Home/Tag: SAM
8 01, 2020

Where is the rain Australia?


Issued 7th January 2020. We are fielding an increased volume of questions ATM and rightly so. We are also starting to see some big shifts forecast in the weather patterns! I’ll make it as short n sweet as possible…. Above image next 5 day rainfall forecast from 7th-12th of January 2020 via 
The most important changes that have finally occurred are in the key major climate drivers that influence our rainfall and temperatures.
1: The Indian Ocean Dipole (sea temperatures) have finally come back to normal values. Why is this so important??? Because for the past 6 months it has contributed to a lack of rainfall across large parts of Australia and also a 2 month delay in the monsoon trough developing. Now it’s normal the monsoon trough is developing and more moisture will feed across Australia from the North West.
2: The Southern Annual Mode has finally come back to near normal values (this determines the position of lows and highs across Australia). Why is this so important? Because from October to late December it was deeply negative which pushed low pressure systems much higher up across Southern Australia. Yes it provided cooler temps and some increased rainfall across Tasmania and Victoria BUT it also destroyed moisture across NSW, ACT & QLD due to very hot dry westerly winds. It WAS a major influence on the bushfires across VIC & NSW generating the very hot dry conditions with periods of very strong winds. Now it’s normal more high pressure systems can develop in the Tasman Sea / Southern Coral Sea and feed moisture in from the easterly winds into surface troughs over NSW, ACT & QLD.
3: The ENSO (El Niño / La Niña) is neutral and has been for for many months and is forecast to stay that way through 2020.
4: The monsoon trough is 2 months late across Northern Australia but it’s finally developing now across Indonesia and PNG. It is likely to also keep developing across Northern WA and Northern NT in the next week. There are signals indicating it will develop also across Northern QLD during the second half of January.
5: The MJO ( Madden / Julian Oscillation) is a tropical pulse that moves west to east along the equator and nearby tropics on about a 30-40 day cycle. It greatly increases the monsoon trough and tropical activity such as lows and cyclones. The MJO is currently located over the Maritime Contentment and is forecast to strengthen significantly 7 days and move slowly East. It will greatly influence tropical development across Northern WA and Northern NT during this time. In the 7-14day outlook it does make it into the Western Pacific which increases tropical development chances across Northern QLD the Gulf and Coral Sea. But models do suggest it will weaken a bit when it does.
So let’s have a look at the next 5 day forecast with a quick look into the 5-10 day forecast range.

The current position of the monsoon trough is circled in yellow. It’s still just north of Australia but with the aid of the MJO has and will continue to develop tropical lows and possible cyclones across WA & NT. White circled area is EX TC Blake tracking South across inland WA bringing good rain and storms. Green is the current tropical low which could become a cyclone in the next few days. It’s forecast to track West / South West and produce rain and storms Northern NT and Northern WA. The blue circled area is a cold front which should bring light falls across Southern SA, VIC and TAS.
The black circle is a trough producing showers and storms through SEQLD & Eastern NSW. The Brown arrows are an onshore wind flow causing showers and storms across Northern QLD from about Mackay to Mt Isa North. Ok that’s the next 5 days.
Here is the 5-10 outlook: There are very good signs in Model data that scattered showers and storms will increase across most of NSW and QLD due to a surface trough. Showers and storms will continue across Northern QLD, Northern NT and WA thanks to the MJO and developing Monsoon Trough.
So as you can see now that the major climate drivers are all back to normal and the weather patterns are starting to slowly respond with increased tropical activity, showers and storms.
Tropical lows and cyclones have a significantly higher risk of developing from now until the end of April. It will probably take one or two to cross the coast and track inland then South to start to break the drought properly – hopefully just not a repeat of the NQLD floods like last year if they do.
As always we have our very own in-house detailed forecasts and maps available to subscribers on our website. They cover the entire Australian region for tropical lows and cyclones. Daily, weekly, monthly and 3 monthly rain, storm and temperature forecasts and maps across QLD, NSW, ACT & VIC. Weekly rainfall and forecasts for TAS, SA, WA & NT.
Check it out here by clicking here! 

