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26 02, 2017

UPDATED: South East QLD rain & storm week ahead forecast 26/2/17

An upper trough and upper low moves over the region from Sunday through until Wednesday while greatly increasing instability. High moisture levels will be fed in from the South East due to onshore winds. Areas along and near the coast should see scattered showers each day coming in from the South East while further inland there is a good chance of both showers and storms. These inland storms are not expected to travel towards the coast during the first half of the week due to steering winds. Subscribe here for detailed HSC rain and storm forecast maps across South East QLD! 

From Thursday until Sunday another trough feature is forecast to maintain the development of afternoon showers and storms across the South East region with some likely to push towards the coast. Rainfall totals along the coast and adjacent inland areas of between 25 to 50mm are forecast for the week with locally higher totals possible. Rainfall through inland regions along and West of the ranges will heavily depend on being directly under shower and storm activity so it is impossible to say if everyone will get rain. Hopefully most areas across the district pick up some relief this week.

Earlier forecasts a few days ago had higher totals of 50 to 100mm possible along the coast, however due to the upper low now expected to be centered right over South East Queensland these totals have been reduced due to the deeper onshore winds forecast to be further South in New South Wales.

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26 02, 2017

Wide Bay & Burnett – Showers and storms this week

After a one of the driest hottest summers in recent history some relief looks likely for the Wide Bay & Burnett district this week. Dams, tanks, creeks and rivers are dry while most paddocks and yards have almost turned to dust. Showers and the chance of a storms are forecast pretty much every day this week across the region. While it will be far from drought breaking rain the activity should offer some hope to many who are desperate for rain. Despite having a handful of days where storms were previously forecast the entire area has largely missed out… People won’t believe now until they see it. Subscribe to HSC for detailed rain and storms forecast maps for the Wide Bay & Burnett region here!

An upper trough moves over the region from Sunday through until Wednesday while increasing instability. High moisture levels will be fed in from the South East due to onshore winds. Areas along and near the coast should see showers each day coming in from the South East while further inland there is a good chance of storms. These storms are not expected to travel towards the coast due to steering winds.

From Thursday until Sunday another trough feature is forecast to maintain the development of afternoon showers and storms. Rainfall totals of around 25mm for the week are forecast along coastal areas before tapering off inland. Rainfall through inland regions will heavily depend on being under storm activity so it is impossible to say everyone will get rain. Hopefully most areas across the district pick up some relief this week! Earlier forecasts a few days ago had higher totals up to 50mm possible along the coast however due to the upper low now expected to be slightly further south in South East Queensland these totals have been reduced.

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24 02, 2017

100mm of rain forecast for the South East QLD Coast!

A very wet week ahead is forecast to end Summer and mark the beginning of Autumn along the South East Queensland coast. From Sunday through until next Friday, widespread rainfall totals of 50 to 100mm are expected from the Sunshine Coast south to the Gold coast including Brisbane, Ipswich and hinterland areas. On Friday morning the multi model computer forecast data ramped up daily rainfall totals ahead of the significant weather system next week. The main feature for coastal regions will be constant scattered showers day and night with the possibility of these turn into rain areas with moderate falls. Through the hinterland and valleys afternoon storms may also develop with heavy rain. We could see some isolated local totals up to 200mm for the week however these will heavily depend on exactly where persistent heavier rain fall accumulates. For detailed rain and storm forecast maps in SEQLD subscribe to HSC here! 

Most of the exposed coast then inland about 25km has the best chances of picking up higher totals of between 75 to 100mm. Further inland rainfall is forecast to quickly taper off with hinterlands and valleys on Eastern side of the ranges in line for about 25 to 50mm. West of the ranges across the Darling Downs and Granite Belt won’t miss out with showers and storms forecast each afternoon and evening though these should tend to be less frequent than the coast. Note: Separate forecasts will be issued for Central and Southern inland Queensland and also North East New South Wales. 

So what is causing this wet weather? 

On Saturday and Sunday an upper trough of cold air pushes North from New South Wales into Southern inland Queensland which will destabilize the atmosphere. This upper trough then becomes trapped inland on Monday developing further into an upper low with clockwise rotation. The upper low is forecast to drift around in the Southern half of the state during the week maintaining instability levels. Due to rotation around the low, winds in the mid the upper atmosphere turn onshore from the North to East along the coast dragging in higher amounts of moisture from the ocean. A high pressure ridge will also assist in providing a deep onshore flow from the surface into the mid levels and the result is a saturated atmosphere from the surface to 40,000 feet. Warm moist air feeding into a cold cored low produces lift then rain. 

What can change?

