm Chasing we hope you have valued our accurate forecasts, warning, updates and coverage of the system. For a full run down of the Super Low please read our detailed blog below.


UPDATE: 6:10PM 12/5/18 The low is now centred around 480km East of Sydney and moving away from the Coast. Scattered showers and light to moderate rain areas are continuing across the NSW South and Central Coastal areas with Merimbula on the NSW South Coast leading all on 27mm since 9am. Strong to damaging winds of 75km/h+ are still lashing the NSW South Coast. Conditions have improved across nearly the entirety of VIC now, however damaging winds and very cold temperatures are still being observed across the Alpine areas.

UPDATE: 1pm 12/5/18  Some big wind gusts have been observed over the Snowy Mountains and Alps in the past 12-18hrs as the Low rips damaging Southerly winds up the NSW Coast and across Eastern VIC.

• Mount Hotham 143km/h (twice) (gusts to over 120km/h for 11hrs straight)
• Falls Creek 130km/h

• Mount William 122km/h (yesterday)
• Montague Island 115km/h
• Green Cape 113km/h
• Mount Ginini 113km/h
• Thredbo 111km/h
• Mount Buller 106km/h
• Cape Otway 100km/h
• Gabo Island 100km/h

These kinds of winds were no doubt creating blizzard conditions across the peaks of the Snowy Mountains and Victorian Alps overnight. While good falls of 50-100mm have been observed over Eastern VIC as forecast. Further good falls today should push totals above the 100mm for a few locations as forecast for the event.

BOM 12518 24hr Rain VIC

24hr rainfall via BOM to 9am 12-5-18


WZ WINDS 12518

Weatherzone radar and winds showing damaging winds over the Victorian Alps and NSW South Coast (purple lines) during the early hours of Saturday 12/5/18 morning

UPDATE: As of midday 12/5/18  Snow had been reported overnight Friday into Saturday across the Barrington Tops where a light dusting was observed. Heavy snow had also been documented over the Brindabella Ranges as the Namadgi National Park turned white!

Snow reported across the Barrington Tops via

Heavy snow obscured across the Brindabella Ranges, ACT via Timothy Dean

UPDATE: 8:30am 12/5/18  The centre of the low which has been the cause of all the severe weather over TAS is now located about 250km East of Wollongong on the NSW Illawarra Coast. The system is continuing to move in a general North to North East direction and allowing rain areas to stream along the NSW Coast South of Sydney. Some pockets of moderate falls are occurring and this has lead to isolated falls of 25-40mm being recorded so far. The swell is expected to increase across this morning as the strong winds continue to lash the Coast.


8:30am 12/5/18 radar for the NSW South Coast via Weatherzone

8:30am 12/5/18 radar for the NSW South Coast via Weatherzone


UPDATE: 9pm 11/5/18  Rain areas are easing across the Eastern half of Victoria. These rain areas are expected to continue throughout the night across Eastern VIC where locally heavy falls are possible. The centre of the dominating surface low is situated well East of Bass Strait over the open Tasman Sea waters and is expected to move slowly North leading to an increased swell across the NSW South and Central Coast’s as well as Eastern Coastal parts of VIC during the night and into tomorrow morning. Rain is still falling as snow over Alpine areas such as the Victoria Alps and Snowy Mountains, while flurries cant be ruled out over the highest peaks of the Central Tablelands.

UPDATE: 6pm 11/5/18  Rain areas are continuing across Central and Eastern VIC with good falls of 10-25mm so far along with scattered falls North and East of Greater Melbourne of 25mm+ and isolated falls of up to 50mm since 9am. Rain is continuing to fall as snow across the Alpine regions with some scattered showers pushing in over Southern and Central Inland NSW. Temperatures are remaining freezing across both Victoria and Southern NSW. Canberra has recorded its coldest day this early in the year since 1970, registering a maximum temperature of just 9.0ºc. Bathurst could only warm to 7.2ºc, Orange 5.9ºc. Mount Hotham couldn’t even warm above freezing with -0.4ºc so far today as a maximum while Thredbo’s -2.2ºc max so far is the coldest for the year, the wind chill has been brutal with it feeling colder than -10ºc all day.

