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19 07, 2017

‘Hell on Earth’ in Croatia as Southern and Central Europe battle Dangerous Fires

Over the past week or so, much of Southern and Central Europe has been under threat from hundreds of bushfires across several countries, some near major cities, with the worst being in Northern Portugal, Coastal parts of Montenegro and an inferno over Southern Croatia. Above image via Damira Kalajzic


Over the past 48-72 hours, the City of Split, located in Southern Croatia along the Dalmatian Coast, has been under threat from a series of catastrophic wildfires merging into an inferno. Over the weekend, 12 individual wildfires developed just inland of Split over the Ranges before merging into 1 humungous inferno which has burnt more than 11,000 acres of land, and everything else in its path to the ground. This includes many businesses and homes. This is equal to 45 square kilometres or the entire landscape between Brisbane, Ipswich, Jimboomba and Boonah. Late on Monday, several hundred firefighters along with army assistance were able to overpower the fire and prevent it from entering the City of Split and thankfully by Tuesday the situation had dramatically improved, almost as fast as it began, with the dry winds subsiding noticeably.

There are mixed reports of the total impact of the fire on human lives, but its believed that there have been no fatalities. its believed that sixteen people have been injured but nothing too serious. For the total size of the fire and where it was located, this is quite incredible. Over the next several days, despite warm temperatures into the low 30’s, wind conditions should remain favourable for any continuing fire activity to be taken control of and extinguished, so the overall toll of the fire(s) isn’t expected to rise any further apart from official inspections.

A lady watches over the water as the hillside of Split burns. Image via Damira Kalajzic

A lady watches over the water as the hillside of Split burns. Image via Damira Kalajzic

 


Damira Kalajzic, who has credit for all of the fire photos in this article / blog, can be quoted in her Facebook post saying these powerful words… “See this sight on your own eyes and to record the camera these moments, it’s not easy. When you see from a distance how the fire literally swallows human homes, when you see how much it is out of control, your heart tightens and your eyes fill with tears… without words.”

Click below to view more of the photos.


Several other fires were also noted across much of Southern and Central Europe with a large fire reaching the town of Castagniers, near Nice in France. A large fire swept through scrubland near Bonifacio on the Mediterranean Island of Corsica. In Italy, a pine forest in the town of Ostia near Rome was burning, while in Northern Portugal, just a month after catastrophic fires swept the East… more than 1,400 firefighters assisted by helicopters, water bombers and emergency services battled to contain 3 very large blazes. In Montenegro, forest fires along the Lustica Peninsula have spread inland forcing the evacuations of several tourism regions. Wind conditions have not helped the situation improve over Montenegro with firefighters still battling the blazes.

Satellite imagery from NASA showing the fires along the Adriatic Coastline in Montenegro and Croatia

Satellite imagery from NASA showing the fires along the Adriatic Coastline in Montenegro and Croatia

 

19 07, 2017

Snow LIKELY just 20mins from Hobart CBD tonight and tomorrow

Issued at 3:30pm July 19th 2017. Tasmania is expected to see a winter blast being driven up from Antarctica to impact the entire State tonight resulting in low to medium level snowfall and some good falls. Above image via BSCH showing the cold pool South of Tasmania moving towards the State.


The combination of an elongated low pressure region over New Zealand and the Tasman Sea, and an elongated high pressure system over the Great Australian Bight and Central Australia is expected to help channel frigid air up from Antarctica to engulf Tasmania and parts of South-Eastern Australia (Snowy Mountains) this evening and into Thursday. The cold air is already being felt over Tasmania with Hobart hovering around 10ºc for most of the day but feeling as cold as 2ºc at times, Mt Wellington has only briefly nudged 1ºc earlier and feeling more like -10 to -15ºc at times.

