Uncategorized

/Uncategorized
24 03, 2017

What happened to Caleb??

All the talk is about Cyclone Debbie and rightfully so as it poses an immediate threat on the QLD Coastline (being the next few days), but what happened to Cyclone Caleb, wasn’t it next in line?? Above image via NOAA as Caleb developed

Yes thats true. The alphabet was up to ‘Male & C’. Caleb was next in line to be named. It was a flip of the coin at one stage as to who would be named Caleb – either a Tropical Low which was racing for the Pilbara Coastline and MAY have had a slim chance of becoming a Cyclone shortly prior to landfall, or… the one which is in the Coral Sea and taking headlines.

 

 

Well the Pilbara system failed to reach any great heights, although it did produce more than 250mm on Port Hedland. So naturally, the selection was going to go to QLD and the Coral Sea for Caleb’s naming rights. That was until another Tropical Low between Christmas and Cocos Island’s in the Indian Ocean, some 3500-4000km West of our Coral Sea focus, decided to have a burst of explosive convection that allowed it to reach the characteristics required for a Cyclone.

Caleb is now playing in the Indian Ocean and the only thing its disturbing is the fishes as its not expected to impact either Island out there, nor is it expected to come anywhere close to mainland Australia. The system is struggling to get much stronger than Category 1 strength and will most likely weaken below Cyclone strength late this weekend or early next week.

So with no other competing systems, the Coral Sea system will inevitably and eventually be named Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

 

Current forecast track map from BOM as of 4pm AWST March 24th (Friday)

Current forecast track map from BOM as of 4pm AWST March 24th (Friday)

 

 

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A HIGGINS STORM CHASING SUBSCRIBER

HSC Premium Membership badge

 

 

24 03, 2017

Heavy Rain ALERT – Flood WATCH for Northern/Inland QLD

Northern Tropical QLD as well as large parts of Inland QLD are under a Heavy Rain ALERT via HSC for the next week, as well as a Flood WATCH, as Severe Cyclone / Cyclone Debbie makes landfall and tracks across QLD. Above image 10 day rainfall via WindyTV (purple >500mm, pink >250mm)

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A HIGGINS STORM CHASING SUBSCRIBER

 

Global models are in full agreement that Cyclone Debbie or Severe Cyclone Debbie if does eventually reach Category 3+ strength, will make landfall over the North QLD Coastline during the period between Sunday night and Tuesday morning (most likely on Monday itself). Heavy rain brought on by the onshore steering of the Cyclone is likely to drench large parts of the QLD Coastline through areas South and East of the system as it makes landfall and begins to track inland. Areas from essentially Cairns to St Lawrence are expected to see widespread very heavy rainfall over a short period of time leading to flash flooding, creek flooding and river rises. Widespread falls of 250mm+ are likely along this stretch with scattered falls of 400mm+ also likely and localised totals of 600mm+ expected. Its important people read this information as areas like Mackay may not be under the immediate threat of the Cyclone, but due to its position those sort of areas may see some of the heaviest rainfall. 

BOM Forecast 8 day rainfall

BOM Forecast 8 day rainfall

 

The system is expected to track inland across Northern QLD and into Western/Central Inland QLD where its expected to sit as a rain depression for a number of days (potentially up to a week). Global models have varying areas of rainfall based off this longer term track, however they are all showing the same totals for the eventual areas that are impacted with falls of 150-300mm likely over Inland QLD and isolated falls of up to 500mm possible. The monsoon trough is likely to remain situated over the Central QLD Coast during this period and continue to drench the St Lawrence to Townsville region.

 

OCF Forecast Rainfall via BSCH (Monday, March 27th)

OCF Forecast Rainfall via BSCH (Monday, March 27th)

 

Due to the amount of rainfall over Coastal parts of Northern and Central QLD along with the dry hardened surface which cant handle much rainfall over Inland QLD. These areas are under a Flood Watch and Heavy Rain alert. Roads and major highways have the potential to be cut with some towns becoming isolated. Its a timely reminder not to drive through flood waters and adhere to emergency personnel’s instructions to remain as safe as possible.