6pm 11/5/18 radar for NSW and VIC via Weatherzone

6pm 11/5/18 radar for NSW and VIC via Weatherzone


Snow covering tabletops across Perisher today via Perisher Mid Centre

Stunning scenes out of the Brindabella Ranges via Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development

UPDATE: 12pm 11/5/18 The current satellite image from BOM below shows the deep low between North East Tasmania and South East Victoria. The system is forecast to move North East offshore from the NSW during Saturday before moving South East and away on Sunday. Rain areas are continuing across Central Victoria including Melbourne and the North East quarter of Tasmania. Heavy rain and flooding has now eased from the Hobart area and is not forecast to return. Snow is continuing to fall across Alpine regions and high elevations above 900 meters in Central / Southern NSW including the ACT. Scattered showers and strong winds are continuing across Adelaide. Strong winds are remaining in place for the next 24 hrs across SA, VIC, NSW, ACT and Tasmania with fresh cool South West winds now also extending across most of QLD. Heavy rain is still expected to develop across far Eastern VIC and far Eastern NSW during Friday night into Saturday morning. Strong Southerly winds will extend along much of the NSW coast on Saturday. 

UPDATE: As of 9am 11/5/18, Melbourne City had recorded a daily maximum (from 9am Thursday to 9am Friday) of just 12.8ºc, this is the coldest temperature for Melbourne this early in the year since 1970!

UPDATE: 6:35am 11/5/18 rain areas had eased across Tasmania with scattered showers persisting out of the South East now. These showers were allowing rainfall totals to continue accumulating with Mt Wellington up to a staggering 224mm and Grove 156mm – both all time new daily records for ANY month. Hobart was sitting on 128mm which was nearly 3x the previous May record and 4th wettest day in history. Snow was also being reported as settling across the NSW Central Tablelands with new reports overnight out of Oberon and Blayney. 

WZ 635 TAS 11518

Radar update for Tasmania via Weatherzone with rainfall totals included.

UPDATE: 1:50am 11/5/18  Rain areas are continuing across South East TAS including Hobart a record breaking 106mm has occurred in the City and 151mm over Mt Wellington. These rain areas are expected to linger throughout the night and into Saturday morning.

Across VIC, scattered showers which may contain small hail are moving into Greater Melbourne. These showers have produced up to 40mm over Southg West VIC so far and should increase rainfall totals over the East during the next 36-48hrs. Isolated showers (falling as snow) are being observed on radar over the NSW Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, Brindabella Ranges and Snowy Mountains / VIC Alps.


1:50am 11/5/18 radar for Tasmania via Weatherzone

1:50am 11/5/18 radar for Tasmania via Weatherzone


1:50am 11/5/18 radar for NSW and VIC via Weatherzone

1:50am 11/5/18 radar for NSW and VIC via Weatherzone


UPDATE: 12:25am 11/5/18  Severe thunderstorms have eased across the Hobart region however continued heavy rain is still occurring. The City (Hobart) has officially surpassed 100mm since 9am, making it the first time ever in May this has occurred and only the 5th time in history for Hobart City. Mt Wellington is pushing towards 150mm since 9am and almost doubled the previous May record. Major and rapid flash flooding was being observed across Hobart leading to several cars being washed away and streets turning into rivers. Power remained out to at least 10,000 people possibly more with rain areas still impacting the region.

Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 12.27.04 AM

Rain since 9am as of 12:25am for Hobart via BOM

Video of flooding going through the Corridors of the University of Tasmania via The Mercury


UPDATE: 11:20pm 10/5/18 Severe thunderstorms were lashing South Eastern parts of Tasmania including Greater Hobart. Heavy rain in the vicinity of 60mm in an hour had been recorded over Mt Wellington and 44mm in 1 hour at Hobart. Totals since 9am had exceeded 94mm in Hobart and 136mm at Wellington – both obliterating the previous May daily record. Extensive and rapid flash flooding had been observed across the City of Hobart leading to several car incidents along with more than 15,000 people without power.

Across the VIC Alps and Snowy Mountains, heavy snow was continued to be observed with Thredbo sitting on a nation low of -5ºc with wind chill making it feel closer to -14ºc. Falls Creek has brought out the snow plows to clear some of the snow already. While the Brindabella Ranges in the ACT were white from snow. Snow flurries were starting to be observed over the NSW Central Tablelands at Arkell (near Blayney) with flurries likely occurring around the Jenolan Caves and Oberon.