Forecast temperatures at 1500m ASL early Thursday morning via WindyTV (blue is below 0ºc, aqua is -5ºc or less and pink is -10ºc or less)

Forecast temperatures at 1500m ASL early Thursday morning via WindyTV (blue is below 0ºc, aqua is -5ºc or less and pink is -10ºc or less)

 

Despite cold conditions impacting the State already, its not until this evening and especially overnight tonight into Thursday when the snow potential rapidly increases. A very cold pool of air with temperatures of -4 to -7ºc at 1500m ASL is expected to begin impacting the South-West of the State this evening, and then the rest of the State by Midnight. This cold air will be associated by an increase in moisture levels which will allow for snow to begin falling to around 500m. The cold air is expected to linger through Thursday where snowfall is likely down to 400m across the State and possible to as low as 300m in the South during the morning before gradually rising by late morning and then even more into the afternoon. This will mean places like the Lenah Valley could awake to flurries and towns in the upper parts of the Hobart Hills (just 20 minutes from Hobart) could get some ground coverage by sunrise. Falls of 20cm+ are possible over Cradle Mountain and the Cradle Valley, with lighter falls elsewhere. 

Forecast 3 day snowfall totals via WindyTV

Forecast 3 day snowfall totals via WindyTV

 

 

8 07, 2017

Fall Streak Cloud causes unique Sunset over SEQLD

A rare phenomenon known as a fall streak cloud has captivated people over South-East QLD on Saturday evening as it occurred right on sunset in the perfect spot. Above image from Wellington Point via Rachel Wydeveld


Some mid to high level cloud (altocumulus clouds) has moved across South-East QLD during the evening allowing for a typical beautiful and very colourful sunset, ending what has been nothing short of a perfect weather day where temperatures reached the low 20’s across South-East QLD and conditions remained quite mild in between gusts of wind. However, this typically beautiful sunset setup was influenced by another phenomenon with the combination of the 2 being quite rare.

A fall streak or hole punch cloud occurred in the middle of the clouded area over South-East QLD, and while those on the Coastline were enjoying a golden sunset.. those looking back towards the West saw the fall streak area being ignited by the sunset. Those in the perfect position (East of the fall streak) got an even better treat when the cloud descended low enough so it casted a shadow over the altocumulus formation.

Towards Brisbane City at Hawthorn via Jessica Batterham

Towards Brisbane City at Hawthorn via Jessica Batterham

Coorparoo via Tracy Eglington

Coorparoo via Tracy Eglington

View from Coorparoo via Joe Hancox

View from Coorparoo via Joe Hancox

 

 

Fall streak clouds are a phenomenon where a large gap is created within a cloud bank in either a circular or elliptical formation. These holes occur when the water temperature within the cloud is below freezing but the water itself in a supercooled state has not frozen yet due to ice nucleation. When the ice crystals in the cloud eventually form, it causes an effect called the ‘Bergeron process’ where the water droplets around the crystals evaporate and this leaves a large gap. While this isn’t “uncommon” or “unusual” the act of this occurring on sunset in the perfect position is quite rare, and as many people saw today its mesmerising to watch unfold.

 

Brisbane Airport via Sue Heery-Woollett

Brisbane Airport via Sue Heery-Woollett

View from nearly directly under the phenomenon at Zillmere via Kylie Wallace

View from nearly directly under the phenomenon at Zillmere via Kylie Wallace

 

 

8 07, 2017

Rare Phenomenon covers South-East QLD & Brisbane City

A rare phenomenon swept Brisbane yesterday creating the perfect opportunity for those out and about to grab snaps. Above image via Geoff Locke


The phenomenon is simply known as very low clouds… it doesn’t sound exciting or interesting, but it only happens about once a year and those in Brisbane City got a first hand glance of it. It appears as fog, and many people messaged into the page asking about the “fog that was lingering” but in reality it was an usual and specific combination that allowed for cloud bases to drop to as low as 100m in some places, and even lower in others as the evening progressed. The process is simple, but its very specific in the process of which it occurs.