 

OCF Forecast Rainfall via BSCH (Tuesday, March 28th)

OCF Forecast Rainfall via BSCH (Tuesday, March 28th)

 

 

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A HIGGINS STORM CHASING SUBSCRIBER

HSC Premium Membership badge

 

23 03, 2017

Tropical low or cyclone to hit North Queensland

Issue 2 on Thursday March 23rd 2017. PLEASE READ!!! A low pressure system 1005hpa is located 750km North East of Cairns while intensifying. This low has a very high chance of further developing into a tropical low in the Coral Sea off the North Queensland coast during Thursday and Friday. The tropical low is very likely to move in a South Westerly direction towards the North Queensland coast while intensifying. During Saturday there is a 50% moderate risk and on Sunday a 75% high risk chance for the system to further develop into a tropical cyclone. Above image via Weatherzone

Important forecast note: A world leading high resolution computer model suggests the potential cyclone may undergo a period of rapid intensification during Sunday and early Monday just prior to possible landfall. This rapid intensificaion would be due to the system encountering a very faverable environment of 30 degree sea surface temperatures and very low vertical wind shear. Given this forecast data scenario, a severe category 3 cyclone with VERY DESTRUCTIVE wind gusts between 165km hr and 224km hr would be possible. 

There is still some uncertainty though with all global forecast data sets on the exact strength, timing and crossing of the system. People along the North Queensland Coast between Cairns and Mackay including the adjacent inland at this stage should closely monitor further forecasts and updates. 

Our forecast confidence is extremely high (90%) for a minimum of tropical low development and coastal crossing in North Queensland with strong winds, heavy rain and possible flooding. This heavy rain and possible flooding would also extend through Northern inland parts early next week. We have produced our second premium member forecast release with high resolution detailed tropical low / cyclone forecast track maps and threats for Queensland. Existing HSC premium members please login here to view daily forecasts and maps. Further daily updates will be issued which will greatly increase if a cyclone develops. 

Our high resolution cyclone forecasts, maps and email alerts are available by becoming a HSC premium member by clicking HERE!  

HSC Premium Membership badge

22 03, 2017

Tropical Low alert possible cyclone for QLD

Issue 1 on Wednesday March 22nd 2017. PLEASE READ!!! A tropical low has a very high chance developing in the Coral Sea off the North Queensland coast during Thursday and Friday. This tropical low is likely to move in a South Westerly direction towards the North Queensland coast while intensifying. During Saturday and Sunday there is a 50% moderate risk to 75% high risk chance for the system to further develop into a tropical cyclone. Above image via Weatherzone

On Monday there is great uncertainty with forecasts. Some high resolution forecast data suggests the system will rapidly intensify into a significant tropical cyclone before crossing the North Queensland Coast between Cairns and Mackay. Other forecast data predicts the system crosses the coast as a tropical low or heads South down the Queensland coast as a significant cyclone. 

Our forecast confidence for tropical low development and coastal impacts is very high. Currently there is still great uncertainty if the system will hit the North Queensland as a significant cyclone. We have already produced our first forecast release with high resolution detailed tropical low and cyclone forecast track maps for Queensland. Existing HSC premium members please login here to view the cyclone forecast and map. Further updates will be issued which will greatly increase if a cyclone threatens. 


The high resolution cyclone forecasts, maps and email alerts are available by becoming a HSC premium member by clicking HERE!  

HSC Premium Membership badge

20 03, 2017

Central East QLD forecast for a drenching this week

Issued 20th March 2017 – Heavy rain is forecast to deliver a drenching to parts of Central Queensland this week! 100 to 200mm is expected fall along the coast between Bowen and Gladstone during the next 4 days. Some locally higher totals are also possible which could result in flash flooding and river rises. Most of Eastern half of Queensland also expecting a wet week ahead with coastal showers and rain areas with inland storms. QLD state forecast can be found HERE! Above image via BSCH showing 4 days rainfall forecast totals. Subscribe to HSC for detailed rainfall and storm forecast maps across QLD here! 

