Technical SE QLD/NE NSW Decade Review & Predictions

Discussion in 'Daily & Chat' started by Nature's Fury, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. Nature's Fury

    Nature's Fury One of Us

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    The 2010s are done and the 2020s are upon us. What were your most memorable local weather events in the 2010s? What are your predictions for your area in the 2020s?

    Here are my top events for the 2010s:

    1) SE QLD rain events culminating in floods (Oct 2010 - Jan 2011)

    In so many ways extraordinary. The end of this decade has been marked by the ultimate drought/heat/bushfire set-up (record-breaking positive ENSO, negative SAM, low SSTs, Modoki El Nino). The beginning of the decade was the exact opposite - the ultimate rain set-up (negative ENSO, super La Nina, high SSTs). That spring was almost perpetually cloudy, cool and rainy. Brisbane didn't reach 30 degree max until the second week of December (unbelievable considering we usually reach it by the end of September). There was so much consistent rain that stepping on grass would squelch lots of water out the sides of your shoes. We had rain and flood events in October and December. Then we had the climax in Jan 2011 with the inland flash flooding in Toowoomba and the Brisbane Valley, with major river flooding in most coastal SE QLD rivers. The river peaked at almost 14 metres above normal levels in this area of Brisbane. Places I could never have imagined went underwater.

    2) Western suburbs supercell (Nov 2012)

    Supercells and large hail are not frequent here. They usually deviate to the north (D'Aguilar ranges) or to the south (southern suburbs). This storm was unusual in many ways. Saturday saw huge supercells out near Oakey (10 cm hail) then spread into rain and big lightning across SE QLD that night. Sunday had an early kick-off and there was lots of scattered small hail across SEQ before clearing in the mid-afternoon. At that point it seemed everything was over - the sun was out and it was warm - and then a single cell developed out near the border. It tracked very sharply to the NE (left-mover) and dumped 9 cm hail over Boonah. As it approached it looked really vicious - nasty shade of black and green, frequent violent lightning. I heard the roar in the distance and as it hit a white curtain. What followed was about 15 minutes of hail up to golf/cricket-ball size until the ground was covered like snow. Lots of damage too.

    3) Ex-TC Debbie & SE QLD floods (March 2017)

    Pretty incredible event. 700-1000 mm in southern parts of SEQ within 6 hours, schools were closed and very nasty flooding. That evening the circulation of Debbie passed directly overhead here. The winds suddenly stopped, but you could hear the distant roar of wind wrapping around the low. While it was night-time it looked like a donut was overhead with a circle of cloud banking up (a miniature version of the cyclone eye stadium effect). That was the closest I will probably ever get to experiencing a cyclone or the eye in Brisbane.

    4) SE QLD drought & warm winters (2016-present)

    Some may see this as 'boring' weather not worthy of a mention, but this really has been incredible to me. We have had four extremely warm winters (each year more so) and endless spells of dry and often warm weather. This year it has culminated in zero soil moisture, an insane run of high maximums starting in August, smoke/dust haze and almost no rain until recently. Definitely the worst drought experienced here - worse than the Millennium Drought.

    5) Brisbane supercell (Nov 2014)

    Didn't affect me but was crazy to watch and see the obs come in on the old WZ forums. Finally a Brisbane direct hit supercell to rival the 1985. 140 kph winds at Archerfield and almost a tornado, massive rain rates and cricket sized hail across Brisbane CBD and surrounding suburbs.

    6) Ex-TC Oswald & SE QLD floods (Jan 2013)
    7) ECL & Caboolture floods (May 2015)
    8) Archerfield breaks all-time maximum reaching 43.5 (Jan 4, 2014)
    9) Almost two weeks straight of severe storms in SE QLD (Nov 2013)
    10) Stanthorpe snow & intense cold snap (winter 2015)

    Dishonourable mention to Cyclone Oma - the tease of the century. Thinking about it still makes me mad.



    Quite a memorable decade with almost every type of severe weather, except for a major dust storm (how this didn't happen in the last year or two I still don't understand) and a direct severe TC impact.