The Reds game was near impossible to watch as the cloud engulfed Suncorp. Image via James Caughlin

The Reds game was near impossible to watch as the cloud engulfed Suncorp. Image via James Caughlin

 


Morning rain and storms hit Brisbane and much of South-East QLD during Friday morning which allowed for low level moisture to linger for much of the day as it became trapped under thick cloud and wasn’t allowed to evaporate. As the day progressed, the sun struggled to peak through and this allowed the second chain in the process to occur and that was cold temperatures. Brisbane experienced its coldest day in 3 years yesterday and it doesn’t matter if it wasn’t cold in reality… for the region, it was. The increased moisture caused by showers in the atmosphere allowed for the third chain in the process to occur and thats where the increased moisture mixing with cooler temperatures and surface humidity allows clouds to descend and act as fog.

Horse riding in the clouds at Ocean View via Natasha Koning

Horse riding in the clouds at Ocean View via Natasha Koning

Click below to view the image carousel featuring several images sent in by followers from across the region.

The cloud coverage was so thick that only the tops of Brisbane’s highest buildings were visible at Mount Coot-tha, the Airport experienced heavy delays and commuters required headlights in the middle of the day to drive on some of the most open roads in the region. Its not often this occurs, as stated above, but when it does – some of the photos are simply breath-taking.

Brisbane flight delays last night via Jessica Urquhart

Brisbane flight delays last night via Jessica Urquhart

Planes in a holding pattern and grounded at Maroochydore en route to Brisbane, with delays to the Gold Coast via Kristy Collins

Planes in a holding pattern and grounded at Maroochydore en route to Brisbane, with delays to the Gold Coast via Kristy Collins

 

 

3 07, 2017

Winter Rain coming for Adelaide & South Australia

After the driest June in 39 years for Adelaide, things are about to change in the City of Churches and along the SA Coast as consistent showers and some storms over the next few days break the dry spell. Above image – 3 day rainfall via ECMWF / WindyTV


A broad low pressure region (an area consistent of about 3 or 4 low pressure centres at the moment) is situated offshore from the South Australia Coast, over the Central and Eastern Great Australian Bight. Over the next 24hrs, this low pressure region should develop into a distinct rotating centre (a singular low) and move in an East to South-Easterly direction, while a high pushes into Western Australia during this time. The combination of onshore winds brought on by the Low behind the system and onshore winds brought on by the high ahed of the system is likely to result in scattered showers developing each day along the South Australia Coast with models highlighting Adelaide Metropolitan as the place to be for the better falls.


Across the next 2-3 days while this system is in place.. all models are indicating 30-50mm being likely across Adelaide Metro, while some heavyweight models showing the potential for as much as 75mm in isolated areas. Lighter falls are expected along the South-East Coast and along the West Coast / Eyre Peninsula regions where falls of 15-30mm are likely. Adelaide averages 78mm for July, so to get anything above 50mm would be a big chunk of the monthly average taken care of and with several more systems expected in the week following this event, that total is no doubt expected to rise. There is the chance of some isolated thunderstorms on Tuesday, however this is unlikely to pose a significant threat with any storms remaining fairly tame and either producing small hail or just heavier localised rainfall.

 

ECMWF / WindyTV pressure - blue indicates lower pressure, warmer colours (red, yellow) indicate higher pressure. Onshore flow highlighted into SA

ECMWF / WindyTV pressure – blue indicates lower pressure, warmer colours (red, yellow) indicate higher pressure. Onshore flow highlighted into SA

 

 

3 07, 2017

Forecast Discussion: Good snow incoming for Snowy Mountains

A cold front is in the process of sweeping across Inland NSW and VIC with a low pressure region noted over the Bight which is likely to help trigger snow over the Snowy Mountains for the next 48hrs. Above image via BOM – Himawari Satellite


The current synoptic setup assisted by satellite and radar imagery shows a cold front which is just passing through Central Victoria and Inland NSW at the moment. This cold front is linked to a low pressure region (a series of about 3 low pressure centres) situated over the Great Australian Bight. This cold front has helped generated reasonable showers across much of Western and Central VIC already today with falls of 10-15mm over the West and up to 20mm so far over Central / Northern Districts so far. Strong to damaging winds have also been noted with gusts of 98km/h over Mount Hotham, 82km/h over Mt Buller and Mt William. Gusts may increase, along with shower activity as the front moves over later this afternoon through Eastern VIC and the Snowy Mountains.