Adjacent inland areas east of the ranges through the Capricornia, Central Coast and Whitsundays are also forecast to receive good falls of between 50 to 100mm. Further West through the Central inland districts scattered showers and isolated storms are forecast to develop each afternoon with some possibility severe with heavy rain leading to flash flooding. 

An upper trough will intensify across the state early this week providing high instability levels across the region. A deepening surface trough along the coast will drag in vast amounts of moisture while converging it into heavy rain areas. Storms will fire up through the inland parts due to daytime heating and these will be generally slow moving through the region.

Monday will see the start of activity before this is forecast to greatly increase during Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Winds are forecast to moderate from the North East to South East. Maximum temperatures slightly cool between 25 and 30c though humidity will be above 80% making it very muggy. 

 

bom4dayrainfallforecast20thmarch2017

Above image: 4 day total rainfall forecast via BOM

Click here to subscribe to Higgins Storm Chasing for our detailed rainfall and storm forecast maps across Queensland! 

19 03, 2017

Showers & storms all week for Eastern half of QLD

Widespread rainfall is forecast across the eastern half of Queensland this week with moderate to heavy falls possible along the coast and under showers & storms. Most eastern inland areas are forecast to receive between 20 – 50mm with locally higher falls possible. There is the possibility that some coastal districts could end up with 100 to 150mm for the week due to persistent heavy showers and some rain areas. Subscribe to HSC and click here for maps. Above image via pivotal weather.

On Sunday an upper low is located in South West of the state with a surface trough through Southern, Central and Northern inland. To the East of this trough is a very deep moist onshore flow.  The upper low is forecast to move South out of the state on Monday however a replacement upper trough will develop and remain over the state during the week. The upper low and upper trough will maintain instability across the eastern half of the state this week. The surface trough will remain inland all week maintaining the moist onshore flow. The trough is forecast to eventually push East to Central and Northern districts on Friday or Saturday thus clearing weather to its West and South, though there is considerable uncertainty with this movement. 

 

Sunday – Friday: Widespread showers, isolated storms and some rain areas along the east coast. Scattered showers, storms and some possible rain areas across the Eastern inland half of the state. Some moderate to locally heavy falls possible along the coast. Some storms are expected to be SEVERE each day especially through inland districts with heavy rain the main threat. 

Friday – Sunday: Shower and storm activity contracting to Central East and Northern districts though forecasts during this period remain uncertain with some models maintaining activity across all of Eastern QLD.

NOTE: You may not get showers, storms and rain each and every day but there is very high potential for them to develop. You might miss one day and get hit the next thats is how weather and life is. If you don’t get anything in these areas all week you are simply VERY unlucky! 

For detailed daily rain and storm forecast maps across QLD click here to subscribe! 

17 03, 2017

Tornado hits Brisbane Airport!

A tornado has touched down very close to Brisbane Airport as several thunderstorms sweep through South-East QLD on Friday afternoon. Above image via Matt Houston

A small thunderstorm developed West of Algester, SSW of Brisbane City around 1pm on Friday afternoon. The cell developed and intensified quickly as it interacted with very warm temperatures (up to 36ºc) and high humidity (dew points between 17 and 22ºc). Heavy rain was the predominant threat as it swept through the City with intense winds also locally reported.

 

2pm radar view via Weatherzone showing the cell over Brisbane Airport

2pm radar view via Weatherzone showing the cell over Brisbane Airport

 

 

It wasn’t until the cell entered North-Eastern Brisbane and neared the Airport that it developed into a Supercell with a rotating updraft and base feature. The Supercell then attempted to spawn a funnel cloud near Brisbane City which lead to several people in the area videoing the phenomenon trying to unfold. As it neared Brisbane Airport, it interacted with a sea breeze front perfectly that for rotation to become tight enough that a tornado was able to develop.