The only weather feature which can greatly vary rainfall amounts from this system is the upper low. The best rainfall occurs directly to the East and South of the centre rotation and cold core. For example, a vast majority of current model data suggests that with the forecast position of the low, coastal areas from the Sunshine Coast South to Port Macquarie will see the highest rainfall totals. If the low moves further North then higher rainfall totals will result further North along the Central QLD coast. If it stays slightly further South rainfalls totals will be reduced along the South East QLD coast. The above forecast scenario is what is likely to occur hence why we issue them…

High resolution HSC rainfall and storm forecast maps in SEQLD are available by subscribing here! 

22 02, 2017

Wet week ahead for Central East & South East QLD + North East NSW

Finally after months of heat, humidity and below average rainfall, forecast model data is confidently indicating a significant weather system to develop from Sunday onwards. Coastal districts in Queensland South from Rockhampton all the way down to Port Macquarie in NSW are in for a wet week next week with totals of between 25 to 50mm likely and up to 100mm possible. Central and Southern inland Queensland and Northern inland NSW are also forecast to see shower and storm activity develop each afternoon. Above rainfall image via GFS / Pivotal. For detailed HSC rainfall and storm forecast maps in SEQLD & NENSW subscribe here! 

An upper level cut off low is forecast to develop over Southern inland QLD / Northern inland NSW on Sunday triggering moderate to high levels of instability. This upper low of cold air interacts with a very warm moist onshore flow over Southern QLD & Northern NSW to produce scattered coastal showers and inland storms with some likely severe. 

Due to the upper low being cut off and blocked inland, it is forecast to drift through Southern and Central inland QLD from Monday through until Thursday. This will provide a continued favorable environment for the development of scattered showers and possible rain areas along the coasts with afternoon showers and storms through inland regions. Due to the onshore winds being very deep the showers and storms will generally be moving in a Westerly direction. Most storms from Monday onward are not expected to be severe though some areas of heavy rain and flash flooding can’t be ruled out. Moderate East to South East winds combined with the cloudy wet conditions will provide much cooler temperatures of around 27c along the coasts and East of the ranges. Inland areas West of the ranges will be a little warmer and humid with max temps around 30c. 

Keep in mind that the areas forecast for better rainfall totals will be East of the ranges and along the coast. The Capricornia, Wide Bay and South East Coast (Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold and Sunshine Coast) districts of Queensland at this stage should see 25 to 50mm with locally higher totals to 100mm possible. Slightly higher falls are forecast for the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast of NSW where 50 to 75mm is likely with up to 125mm possible. Inland areas such as the Central Highlands, Burnett, Darling Downs & Granite Belt and Warrego and Maranoa in Queensland should see 10 to 25mm with locally higher falls possible under repeated shower and storm activity. Again similar totals of 10 to 25mm with locally higher falls possible through the Northern Tablelands & North West Slopes and plains in NSW.

This is one of the best rainfall forecasts we have seen in months for people in the Wide Bay to Sunshine Coast regions where rainfall has been very much below average (-400mm during the past 3 months). The words from locals in these areas describe the recent weather conditions as “very hot, drought, crippling and desperate for rain”! Hopefully to dome breaks for these areas who have badly missed out from previous storms. Large areas of remaining Central and Southern QLD are also below to very much below average for the past 3 months so fingers crossed this brings some relief. 

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20 02, 2017

Alfred named in the Gulf!

Tropical Cyclone Alfred has become the second Cyclone named this season and the first for the general Queensland region (being the Gulf of Carpentaria). Above image – Rainbow Satellite of Alfred via NOAA

Over the past week, Alfred has been struggling to intensify to cyclone status as he has heavily interacted with both the NT and QLD Gulf Coastlines. While Alfred showed promising signs back on Friday of becoming a Cyclone prior to its first landfall in the Gulf, this didn’t quite eventuate and he then spent the next 36hrs over land before re-entering the Gulf of Sunday morning where he has slowly moved away from land for long enough to intensify enough to reach Cyclone status.

Over the last 72hrs, the system has delivered some impressive rainfall across the Gulf with 3-day totals of more than 500mm being observed at Sweers Island and 300mm+ widespread. Winds at Centre Island have been nearing 100km/h, which is where the core of Alfred now lies.

 

 

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-8-29-59-am

Over the next 24-36hrs, Alfred is expected to maintain Cyclone status as a Category 1 system. During this time he’s expected to loop around the South-Western Gulf and make a run for the Coastline again, however due to the overall weak nature of the system, any land interaction will kill him off quickly and its not expected that Alfred will cross the Coastline as a Cyclone but more of a strong Tropical Low.