Weatherzone satellite / radar showing activity already over Central VIC

Weatherzone satellite / radar showing activity already over Central VIC

 


Behind this front, the low pressure region is expected to move towards the East to South-East later today and overnight tonight. This shift in positioning will allow for cold air to be dragged up behind the low and interact with increased moisture coming out of the South-West across VIC to generate idealistic conditions for snow to occur down to around 1500m across the Snowy Mountains. This should lower to 1200m and possibly 1100m or 1000m during Tuesday as the components required all peak (temperatures being at their lowest, moisture being at its highest). This will allow for snow showers (which have already started over the Snowy’s) to continue from Monday night until Wednesday morning and good falls of 25-40cm likely and the potential for 50cm+. 

Snowfall forecast via WindyTV / ECMWF for the Snowy Mountains

Snowfall forecast via WindyTV / ECMWF for the Snowy Mountains


This isn’t the only system this week with another heavy dumping expected before the weekend. So if it is possible, then be sure to make a late school holiday dash to soak up some of the winter wonderland which has been lacking over the Snowy Mountains this season so far.

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2 07, 2017

Good Snow Dumping just in time for School Holidays

The Snowy Mountains are expected to benefit from a winter blast over the next few days with the best snow of the season so far expected to arrive just in time for resorts to benefit from a holiday rush. Above image: Forecast snowfall via WindyTV


During Monday, a low pressure region is expected to become situated over the Bight, with a cold front / trough system extending up through Western VIC and Inland. During Monday afternoon and evening, this trough / cold front is expected to sweep through bring some strong winds to elevated regions along with isolated showers across both much of Inland NSW and scattered showers across much of VIC. Behind this system though, a pool of ‘cold enough’ air is expected to creep up from the Southern Bight and move over the South-East corner of Australia. This pool of ‘cold enough’ air is expected to linger through Tuesday to allow snowfall to continue before easing back on Wednesday as the lower level cooling warms up and conditions become heavily reliant on upper level activity.

So for the snowfall, up to 50cm, yes half a metre, is expected across parts of the NSW Snowy Mountains and 30-40cm is expected across the VIC Snowy Mountains. Good moisture should remain active over the Snowy Mountain region which will allow for nearly all precipitation to become snowfall during Monday afternoon until Wednesday morning. The small difference in totals is expected to come from the peak cooling remaining over NSW throughout the snow period. Despite the very good totals that are expected, snowfall is only expected to fall down to around 1200m and this is due to the cold burst of air only being -2ºc at 1500m ASL. This is perfect timing after such a poor start to the season, the ski resorts can hopefully salvage something from this occurring during school holidays.

Forecast températures at 1500m ASL during Tuesday morning via WindyTV / ECMWF

Forecast températures at 1500m ASL during Tuesday morning via WindyTV / ECMWF

 

 

As for the other weather associated with this system, scattered showers with falls of 5-15mm are expected across VIC and better falls (stated above) across the Snowy Mountains. Reasonable falls of 5-10mm are expected across Southern NSW / ACT also. The rainfall and cloud cover should keep maximum temperatures down on normal, but thankfully minimums should come back to at least normal if not slightly above average after the deep freeze experienced over Saturday and Sunday morning.