 

The tornado touched down very close to Brisbane Airport with debris being observed. Debris including car windows being smashed, trees being snapped and uprooted as well as carports being smashed. Video has also emerged from both Eagle Bay and the Aviation centre of the Tornado physically being on the ground along with footage from Clontarf looking back towards the Airport region. As the cell moved over the Bay towards Redcliffe, a wall cloud which signifies the cell being a Supercell was observed from Margate.

 

16 03, 2017

Another low forecast to hit NENSW this weekend

PLEASE READ!!! HEADS UP SEVERE WEATHER ALERT THIS WEEKEND: Possible for far Southern South East Coast, Southern Darling Downs and Granite Belt in QLD. Highly likely for Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast in NSW. UPDATED on SATURDAY 18/3/17.

CURRENT 10AM SATURDAY + 24HRS: At 10am on Saturday a low pressure system (2a) is located 137km East of Ballina and another low pressure system (1a) is located over land on the Northern Tablelands. There is a deep trough extending East between the 2 lows bringing a band of heavy rain through the middle of the Northern Rivers with moderate rain on the Northern Tablelands. A strong upper trough is located across Southern inland QLD with a surface trough through the South East and Central East which is expected to produce further afternoon showers and storms some possibly severe. Some rain is expected across the Southern Darling Downs and Granite Belt today near the low. In NSW the offshore low (2a) is forecast to move West this afternoon producing heavy rain and strong to damaging winds along the NSW Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers districts with flash flooding a risk.  Subscribe to HSC for detailed 3 day storm and rainfall forecast maps across QLD and NSW here! 

SOUTH EAST QLD WEEKEND OUTLOOK  
On Saturday and Sunday scattered showers, isolated storms (some possibly severe) are likely to develop across the region during the weekend with moderate falls possible mainly under storms. Damaging and dangerous surf of 3 to 5 meters may develop along the South QLD Coast during the weekend. On Monday and Tuesday the wet weather continues across the South East while spreading further North to include the Wide Bay & Burnett and Capricornia districts. This will be due to a very moist onshore flow producing scattered showers and rain areas with moderate to heavy falls likely (50mm each day).

NORTH EAST NSW WEEKEND OUTLOOK
In North East NSW the equation is more simple… Recent widespread heavy rainfall of 100 to 200mm has already fallen from Port Macquarie North to the QLD border causing flash flooding and saturating catchments. There is a further widespread 150 to 300mm likely with local falls to 500mm possible during the next 4 days. On Saturday the stronger low (2a) is forecast to move rapidly West slamming into far North East NSW with strong to damaging winds, heavy rain and damaging surf. During Sunday it is expected to continue West through Northern inland NSW producing heavy rain and strong winds, not just to inland regions but also continuing along the coast. This heavy rain will cause a significant flash flood and river flood risk to these areas. Winds turn strong to possibly damaging Easterlies late on Saturday into Sunday through the Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers. Damaging and dangerous surf of 3 to 5 metres is likely to develop along the North East Coast during the weekend. Widespread showers, rain areas with moderate to heavy falls are likely to continue on Monday and Tuesday. 

We are urging everyone to keep up with the latest forecasts and warnings during the next 4 days, especially over the weekend! Should forecast changes and amendments be required we will do so to this post while producing new ones. You will see “updated” at the top or a link to the new forecast. Stay safe everyone and remember IF IT’S FLOODED FORGET IT! 

SUBSCRIBE to HSC for our latest 3 day rainfall and storm forecast threat maps across SEQLD & NENSW by clicking here! 

