Monthly Archives: October 2015

Tropical Cyclone Chapala 30/10/2015

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A tropical storm has developed rapidly into a small but intense tropical cyclone within an area of the Indian Ocean that receives few such storms per year.

Named Tropical Cyclone Chapala and supported by oceanic temperatures of 29C to 30C the storm is travelling west and is predicted to make landfall on the east coast of Yemen within 72 hours.

The storm appears to have reached Category 4 on the Saffir Simpson Scale with winds according to CIMSS reaching 135 knots (Approximately 250 km/h) at the core. This makes it a significant storm in terms of strength but it is not a large storm. The storm is relatively compact and has a small but well defined eye.

The storm reached Category 4 at latitude 14.2 degrees north and 61.1 degrees east and is forecast to make landfall over the coast of Yemen as a Category 3 or 4 storm. Most of the east coast of Yemen is desert and as such, there are few urban centres threatened by the storm. There is one city that is threatened called Salalah close to the Oman / Yemen border (In Oman) but should the storm follow the path shown, then it would make landfall south of the city.

Using the model, the storm would impact Sayhut, or Ash Shihr or Al Mukalla although they are not major urban centres.

A more recent model is suggesting the storm possibly reaching Category 5 on the Saffir Simpson Scale with winds of 145 knots (Approximately 268 km/h) with stronger peak gusts of 160 knots (Approximately 296 km/h) at peak intensity making it a powerful storm.

The attached Worldview image of the region is showing the storm clearly within the Arabian Sea and the urban extents overlay is showing a region with few major cities that could be impacted should it make landfall.

The tropical cyclone is expected to have a short life span due to its location.


CIMSS - Model plots of the storm acquired 30/10/2015.
NASA - Worldview with overlays of the storm and urban extents.

Rain and storm outbreak NSW – 30/10/15 to 6/11/15

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The past two months have been particularly dry for much of inland New South Wales, much of Victoria and Queensland and the effects of the El Nino drought is spreading and tightening its grip, especially for areas away from the coast.

October has seen maximum temperatures in many regions that are well above the average especially away from the coast.

A rain bearing system and a cut off low is developing over the inland New South Wales that according to weather models is expected to provide a break in the long dry spell.

Starting from Friday 30 October, a few inland places across New South Wales have seen reasonable rainfall such as 21.4 mm at Condobolin (To 6 pm 30/10/15) however this is only the start. Furthermore as seen on the MODIS Worldview image of Central New South Wales dated 30/10/2015, a number of thunderstorms are visible. The storms as shown on the image are near Forbes, Parkes, Hillston and Condobolin (Central West Slopes and plains).

Over the next few days especially Saturday and Sunday, the system is expected to intensify with rain, showers and even storm cells becoming more common. Weather models are predicting a significant rain event especially for eastern New South Wales all the way into Northern Victoria.

During the period 30/10/15 to 6/11/15, up to 200 mm is suggested within small locations. The heaviest falls are predicted for the Central West Slopes to the Northern Victoria region taking in centres such as Albury, Dubbo, Griffith and Wagga Wagga.

The Bureau of MeteorologyWater and The Land” is suggesting that much of New South Wales and Northern Victoria will receive some significant falls during the period with as much as 200 mm falling within a small area just north of the Snowy Mountains.

The rainfall model provided by Weatherzone is suggesting that the Central West Slopes will receive the heaviest totals of at least 100 to 180 mm, South West Slopes 60 to 120 mm and North West Slopes 90 to 180 mm. Should this eventuate, it would certainly ease the dry that is enveloping the region.

The BSCH is showing the heaviest totals to occur across the Central West slopes around the town of Young and areas to the north towards Dubbo.

Meteye is showing reasonable falls for Saturday across the region including a 90 to 100% chance of rain across the region.

There are chances of thunderstorms occurring with this system across a wide area and a storm is being forecast for Sydney during Sunday afternoon. It will be interesting to see what occurs over coming days in terms of rainfall and storm activity.

Weather models also hint at another rain event following this one which explains why high rainfall totals are being forecast for some areas.


Bureau of Meteorology – Rainfall plots (Various) acquired 30/10/15.
NASA (Worldview image of New South Wales acquired 30/10/15 showing storm activity across New South Wales.
Weatherzone (Rainfall plots acquired 30/10/15).

Storms and Supercell Outbreak SE Queensland 28th October 2015

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Lightning near Billa Billa Qld
Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Storms and Supercell Outbreak

With a potentially good set up, storms have lashed the southeast Queensland Darling Downs region with hail drifts reported and also numerous cells including supercells across the region. The first round of storms developed rapidly and moved northeast. Some extremely heavy rainfalls reported from this system as well.

More storms developed from southwest and headed towards the NSW border region. Another set of storm splits occurred near the border with NSW which seemed to favour more right movers in NSW. I approached a well structured storm at night time but the storm collapsed near Moree. It had released one last spectacular anvil crawler barrage prior to its demise!

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

The region received numerous lightning strikes. Some of the lightning strikes were clear air strikes where lightning descends from the side of the anvil and literally out of the main part of the storm.

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Lightning near Billa Billa Qld

Although tornadoes were not out of the question, the main reasons for a low risk were the orientation of the cells to the northeast rather than southeast to east. To many storms took off as well and they became cluttered and therefore competing for moisture.