Rapid flash flooding in New Town, Hobart via The Mercury

Snow falling over the Brindabella Ranges via SnowSearch Australia

UPDATE: 10:15pm 10/5/18 Hobart on 56.8mm has just broken the 136 year May daily rainfall record as heavy thunderstorms impact the city. The 177 year rainfall record at the Botanical Gardens site is also very likely to be broken tonight. A convergence line is feeding in from the East with further heavy falls expected for most of tonight, the city may even reach 100mm by morning! Heavy snow is impacted the Great Lakes with power surges (see video below). We had forecast this record potential earlier today HERE

UPDATE: 9pm 10/5/18 Winds and rain increasing further across South East Tasmania with the deep low circulation near the East Coast. Maria Island has recorded 81mm to 9pm which has set a new May daily rainfall record surpassing 77mm in 2012. Hobart is over halfway to setting a new May daily rainfall record with 27mm so far. Damaging winds of 89km hr at Hobart airport and a whopping 132km hr at Mt Wellington. Heavy snow is falling across the Central highlands. Blizzard conditions now impacting the Alps with 87km hr winds and heavy snow falling. Snow has also been recorded at Mt Beauty in Victoria which is at just 366 meters! Orange in NSW is now down to 1C with snow showers coming in from the west. Damaging winds to 100km hr have been observed along the South Australia South East Coast. Below image showing rain, storms, snow and damaging winds impacting South East Tasmania via

Video from Great Lake Hotel in the Tasmanian Central Highlands of heavy snow coming down


Snow being observed at 366m ASL at Mt Beauty in North East VIC

Above video shows heavy snow coming down at Mt Hotham via Hotham Alpine Resort as of  6pm 10/5/18

 UPDATE: 5:30pm 10/5/18 Very cold temperatures of 10C or below and feels like temps of 5c or below being oberseved across all of Victoria, Southern inland NSW, ACT, South East SA and Tasmania. A band of rain is heading towards the Brindabella Ranges in NSW/ACT which is likley to produce overnight snow due to -2C temperatures. The same band of rain is likely to cause heavy snow across the Alps tonight. Rainfall is increasing across Eastern Tasmania with some offshore thunderstorms observed. Winds increasing across South East Tasmania with Hobart recording 80km hr and Mt Wellington recording 104km hr. Some storms have developed just offshore near Newcastle and Southern NSW these are moving away from the coast. 

UPDATE: 3:30pm 10/5/18  The upper low cold pool of air is now positioned firmly over Victoria and Southern NSW moving North to North East, there are two low level circulations one in Bass Straight and one North East of Hobart. The system is producing scattered showers across VIC, some briefly moderate and some that may contain small hail. Snow is falling across the VIC Alps and may fall over the Dandenong Ranges over the next few hours if it hasn’t started already. Snow is being reported from the Great Lakes in Tasmania. 

We have already seen good snowfall being reported across the Victorian Alpine resorts and Snowy Mountains with several locations, mostly over the South West of VIC reporting small hail with showers earlier in the day. As of 3:30pm, mostly light falls had occurred across VIC although falls of 25-40mm have been observed across South East and Eastern Tasmania as a result of a Tasman Low impacting the region over the course of today. Damaging winds have so far been observed only briefly over elevated parts of Tasmania and Victoria.

WZ VIC 330pm 10518

Water vapour and satellite imagery via Weatherzone showing the upper low over VIC and Southern NSW


1 05, 2018

Sydney endures hottest April on record

April 2018 has been anything but a typical April for Greater Sydney as it has endured its hottest April on record and driest in 12 years! Thankfully times are changing and it looks like May could return back to a somewhat normal perspective. Above image via BOM –  Rainfall anomaly for April for NSW showing well below average for Sydney.



Greater Sydney, particularly those along the Coastline that typically see cooler weather for the localised region, has just experienced its hottest April on record. Sydney’s records date back to 1859 and April 2018 has defied the typical April consensus to shatter heat records. Sydney City for April has recorded an average maximum temperature of 26.1ºc – this is not only 3.6ºc above the long term average of 22.5ºc, but also higher than the January average of 26.0ºc. So essentially, it was as hot as Summer. The high temperatures weren’t missed either, with the 34.2ºc daily record set in 2016 for April surpassed twice with 35.4ºc on the 9th and then 34.6ºc on the 12th. Both of these scorchers were part of a long run of 17 straight days above average to start the month. The average maximum temperature from April 1 to 16 was 28.4ºc (a staggering 5.93ºc above average). 