15 03, 2017

NENSW a further 400mm likely & flooding

The North East New South Wales coast is already copping a hammering from heavy rain and flash flooding with more on the way this week! Goonengerry on the Northern Rivers has recorded over 250mm in the past 36hrs while Coffs Harbor has seen 150mm in 24hrs to noon on Wednesday. Flash flooding has been occurring across the region with a SEVERE weather warning in place for heavy rain & flash flooding. A River Flood Watch is also current. Above image via WindyTV Subscribe to HSC for detailed forecast maps in NSW!

Further heavy rain and flash flooding is likely from Taree north to the QLD border from Wednesday through until Saturday. Up to 400mm is forecast to fall across the region during the next 4 days. These high rainfall totals are likely to place many creeks and rivers in flood. The exact flood threat and heights will not be known until the heavy rainfall is actually recorded. One thing for certain is that there will be a very high risk of further flash flooding with various roads becoming impassable. IF IT’S FLOODED FORGET IT! 

nensw4dayrainbom15thmarch2017

The weather system causing the heavy rain is a coastal trough which draws in vast amounts of moisture from the East and dumps it overland. Instability is being aided by an upper low of cold air across Northern NSW and once the two air masses clash the atmosphere becomes volatile. Both systems are forecast to be slow moving during the next 3 days and this is why the heavy rain and flood threat is drawn out for the rest of the week. The main focus for activity will be along and East of the ranges. Further west of the range some rain areas and showers are forecast but due to the ranges blocking wind flow patterns it is expected to be much less. The weather system is forecast to breakdown and weaken during Sunday at this stage. Insert image on left via BOM

Click here and SUBSCRIBE to HSC for detailed rainfall and storm threats maps across North East NSW! 

15 03, 2017

Overnight drenching hits CQLD & SEQLD

Several areas across South-Eastern and Central QLD have awoken to cut roads, drenched backyards and liquid falling from the sky for the first time in a long time! Above image via Weatherzone

The combination of an upper low/trough over Southern parts of QLD, a localised surface trough and and wind convergence line both on the surface trough CQLD and in the mid levels across SEQLD has generated several thunderstorm clusters overnight.

 

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A HIGGINS STORM CHASING SUBSCRIBER

It started yesterday (Tuesday, March 14th) evening when a line of storms tracked through the Darling Downs and Central Highlands before losing its structure across the Wide Bay and Capricornia. This line of storms ended up producing 76mm at Toowoomba (with localised higher totals being sent in) along with falls of 80mm+ over the Burnett. This (now) cluster of storms converged with onshore winds to produce rain areas across the Wide Bay and Capricornia throughout the night. Ampthill picked up 191mm, Mt Joseph (near Gayndah) 167mm, Mt Walsh 145mm, Mimdale 131mm, with scattered to almost widespread falls of 50-130mm elsewhere. Gladstone scored 72mm, Gayndah 88mm, Gympie 82mm, Tiaro 62mm, Ghost Hill near Hervey Bay 57mm, Hervey Bay a respectable 23mm.

 

7pm Tuesday (March 14th) radar via Weatherzone

7pm Tuesday (March 14th) radar via Weatherzone

 

During the early hours of the morning, the Sunshine Coast region was smashed with torrential rain as thunderstorms and rain areas converged over the region. Intense downpours of more than 50mm/hr were being detected across the region, along with falls of more than 100mm/2hrs. Tewantin has awoken to 198mm, Noosa Heads 175mm, Doonan Creek 166mm, Coolum 135mm, Maroochydore 127mm, Coorooy 122m, Eumundi 111mm, Sunshine Coast 109mm with widespread falls of 50mm+.

 

Then it was the Gold Coast’s turn as rain areas converged just before sunrise. While the totals weren’t as heavy due to the activity not hanging around as long, falls of 82mm at Pacific Pines, 53mm and still raining at Coolangatta and widespread falls of 30-60mm across the Gold Coast were enough to give the garden a drink.

"Chucking down at Merrimac on the Gold Coast" - image via Graham Meade

“Chucking down at Merrimac on the Gold Coast” – image via Graham Meade