Where is the rain Australia?2020-01-08T11:18:57+10:00
5 08, 2019

Big Polar Low To Hit South East Aust – damaging winds, heavy snow & rain!


Issued 5th August 2019. Here comes the biggest Winter storm for 2019 as a Polar Low lines up South East Australia! This system will impact well over half of the population for 4 days so its worth taking note of. Above image the big polar low forecast position on Thursday via Pivotal. 

South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, the ACT and NSW will all be directly impacted while Queensland will feel the affects. 

RAIN: Lets start off with rainfall because it the most important commodity right now due to the drought. The best falls will be focused across South East SA, Victoria, Tasmania and Southern inland NSW. Within those areas places such as Eastern Victoria, South East Tasmania and South East NSW are only expecting lighter falls but exact amounts in these locations will depend on the exact position of the low producing onshore winds and rain. Below image 10day rainfall forecast totals via

SNOW: The next big result from this system will be snow with truck loads expected across the Alps, Snowy Mountains and Central / Western Highlands of Tasmania. Snow for SA (Mt Lofty) has been be dropped but showers and storms with hail are more likely. Very low level snow is forecast across Victoria and Tasmania down to 400 meters on Friday and Saturday when the coldest polar air is pushed up from down South. Forecast data is continually suggesting that Canberra will see snow falls from this system! The Central Tablelands of NSW are expected to see solid snow falls but the Northern Tablelands are only a chance for some light snow at this stage. Below image snow forecast totals via

WIND & TEMPS: Strong to damaging winds with freezing cold conditions are a given with this system. Due to the slow moving forecast of the low both wind and temperature impacts will prolonged over about 4 days. In SA damaging winds up to 95km hr are possible on Thursday and Friday across the South East quarter. Adelaide’s top temperature will be about 13C with a 10C wind chill. In Victoria damaging winds across the state up to 90km hr are possible with gusts as high as 120km hr on the Alps during Thursday and Friday. Melbourne is going for a top of just 13C and again the wind chill will take 5 to 10C off that. In the ACT very strong cold Westerly winds should develop Thursday night and they may reach damaging strengths up to 90km hr on Friday especially on the ranges. Canberra will have bone chilling tops of just 9C with a 5 to 10C wind chill. In NSW the strong cold front with strong Westerly winds of 60 to 70km hr will rip across the state on Thursday. These winds could even stir up some dust storms inland. There are expected to reach damaging strengths of 100km hr across the South East, Central Ranges and possibly even the Northern ranges from Thursday to Saturday. Any bush fires that start could become very dangerous due to the dry conditions and very strong winds. Sydney’s top temps will drop by around 4C to 18C. Anywhere along the ranges and Tablelands will be near zero. Tasmania is also expected to receive some periods of very strong winds but these will heavily depend on the low which is forecast to be directly over the state most of the time. Hobart is going for a top of 10C. Below image total wind gusts via
Our Higgins premium weather service offers detailed forecasts and maps across NSW, the ACT and Victoria. These include daily rainfall and snow forecasts. Become a subscriber here to gain access and support our business. Or click on the image below to find out more details! 

Big Polar Low To Hit South East Aust – damaging winds, heavy snow & rain!2019-08-05T11:38:01+10:00
1 08, 2019

Slamming SAM is coming back – more freezing weather & big snow falls for Australia


Issued 1st August 2019. At the end of May we mentioned the Southern Annular Mode also known as the Antarctic Oscillation. It delivered big snow dumps on the Alps, snow on the Central and Northern Tablelands of NSW with snow even recorded in Queensland. During the second and third week of August, SAM is confidently forecast to dive into deep negative values! In fact it is expected to reach double the negative values we seen in early June. Brace yourselves for much more freezing, cold, windy weather and snow across South East Australia. The cold weather and frosts will also reach well into Queensland where snow can’t be ruled out! Above image via Hotham Alpine Resort. 