 

BOM Forecast Track Map of Alfred

BOM Forecast Track Map of Alfred

 

 

Regardless of his official crossing status, heavy rain, squally to damaging winds and rough seas are likely to accompany him with further significant falls of 200-400mm+ likely over the Southern Gulf including areas such as Sweers Island, Mornington Island, Burketown, Centre Island and Borroloola. Falls of nearly 1000mm (around Sweers Island) are possible by the time this system moves off into the Northern Territory, while bands of heavy rain and storms associated with Alfred are likely to continue sweeping the Peninsula of QLD.

 

Forecast 5 day rainfall via Tropicaltidbits

Forecast 5 day rainfall via Tropicaltidbits

 

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17 02, 2017

Hot humid conditions & storms for Central & Southern QLD

Hot weather is set to return across Central and Southern Queensland districts over the weekend ahead of a surface trough. The high heat and humidity levels will make way for the development of afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms with some likely severe. Above image via Pivotalweather

On Friday afternoon scattered storms are expected to fire up across Southern inland parts especially through the Warrego and Maranoa. Some of these are likely to be severe with damaging winds a risk. Due to a more dryer atmosphere frequent lightning strikes are also likely. Favorable steering winds from the West could also push these storms into the Western Darling Downs during the evening. 

During Saturday a band of showers and storm activity is forecast in a line from about Mt Isa, Longreach, Charleville to Goondiwindi while moving East. There is a chance due to steering winds that some showers and isolated storms get pushed far enough East to the South East Coast region though most of the stronger activity will remain through the Central and Southern / South East inland. Again damaging winds and frequent lightning will be a risk with storms on Saturday.  

Sunday will be the main day for storms in South East & Central inland Queensland districts with a number cells likely to be severe as instability and humidity levels peak. The surface trough is forecast to be positioned through inland parts just West of the ranges with very warm and humid conditions to the East. Locations such as Brisbane, Ipswich, Sunshine & Gold Coasts, Warwick, Toowoomba and Dalby all have a high risk of seeing thunderstorm activity. Damaging Winds, Heavy Rain and Frequent Lightning will be the main threats with storm cells tending to slide from the North West towards the South East. 

The system is likely to shift into Central East districts on Monday while significantly weakening. Maximum temperatures of 35 – 40c are forecast through Central and Southern inland on Friday and Saturday before a slightly cooler change behind the trough on Sunday. In the South East and Central East, maximum temperatures peak on Saturday with 33 – 36c expected along with very high humidity levels.  

Higgins Storm Chasing’s own detailed severe storm, rain, and Gulf cyclone threat maps for QLD (12 of them all together for the next 3 days) are online and available to our Premium Members. Email forecasts and storm alerts will be issued to members during the weekend.

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16 02, 2017

QLD – Tropical Low in Gulf could develop into a cyclone with 500mm forecast

On Thursday afternoon, satellite and radar imagery detected an intensifying tropical low in the Southern Gulf of Carpentaria. The system has a 50% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone during the next 4 days on the provision the center stays over water. Up to 500mm is forecast for parts of the Gulf Country through until Monday which could lead to flooding. A monsoon trough runs across the Peninsula while linking to a coastal trough near Bowen to Charters Towers. These two systems are also generating scattered showers, storms and rain areas where some could be severe with heavy rainfall. Above image: Satellite showing water vapour via Weatherzone. 

Over the next 24 to 72 hours various forecast data models indicate the tropical low could develop further into a cyclone though the system will need to remain over the Gulf waters to enable further intensification. Given the small area it has to work with, at best we could see a category 1 or 2 system with an increase in winds to 120kmhr. Any land interaction the low has will significantly lessen the chances of further development though the focus for the system needs to be on the widespread rain which is forecast across large parts of the North West. 

nqldrain16thto20thfeb2017

Above image: Heavy rainfall up to 500mm circled- Pivotal Weather

The coastal trough through the tropics is forecast to gradually contract further North over the next few days while producing scattered showers, storms and rain areas. A more significant weather system will develop in the West on Friday with a band of showers and storms. On Saturday and Sunday it pushes through into Central, Southern and South East districts where some storms will likely be severe. 