Not only were the maximums ridiculously warmer than normal… the minimums were just as abnormal with a record breaking 18.0ºc average for Sydney City. It took until Sunday morning (April 29th) for the first below average morning to occur. The Western Suburbs weren’t as drastic, but Penrith recorded its hottest April in 21 years and Richmond 23 years. 

Data for April for Sydney City showing 2 record breaking days, a string of ridiculously warm temperatures, no rainfall and both minimum and maximum records being broken. Image courtesy of Weatherzone

Data for April for Sydney City showing 2 record breaking days, a string of ridiculously warm temperatures, no rainfall and both minimum and maximum records being broken. Image courtesy of Weatherzone



The above average heat was also combined with well below average rainfall. Penrith recorded less than 1mm for the month, Blacktown less than 6mm, Richmond less than 10mm and Sydney was a measly 23.4mm. This is only 18% of the normal April average of 128mm, the first time since 2010 that less than 100mm has occurred in April and the lowest monthly total since 2006. 


Rainfall deciles for NSW across April. Greater Sydney is showing very much below average.

Rainfall deciles for NSW across April. Greater Sydney is showing very much below average.


Thankfully it looks like the atmosphere is already responding to a change, with the only 5 rain days for Sydney occurring over the last 5 days (April 1 to 25 recorded 0.0mm) and an obvious change in temperatures with back to back below average nights and 2 of the last 4 days below average also. 


NSW Week Temp Anom

Temperature anomalies for NSW across the last week showing below average across Eastern NSW and Greater Sydney. This is representative of the atmosphere now responding to the cooler climate.


25 04, 2018

2017-18 Tropical Cyclone Season Summary & Review

Published 25th April 2018. Well the 2017-18 Tropical Cyclone Season has officially come to an end across the Australian area of responsibility with numbers eventually nearing the expectations set out back in October ahead of the season. Above image Cyclone Marcus at maximum intensity. 



The prediction issued back in October 2017, was for a near normal number of tropical cyclones across Australian waters during the 2017-18 season, to be precise it was a prediction of 11. For the 2017-18 season we saw 10 tropical cyclones across our waters with the bulk of activity occurring over the Indian Ocean before a late by underwhelming burst occurred in March over the Coral Sea. Overall we had expectations of up to 5 severe tropical cyclone which exceeded the reality of 2 which occurred while a total of 5 landfalls were expected when in reality, 6 occurred.

The Indian Ocean was favoured for the season due to abnormally warmer temperatures along with an active MJO and Monsoon Phase occurring over the region for extensive periods of time. Ridging patterns also favoured any systems in the North moving South West and towards the WA region. There were several low’s trying to spin up over the Coral Sea, but the main hindering factor was increased vertical wind shear which didn’t allow the convection to develop for these low’s to transition into cyclones. The below-expected number of severe cyclones is largely due to where the systems developed. Most systems were developing over the Arafura Sea and near the WA Kimberley Coast which meant land interaction halted the intensification process. 


Tropical Cyclone map of Season 2017-18 for Australian waters via Wikipedia

Tropical Cyclone map of Season 2017-18 for Australian waters via Wikipedia


So how did the season pan out?

It was an early burst of activity which got the season going as 2 tropical cyclones (Cempaka and Dahlia) developed near Indonesia and ventured “just” into our waters. The 2 systems failed to become much as they intertwined with each other and left Dahlia as the dominant system. There was a lull then until just after Christmas when Cyclone Hilda developed into a Category 2 system and made landfall South of Broome at Anna Plains on December 28. The New Year started quickly with Cyclone Irving developing in the Indian Ocean and impacting nobody, before Cyclone Joyce developed briefly off the WA Coast and made landfall over the Northern Pilbara.