The forecasting range for SAM is relatively short at only 2 weeks ahead but it is far enough to gauge a trending pattern. Models are confident in a huge negative dive next week. This will allow for an increased number of deep polar low pressure systems to impact Australia and thats exactly what the pressure, temperature and snow charts are showing. Below image showing the SAM / AAO past observations (black line) and 2 week forecast via CPC. Circled in red is the deep negative forecast values for next week. 

So what should we expect? A period of frequent very strong cold fronts, multiple polar lows, big snow dumps on the Alps and Tasmania with blizzard conditions. Snow an increased risk across Central and Northern NSW possibly reaching QLD. Increased rainfall across South East SA, Victoria and Tasmania. Very strong cold winds across South East Australia with increasing frosts and some severe frosts. In general a big finish to Winter. Below image: 2nd week snow forecast via GFS / Tropical Tidbits showing big snow falls on the Alps and Tasmania with snow on the Northern and Central Tablelands of NSW. 

A huge polar low system is currently forecast to hit South East Australia from Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th August. It could bring widespread damaging winds, rain, very cold conditions, a big Alpine snow dump with snow extending further North across the ACT and NSW. That will be followed by widespread frosts. Some peaks could be looking at up to 1 meter of snow just from this first system alone.

We provide detailed snow forecasts and maps for VIC, ACT, NSW and QLD on our HSC premium weather service here>

Slamming SAM is coming back – more freezing weather & big snow falls for Australia2019-08-01T12:47:16+10:00
30 05, 2019

Slamming SAM – More Freezing Conditions And Snow For Australia


Issued 30th May 2019. Have you ever heard of the Southern Annular Mode also known as the Antarctic Oscillation? Well right now and for the next 2 weeks it is in full negative swing!  Brace yourselves for much more freezing, cold, windy weather and snow across South East Australia. The cold weather and frosts will also reach well into Queensland! Above image via Hotham Alpine Resort. 

Over the past week we have seen 2 big cold fronts across South Eastern Australia produce the best snow falls this early in the season in 19 years with up to 65cms across the Alps. We also had snow to low levels across Tasmania, Victoria, the ACT and Central Tablelands of NSW. It is not over yet, in fact its only just the start of much more to come during June. 

The negative phase of the SAM is associated with a northward shift in the belt of strong westerly winds. In autumn and winter, this can cause more Winter storms, low pressure systems, polar air masses, increased rainfall and snowfall for southern Australia. A SAM event can be identified by observing the pattern of westerly wind flow and pressure to the south of Australia. Over the past 2 weeks it has been steadily trending into negative values. Below image showing the current low pressures over SE Aust and the very strong negative SAM bulge of low pressure regions extending Northwards away from the South Pole. These regions move clockwise around the South Pole. 


The forecasting range for SAM is relatively short at only 2 weeks ahead. This is far enough to gauge a trending pattern beyond that so it can give an indication of values for about a month ahead. Currently models are suggesting that we will stay in a negative SAM for at least the next 2 weeks maybe longer. This will allow for an increase of deep low pressure systems to impact Australia. Below image showing the SAM / AAO past observations (black line) and 2 week forecast via CPC. Circled in blue is the negative anomalies. 

So what can we possibly expect? More strong cold fronts and upper cold lows, more snow, more rain, more strong winds with blizzards on the Alps, increasing frosts with some severe frosts and the list goes on. In general a big start to the snow season with snow reaching further north into NSW and possibly even Southern QLD. Average to possibly above average rain across South East SA, Tasmania and Victoria. Widespread frosts some severe across NSW and QLD with cold days. 

The next significant cold front is forecast to hit South East Australia from late this Sunday through until Tuesday. Damaging winds, rain, very cold conditions a big Alpine snow dump with snow extending further North into NSW is expected. That will be followed by frosts. Some places could be looking at 1 meter of snow depth by the first week June which is extraordinary. IF it continues long enough record breaking snow and record cold temperatures may occur. 

There will be short breaks in between the freezing weather when high pressure systems slowly move through however the deep lows and cold fronts will return in quick succession. We cover detailed snow forecasts and maps for VIC, ACT, NSW and QLD on our premium weather service here>

Slamming SAM – More Freezing Conditions And Snow For Australia2019-05-30T20:08:47+10:00
Go to Top