ECMWF / WindyTV - Forecast 3 day rainfall with blue being around 10mm and green / aqua being as much as 25mm

ECMWF / WindyTV – Forecast 3 day rainfall with blue being around 10mm and green / aqua being as much as 25mm

 

 

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2 07, 2017

Day 2: The cold get colder

Another morning of widespread freezing and even frigid conditions as swept much of NSW, VIC, TAS and Southern QLD with the elusive -10ºc temperature finally occurring. Above image via Jo Hall in a frozen Glen Innes


Over the past 24hrs, a high pressure system which was originally situated over Eastern VIC / Southern NSW shifting North-East and became elongated to stretch over the entirety of Eastern NSW and remain over Eastern VIC / stretch into South-Eastern QLD. This allowed temperatures to remain fairly similar to that of Saturday morning across large parts of NSW and VIC, while South-Eastern QLD saw an even colder morning. TAS remained influence by the ridge and while temperatures weren’t nearly as frigid in the Highlands as those seen on Saturday, there was still enough for the freeze effect to occur.

 

Cool frozen display on the roof of a car in Bathurst, NSW via Miranda Ross

Cool frozen display on the roof of a car in Bathurst, NSW via Miranda Ross

 

• Goulburn  was the coldest of the cold with a new record breaking -10.4ºc, beating yesterday’s record breaker of -9.7ºc and smashing the original record of -9.1ºc.
• Cooma Airport -9.2ºc
• Canberra saw -8.2ºc which has meant Canberra has seen back to back -8ºc days 
• Braidwood -7.5ºc (back to back -7ºc)
• Tuggeranong -7.0ºc
• Young -7.0ºc
• Butlers Gorge (TAS) -6.6ºc
• Bathurst -6.1ºc
• Bombala -6.0ºc
• Temora -5.8ºc
• Mudgee -5.6ºc
• Condoblin -5.5ºc
• Fingal (TAS) -5.5ºc
• West Wyalong -5.5ºc
• Cowra -5.4ºc
• Liawenee (TAS) -5.2ºc
• Glen Innes saw -5.0ºc
• Merriwa had -4.8ºc – again the coldest in the Hunter although much of the Hunter was noticeably colder this morning
• Orange -4.6ºc

 For the major cities, Melbourne scored 1.4ºc again with the outer suburbs below 0ºc, Hobart was 1.1ºc for the second morning running with the outer suburbs down to as low as -4ºc. Western Sydney scored -2ºc and areas West of Brisbane dropped to freezing. 

Click above to view the image carousel featuring a variety of photos sent in!

For much of Eastern NSW in particularly, the high pressure ridge should remain in place today and into tomorrow morning allowing for another cold morning, but overall temperatures aren’t expected to be as bitter as the previous 2 mornings.

Frozen cricket field in Katoomba via Amanda Playford

Frozen cricket field in Katoomba via Amanda Playford

 

 

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1 07, 2017

South-East Australia shivers through frigid morning!

Temperatures have absolutely plummeted across NSW, VIC and TAS this morning with some locations having their coldest morning for several decades! Above image via Nathan Rowbotham in Broken Hill – the pic says it all!


The elusive -10ºc wasn’t quite achieved this morning, but tell that to the several towns and even Canberra who had to contemplate whether an early frosty wake up call was in order or if sleeping in was the best option as the temperature dropped to at least -8ºc! Almost the entirety of NSW, VIC and TAS are waking up to frost (from a temperature perspective) and for some its the coldest morning in a very long time. This has all been brought on by a strong and large high pressure system moving over the region and combining with freezing air which brought snow to low levels over Tasmania just 24-36hrs ago. The cold air descending towards the surface is being allowed to dominate as crystal clear skies allow the heating to completely disintegrate.

So some of these temperatures…

 

• Canberra -8.7ºc! This is the coldest temperature since -8.8ºc was recorded in July 1982.
• To round out the Capitals – Melbourne dropped to 1.1ºc, Hobart slightly warmer at 1.2ºc, Sydney’s Western Suburbs woke to below 0ºc, Brisbane’s West was just 2ºc