Cyclone Hilda making its first landfall over Broome. Radar supplied by Weatherzone

Cyclone Hilda making its first landfall over Broome. Radar supplied by Weatherzone


It wasn’t until almost 6 weeks later that the cyclone season resumed as Cyclone Kelvin developed as a tropical low North of the NT and tracked South West where it became a named system before making landfall South of Broome again. It took until Mid March for QLD to see its first activity as Linda developed over the Coral Sea and tracked South.. at the same time, the strongest system of the system Marcus was causing havoc as he made landfall over Darwin as a Category 2 and then bombed into a strong Category 5 system over the Indian Ocean and reached strong enough parameters to be in the top 10 strongest cyclones of all time in Australian waters. While Marcus was doing his thing, Nora developed in the Gulf of Carpentaria and made a bee-line for the QLD Peninsula where she made landfall as a Category 3 system. Then how could we forget the final system… Iris. The system that circumnavigated the Coral Sea over the course of a 3 week (21 or 22 day) stretch and ended up impacting basically nobody.


Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcus on its last legs and Severe Tropical Cyclone Nora intensifying simultaneously. Image via BOM

Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcus on its last legs and Severe Tropical Cyclone Nora intensifying simultaneously. Image via BOM


Tropical Cyclone Iris final track map via Wikipedia

Tropical Cyclone Iris final track map via Wikipedia


A further 13 tropical low’s developed which didn’t reach cyclone thresholds. The most notable was Tropical Low 11U which meandered around the Northern WA region for quite a while, delivering near record-breaking rainfall cross the Broome region. A combination of some transient lows and tropical lows also produced heavy rainfall across February and March though Tropical North QLD with some places recording more than 3000mm in the space of 6 weeks.

Thankfully despite a near-normal season, the damage and death toll was minimal. Nobody died in Australia (41 deaths occurred from Cempaka over the Java region however) with only $42M in damage ($26M from Macus and $16M from Kelvin).

While we cant rule out an out of season May tropical cyclone given how warm the sea surface temperatures still are across the region, the official end to the season itself has come. 


Severe flooding across Roebuck Plains, WA captured by Luke Glassington after more than 600mm in 4 days fell over the region

Severe flooding across Roebuck Plains, WA captured by Luke Glassington after more than 600mm in 4 days fell over the region


25 04, 2018

Brief Warm Period for SEQLD Before Temps Cool Down

After a brief taste of what Autumn should be like, temperatures are expected to warm back up again across South East QLD before cooling down over the weekend. Above image – Maximums for Thursday via BSCH.



Over the past week, temperatures have been pretty normal for April across South East QLD with Brisbane averaging 26.7ºc (just below the April average of 27.1ºc) and Ipswich sitting right on its April average of 27.2ºc. This is about to change through as a surface trough becomes positioned a little off the Coast and allows the winds to draw in some extra warmth temporarily. This should lead to maximums on Wednesday becoming slightly above average by about 1-2ºc and then further on Thursday by a few degrees more as maximums potentially push the 30-31ºc mark in some areas. Its essentially expected to be the best of both worlds, as the daytime maximums heat up, clear skies should keep minimums to slightly below average for this time of year (sitting around the low to mid teens depending on your exact location). 



This as stated above though is just temporary. During the weekend, a fresh South to South East breeze is expected to dominate once again and draw in much cooler conditions over the region. The majority of South East QLD is expected to sit around the 24-25ºc during Saturday and Sunday which is 2-3ºc below average for April. Along the Ranges, the temperature may even struggle to exceed 20ºc at Stanthorpe. Night time minimums should remain similar and sitting around 1-2ºc below average also. There is the addition of some very isolated showers becoming possible over parts of South East QLD and the Wide Bay Coast (not all areas though). If any showers were to occur, they should drop the temperature briefly and produce nothing more than a few mm at best. 


Forecast Maximums for SEQLD & NENSW on Sunday, April 29th via BSCH

Forecast Maximums for SEQLD & NENSW on Sunday, April 29th via BSCH



23 04, 2018

Another very warm April day in SA

Issued 23rd April 2018. Yet another very warm to hot day well above average temperatures is expected across South Australia today. Above image via BSCH.

A surface trough will drag very warm to hot North West winds down across the state on Monday. Maximum temperatures are forecast to be up to 10C above the April average across the state. Adelaide is headed for a top temp of 31C while further inland widespread temps between 33 to 35C are expected.

A cooler change will push East across the Western half of the state during the afternoon producing some showers and storms. The change is forecast to reach Adelaide at around 5pm. 

During Tuesday the cooler Southerly winds will spread through the Southern half of the state but temps will remain high through the North East. Some showers and isolated storms are forecast across the Southern half due to the trough. Adelaide will cool to 26C on Tuesday then 21C on Wednesday.