    Looking ahead I would make the following predictions for the 2020s:
    • General yearly weather pattern of long warm, dry spells interrupted by occasional intense rainfall to continue and worsen.
    • One or no ex-TC impacts in SEQ. Last decade we had 3 (Oswald, Marcia, Debbie) with a couple other threatening (notably Oma). This seems to happen every few decades (1890s, 1930s, 1950s, 1970s, 2010s). I would anticipate we'll have a quiet decade, even with the increased potential for cyclones to travel further south due to climate change.
    • Major La Nina bringing rain/floods to eastern Australia probably in 2021 or 2022. Everyone will wrongly think the weather is 'back to normal'.
    • Brisbane and Ipswich to break their all-time maximum temperature records (Bris 41.7 and Amberley 44.3)
     
    #1 Nature's Fury, Jan 2, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  2. Flowin

    Flowin One of Us

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    Good summary @Nature's Fury . I think you got the main events of the past decade in that list. I would have put Oswald a little higher on the list, but that's not important.

    I think an interesting characteristic to watch in the coming decade is what months / seasons good rainfall does occur.
    Seems to me that the traditional Jan-Mar "wettest period" is no more or at least not consistently so. So many poor rainfall summer seasons in the last seven years, yet we were getting some good rainfalls occasionally in October (2017 / 2018 if I recall correctly) and then the odd time of good rains in April, May or June (which is expected to some degree with particularly with ECLs). I certainly hope we see a return to at least 4 out of 5 summers giving consistent good rainfall, and preferably the periods of no or little rainfall not extending more than about 3 to 4 months, but that latter part maybe a bit of wishful thinking.

    I would be interested to know if there is anyway to long-range forecast the PDO, I know it would have a lot of uncertainty, but PDO in the coming decade will be of interest as it is an important part of the mix of indicators.
     
  3. CirrusFibratus

    CirrusFibratus One of Us

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    It was quite the decade for weather, as you say, from one extreme to another and practically everything in-between. Thanks very much for putting this thread together, I reckon we will see quite a bit of awesome discussion from this.

    2012 - Strathpine Storm
    One of my favourites was a storm that occurred here in 2012, of which I don't have a date, time or footage/photos, but has stuck in my mind ever since.

    It came through with an incredible roar, and happened so fast I didn't get a chance to get from our patio area back inside. I'm certain it was some form of microburst, the rain wasn't falling so much as it was being blasted sideways for minutes on end. Everything on our patio area was piled up to one side, against a wooden lattice wall, including a fairly heavy rowing machine.

    2013 - Ex-Oswald
    Still the strongest winds I've personally encountered, I still vividly remember our low-set brick (!) house flexing from the winds late at night. It is the only time I have ever been concerned for our safety due to weather.

    November 27, 2014 Brisbane Supercell
    I remember looking at the radar at work and realising that something serious was about to happen in Brisbane, when I saw the news reports when I got home describing damaging hail I wasn't surprised.

    This is the view I captured from work as the storm approached:

    This is the view I saved from the UQ St Lucia weathercam at the time, which was subsequently knocked out by hail from the storm:

    I also captured a visual satellite frame of the storm at peak intensity:
    27-11-2014 Stom Vis.JPG
    Here you can see radar scans for the storm, from beginning development over the border ranges, until it passes through Brisbane:


    Honorable Mention
    Not really an event, but I think the now-defunct weathercam network deserves an honourable mention for all the invaluable coverage it provided for weather events over the years.

    The best in my opinion was the Woody Point panorama cam that was perfect for capturing weather events over the area and as they entered the bay. Followed closely by Kalbar/Boonah which always gave great views of developing activity out west.

    Typical Woody Point capture:


    Typical Kalbar/Boonah capture:


    Regarding my predictions for the next decade, I think interesting weather like rain and storms will remain much less common, as they have the last few years. Wouldn't be surprised if we saw a flood event as well however, like a rubber band pulled too far, things are bound to snap back in a bad way.

    Look forward to seeing everyone's stories of events!
     