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10 02, 2017

Hell on Earth Temperatures set to sizzle QLD

The next 3 days across South-East, Southern Inland and Central parts of QLD as well as Northern Inland and North-East NSW are forecast to sizzle with records being smashed across the region. Above image: Maximums for Sunday via OCF/BSCH

The severe heatwave which has been responsible for many records being smashed across South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales in the past 3 days is expected to drift more into Southern QLD and the Northern half of NSW over the next 3 days. The surface trough blocking any cool change at the moment is likely to lie over the NSW Central Coast and along the NSW Northern Ranges while very warm North-East winds feed into the Coastal side of it, combining with very hot Westerlies and a hot airmass overhead. This is likely to produce sizzling temperatures on Saturday, which are only going to climb to likely break records on Sunday as the trough moves closer to the Coast. On Monday, a cool change is forecast to move through Northern Coastal NSW early bringing a much cooler day, while a very warm and muggy start for SEQ should be halted in the early afternoon by the change.

 

 

Many records are likely to be broken this weekend, some of these include
•Brisbane 36 / 39 / 34 
• Beaudesert 40 / 43 / 34 (Record: Feb 38.9ºc, All-Time 43.1ºc
• Birdsville 46 / 47 / 38
• Cunnamulla 45 / 46 / 36
• Gatton 42 / 43 / 37 (Record: Feb 41.9ºc)
• Ipswich 40 / 43 / 34 (Record: Feb 40.6ºc)
• Nambour 36 / 40 / 32 (Record: Feb 40.5ºc)
• Nerang 37 / 40 / 34
• Oakey 42 / 42 / 38 (Record: Feb 39.5ºc)
• Bourke 47 / 47 / 36 
• Casino 42 / 44 / 38 (Record: Feb 42.1ºc, All-Time 44.1ºc)
• Lismore 38 / 41 / 32 (Record: Feb 40.9ºc)
• Grafton 41 / 44 / 31 (Record Feb 41.3ºc, All-Time 44.6ºc)
• Moree 44 / 45 / 40 (Extend the 35ºc streak to 49 straight days)
• Narrabri 44 / 45 / 38 (Record – Feb/All-Time 45.4ºc)

Note: Sunday is potentially going to be Brisbane’s hottest day in 9 years!

 

 

OCF Forecast Maximums for Southern QLD / Northern NSW (Saturday February 11th)

OCF Forecast Maximums for Southern QLD / Northern NSW (Saturday February 11th)

OCF Forecast Maximums for Southern QLD / Northern NSW (Monday February 13th)

OCF Forecast Maximums for Southern QLD / Northern NSW (Monday February 13th)

Thankfully there is some cooler weather on the way in the form of showers, some rain areas and thunderstorms. The warmth is expected to return mid week to those in NENSW and SEQ however it should be much more bearable, while Northern NSW and South-West/Southern QLD who have seen endless heat now since before Christmas are expected to finally drop out of the 40’s!

Did you know, excessive heat or “heatwaves” are responsible for more weather related hospitalisations in Australia than all other weather phenomenon combined? Thats why its important to look after the elderly, look after your pets and animals, look after young children and look after pregnant woman. These 4 categories of living beings are the most at risk for heat related illness or injury. Drink plenty of water and avoid outdoor activities.

 

 

9 02, 2017

Record February Temperatures to smash NSW & ACT

NSW and the ACT are about to experience the hottest run of February heat seen in many decades. The heat that is about to engulf the region is LIKELY to not only break, but smash records by potentially several degrees. Above image Saturday maximums via OCF/BSCH

A surface trough is forecast to become established along the NSW Southern and Central Coast’s during Friday before lying over the entire Coastline during Saturday and Sunday. This trough is likely to combine with a seperate trough over Southern Inland districts of NSW and very warm to hot airmass overhead to produce stifling temperatures where numerous locations (potentially half the State) could experience 44ºc+ over the next 3 days. This kind of heat IS abnormal and will likely result in total fire bans, increased fire danger ratings and a a significant increase in heat stress ratings. The kinds of temperatures which are forecast are expected to be in the realms of 10-17ºc above average!! Saturday is forecast to be the worst day across the State with virtually all inland regions seeing at least 43ºc, while numerous locations are likely to exceed 45ºc and break records.

 

 

BOM Heatwave Pilot for Friday, Saturday, Sunday

BOM Heatwave Pilot for Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Over the next 3 days here are SOME of the temperatures and likely candidates for breaking records.