• Goulburn -9.7ºc (July record – Previous was -9.1ºc in 1994)
• Perisher-9.7º
• Liawenee (TAS) -9.6º
• Thredbo Top Station -7.6º
• Cooma Airport -7.4ºc
• Bathurst -7.3ºc (Equal all time / outright July record for the Airport)
• Braidwood -7.0ºc
• Orange -7.0ºc (Coldest July morning in 11 years)
• Condoblin -6.8ºc (Coldest July morning in 20 years)
• Hay Airport -6.2ºc
• Deniliquin -5.6ºc (Equal coldest morning in 110 years!!)
• Parkes -5.6ºc (All-time Record)
• Temora -5.6ºc (Coldest July morning in 46 years)
• Cobar Airport -5.5ºc (Coldest morning in 13 years)
• Glen Innes -5.4ºc was the coldest on the Northern Tablelands
• Merriwa -5.0ºc was the coldest place in the Hunter
• Walgett -4.6ºc (Coldest July morning in 15 years)

Frozen hose in Queanbeyan, NSW (-8ºc air temp, -18ºc ground temp) via Queanbeyan Fire Bridge

Frozen hose in Queanbeyan, NSW (-8ºc air temp, -18ºc ground temp) via Queanbeyan Fire Bridge

 

Frozen horse water cracked with steel pipe in Meadow Flat, Central NSW Tablelands (-7.4ºc) via Deanne Davidson

Frozen horse water cracked with steel pipe in Meadow Flat, Central NSW Tablelands (-7.4ºc) via Deanne Davidson

Click on the images above to scroll through the image carousel.

While VIC and TAS weren’t nearly as cold as many locations in NSW, the VIC Snowy’s did drop to below -7ºc, some suburbs of Hobart (or in South-East TAS in general) saw -4ºc, apart from Liawenee, most places over the TAS Highlands were between -3 and -6ºc, Launceston Airport scored a bone chilling -5.0ºc which is a July Record, North-Western VIC dropped to almost -5ºc and the suburbs of Melbourne saw below 0ºc!

 

Frozen pants in Shepparton VIC (-3.8ºc) via Shaun McNamara

Frozen pants in Shepparton VIC (-3.8ºc) via Shaun McNamara

 

29 06, 2017

Low Level Snow incoming for TAS!

A cold front has moved through Tasmania this morning and has made way for a burst of freezing air to impact the region tonight and tomorrow morning leading to low level snowfall! Above image via Weatherzone


A cold front moved through Tasmania this morning bringing strong to damaging wind gusts and some reasonable rainfall as expected. Wind gusts of 93km/h were recorded on Maatsuyker Island off the South Coast of Tasmania while Mount Read record a 91km/h gust. Several other locations recorded winds of 80-90km/h during the morning and early afternoon. As for the rainfall falls of up to 20mm occurred to 9am over the Western districts of TAS and up to 15mm from 9am to 2pm over the Southern districts. Again, nothing out of the ordinary, but its the cold air which is now moving overhead that is about to change things up.

2:30pm radar and satellite of Tasmania showing the showers impacting the West via Weatherzone

2:30pm radar and satellite of Tasmania showing the showers impacting the West via Weatherzone

 

 

Satellite imagery at 3pm was showing a large area of speckled cloud coverage starting to impact Western Tasmania behind the cold front, and spreading into the Eastern Bight. This speckled cloud coverage is indicative of very cold air which usually results in snowfall. Global models are indicating that from now (3pm Thursday) until mid Friday morning, an upper trough with much colder than normal temperatures of -5 to -7ºc at 1500m ASL is expected to impact the entirety of Tasmania. This very cold air is expected to combine with a narrow period of increased moisture content to produce snowfall to low levels across Tasmania, likely down to 300m and possibly down to 200m. This should lift on Friday morning to around 500m and then gradually during the afternoon before snowfall stops. Despite low level snow occurring, only 10-15cm is expected in the TAS Highlands and this is due to the narrow timeframe that moisture will be active over the region. Only a dusting is expected below 500m.

Forecast 1500m ASL temperatures for Midnight Friday June 30th over Tasmania via ECMWF / WindyTV

Forecast 1500m ASL temperatures for Midnight Friday June 30th over Tasmania via ECMWF / WindyTV