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  4. Flowin

    Flowin One of Us

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    For this thread decade past and future it’s probably also worth mentioning ‘technology’ because it is common to the ‘dishonourable’ mentions in previous posts from @Nature's Fury (model forecasts) and @CirrusFibratus (webcams demise).
    Weather technology goes through phases like other technologies. Remember music tech in past decades - going from records, eight track cassettes, 80s cassettes, 90s CDs, 00s iPod digital music, to now download and access live on web. Weather technology has gone through similar rate of change of technology.
    I remember analysis of rainfall storm movement I looked at in mid 1990s for a storm to flash flood that occurred in summer 91 in SEQ. I found some paper hard copy inkjet radar image printouts in BoM files in Brisbane and they were so helpful in the early years after radar tech was introduced. Now we take radar for granted.
    Similarly the changes in sat image capture and processing gives us now so much more intelligence to inform knowledge.
    Models now also ( have in past, but more so now ) broaden our extrapolation from situational awareness to future possibilities and expectations in ways that were not comprehended not long ago. They still have their limitations like the 2019 Tc Oma forecasts, but without the models we would be more in the dark.
    So looking to the next decade’s predictions, I cannot conceive how radars, satellites, models and other technologies will be helping us by the end of decade in 2029, but I look forward to the journey to follow the technology and maintain a healthy skepticism of tech limitations.
    So may the journey continue with models for estimating and gauges for knowledge.
     
  5. Nature's Fury

    Nature's Fury One of Us

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    @Flowin I remember when you would ring and get faxes of the Marburg radar. I also remember when the Stapylton radar came online in the mid 00s with more frequent updates and far better resolution.

    Whatever happened to the weather cam network? I used to love that and then the cams started going offline.

    @CirrusFibratus that hail spike near Archerfield on the radar was amazing. We were going nuts on the WZ thread when we saw that with speculations of a possible tornado. Wasn't quite, but still amazing what happened - here are 2 of my favourite videos:




    The Western suburbs supercell of Nov 18, 2012 that I ranked 2nd on my list earlier was not quite at that level, but still amazing to experience.




    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xzyxp18R5g
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyppZaZcz5Y

    1) First video has that roar I described. You could hear it minutes before it arrived and it was deafening once it hit. I still haven't seen a video yet that shows hail roar so well.
    2) Second and third videos shows the sheer volume of hail as the storm came.
    3) Fourth and fifth videos are news overviews. Some BOM bashing in there too (this was when that intense storm came in the morning during the markets).

    The day before there was probably the most photogenic supercell I've seen this decade. Here's footage of chasers out near Oakey. This monster dropped 10cm hail. Was a very memorable weekend between these three storms (and incidentally the only two days of severe storms that month):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV02dns5H-Y

    And does anyone remember the two weeks straight of severe storms SEQ had in November 2013? The longest previous run was about 6 days that I can remember. I'm not sure we'll ever beat this.
     
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  6. Flowin

    Flowin One of Us

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    I recall that long run of storms in 2013. I just looked on weather chaser radar archive, appears dates were 9 to 19 November 2013.
     
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  7. Falling_Droplet

    Falling_Droplet One of Us

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    That long run of thunderstorm activity I remember as I wrote a event report of my data given it was such a extended storm outbreak. Between the 11 November and 19 November I received 102 mm. There were 8 storms between the 10 November and 18 November with 3 thunderstorms on 14 November. Some of these storms had quite intense rainfall. I remember that there quite a number of storms with very intense rainfall that became less frequent in the last few years.

    Some weather events of interest with the emphasis of interesting data that I measured in no particular order:

    1) 2013 November frequent thunderstorms, as above

    2) Severe thunderstorm on 12 November 2016 when I received 65 mm in 25 minutes including 21 mm in 5 minutes.

    3) Coldest morning of 0.7 C on 3 August 2012. Each winter I have been hoping to match or exceed this but this record still stands with a real lack of cold snaps in recent years.

    4) Ex TC Oswald in January 2013. I measured the wettest day on record for January or any month with 271 mm in a single day with 464 mm between 25 and 29 January. Along with the intense rainfall there was strong and gusty winds and measured a wind gust of 88 kph.

    5) Ex TC Debbie. This was when we were urged to get home and businesses closed by midday. I had to head into Brisbane that day with the intense rainfall with lots of flash flooding. As the low approached you could hear the strong wind gusts pick up. The air pressure fell to a low of 995 hPa which was a record low at the time. The chart of the pressure looks pretty like a proper TC with dip down and then rose just as quickly following the passage of the eye.