• Canberra 41 / 41 / 34 (Feb Record 38.8ºc)
• Sydney 38 / 39 / 30

• Bathurst 40 / 42 / 38 (All-Time Record 40.7ºc)
• Casino 35 / 42 / 43 (Feb Record 42.5ºc)
• Cessnock 44 / 46 / 44 (All-Time Record 45.0ºc)
• Gosford 40 / 39 / 38
• Hay 47 / 46 / 28 (Feb Record 47.2ºc)
• Ivanhoe 45 / 47 / 47
• Menindee 46 / 47 / 32 (Feb Record 47.2ºc)
• Moree 40 / 43 / 43
• Penrith 44 / 45 / 41 (Feb Record 45.0ºc)
• Richmond 44 / 44 / 42 (Feb Record 43.7ºc)
• Scone 42 / 45 / 43 (All-Time Record 44.2ºc)
• Tamworth 40 / 42 / 42 (Feb Record 42.0ºc)
• Wanaaring 44 / 47 / 46 (Feb Record 46.9ºc)
• White Cliffs 45 / 46 / 47 (Feb Record 46.9ºc)
• Wilcannia 45 / 46 / 48 (Feb Record 47.1ºc)

For places out in Western NSW and North-West NSW these temperatures will be the peak of what has been a month long heatwave, with the hottest temperatures experienced during the last month likely to come during this weekend. These same places are on the brink of breaking records as well for number of days in a month above 40ºc and the number of days in a Summer above 35, 40 and 45ºc. 

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for NSW/VIC on Friday, February 10th

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for NSW/VIC on Friday, February 10th

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for NSW/VIC on Sunday, February 12th

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for NSW/VIC on Sunday, February 12th

As seen by some of the temperatures above, a significantly cooler day is expected on Monday for the Southern half of the State as the trough moves towards the North. This should then move through the Northern half of the State late on Monday bringing a much cooler day on Tuesday. A special mention should go to Moree who is forecast for 34ºc on Tuesday.. this will break a streak of 49 consecutive days above 35ºc which is almost double the previous State Record.

This is another reminder too to look after the elderly, young children, pregnant woman, those who are unwell and pets/animals. All of these are the most susceptible to heatstroke and heat stress related illnesses during periods of excessive heat.

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7 02, 2017

Welcome to hell on Earth in Australia

The strongest heatwave for 2016/17 is about to sweep South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland bringing extremely hot conditions with increased bushfire and heat stress risks. Above image – Maximums via OCF/BSCH for Saturday, February 11th.

Over the next 4 to 5 days, a low pressure trough is forecast to move slowly though South Australia and VIC before drifting North through New South Wales and Queensland. This trough is forecast to combine with a ridiculously hot airmass overhead and dry in very dry and hot conditions ahead of it to produce widespread severe to extreme heatwave conditions.

BOM Heatwave Pilot for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

BOM Heatwave Pilot for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

 

5 capital cities are forecast to be in the firing line with the following temperatures over the next 4 to 5 days.
• Adelaide 41 / 41 / 39 / 37
• 
Melbourne 34 / 37 / 27 / 28
• Canberra 26 / 35 / 40 / 41 / 35
• Sydney 26 / 29 / 35 / 39 / 36
• Brisbane 31 / 31 / 32 / 35 / 37

While most people will be feeling the above temperatures given the population density in cities. Spare a though for those in Western NSW, Eastern SA, North-West VIC and Southern/South-West QLD. Maximums, which for an extensive period of time have been in the mid 40’s, are about to get even hotter. Here are some of the following temps.

• Mildura (VIC) 40 / 44 / 44 / 42
• Moomba (SA) 46 / 46 / 45 / 46
• Birdsville (QLD) 46 / 46 / 45 / 45
• Port Augusta (SA) 45 / 45 / 44 / 45
• St George (QLD) 39 / 39 / 40 / 43 / 45
• Ivanhoe (NSW) 42 / 43 / 45 / 47
• Wilcannia (NSW) 45 / 44 / 46 / 47
• Penrith (NSW) 27 / 34 / 43 / 43 / 40

Some locations are expected to at least challenge February records, some of these could be long standing. The addition of Summer records is also possible given many locations in NSW are closing in on records for the number of days above 35ºc and 40ºc. The heat is forecast to continue over Northern NSW and Southern QLD beyond these 5 days, however there will be a seperate blog for that.

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for Wednesday, February 8th

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for Wednesday, February 8th

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for Thursday, February 9th

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for Thursday, February 9th

There is a heightened bushfire risk, the temperatures alone over such a large area pose a significant risk, however these temperatures are occurring over extensively dry regions and should occur with very low humidity. Total fire bans are expected and should be respected. 

This is also another reminder that with upwards of 15 million people being impacted by this heat, avoid strenuous activity during the day.. the body will struggle to breath with increased sweat and lead to an increased risk of heatstroke. Drink plenty of water, dehydration is a major factor in heatstroke and heat related illness. Look after young children, the elderly, pregnant woman, those who are currently sick as well as pets and animals – all of these have an increased risk of heat stress. 

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for Friday, February 10th

Forecast Maximums via OCF/BSCH for Friday, February 10th

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