    6) 2010 to January 2011 rain events and floods - 1688 mm of rain in 2010 here with very frequent rainfall in October and December 2010. Over 900 mm of rain fell in December 2010 to January 2011.

    7) Record breaking high temperatures, low rainfall and dry air - In 2018 and 2019 the constant breaking of records month after month with a great deal in consistency of month after month of continued harse conditions. Severe rainfall deficiencies developing in 2017 and 2018 and increasing in 2019. Spring rainfall in 2019 was the lowest at my location since the millennium drought.

    I also mention that the decade saw the BoM introduce the new forecasting system and Met Eye which I find very helpful. Also the decade on a personal note saw many advancements with my collecting, analysing and publishing online of my weather data also.
     
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  8. Lani

    Lani One of Us

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    C0B77504-FD3A-4471-82BF-B04F03D1056B.jpeg B3942D9D-9433-447D-83C7-A908867B1669.jpeg A890574F-03BF-47C7-ABE1-63248A3E013C.jpeg

    I would have to add the October 2018 supercells, (there were several on the same day) that started around Warra, went through Jimbour, Kumbia, Coolabunia, Nanango and exited near Gympie somewhere I think. Wild storms! Coolabunia sustained a lot of damage, there are still piles of trees on the sides of the hwy there.
     

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  9. Nature's Fury

    Nature's Fury One of Us

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    Didn't BOM have tornado warnings for those cells as well? The black on those cells on radar was gigantic.
     
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  10. Falling_Droplet

    Falling_Droplet One of Us

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    In June 2016 I received 306.9 mm of rainfall (251.3 mm above average) which remains the highest on record for June at my location exceeding the old record of 86 mm in 2008. During that month there were two rainfall events with heavy falls and flooding. This was after a very dry April (12.8 mm) and was the driest since 2007 (4.5 mm).
     
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  11. LDRcycles

    LDRcycles Hard Yards

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    After starting the decade with 4 years in a row of at least 24% above average rainfall (2010 the clear winner with 2,544.3mm, over 100 inches in the old scale), 15, 16, 18, and 19 were all below average. As Nature's Fury mentioned, the big change has been the savagely dry winters, we've always had substantially more rain in summer but the last few years it has just been a stranglehold.

    For me the dramatic increase in dry heat events has been a particular worry. When my wife moved out from the city I reassured her about bushfire risk by saying we didn't get the heat and low humidity that caused the terrible fires down south, all of a sudden now we do (albeit nowhere near as badly). I'm now preparing the property for a threat that would have been laughable only 10-15 years ago.

    In terms of individual events, we've had some cracking storms go through, one in 2018 in particular brought down a heap of trees so I was out with my chainsaws clearing the main road til about 8pm. Ex Debbie dumped so much rain so quickly our hills had a thousand little rivers rushing down them, but then the rain stopped and within a matter of months we were in drought again.

    Going off historical patterns, I think 2020 is likely going to be dry, then 21 or 22 we should see good rain again, but probably not a consistent run of good years until 2030.
     
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  12. Flowin

    Flowin One of Us

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    Just to continue on a bit on my earlier sub theme of technology past and future decade in post #4 https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/se-qld-ne-nsw-decade-review-predictions.86638/#post-4135930
    My interests in the weather are particularly in rain, precipitable water PW, and integrated water vapour transport IVT which is combination of PW and speed that the atmospheric moisture is moving.
    IVT is hard to find as real time data/estimates or as forecasts.
    PW data is more common, but PW is also hard to measure and measurements are sparse compared to most other weather parameters.
    In the last decade we have seen technology develop ways of analysis of existing GPS network data to estimate PW. Here is an example https://www.hindawi.com/journals/amete/2015/956481/
    I can foresee the next decade could take satellites technology and other technologies to produce near real time IVT maps. Would be awesome if that occurred but I don’t know enough of the technologies to be realistic on whether that is possible.
    Interesting decade ahead.
     
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  13. Lani

    Lani One of Us

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    I believe so NF, some spectacular footage and damage from those storms. We got about 200mm in an hour, significant hail and ended up with a fog through our properties. Hit at 11am.
     
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