Oz Cyclone Chasers Cyclone Blog

Welcome to our OCC Blog! We will be posting frequently on this blog so please check back for new items regularly. You can also subscribe to get notifications of new posts.

Chris was born in Northern Greece and came to Australia as a young boy. He initially lived in Sydney and in 1988 was amazed by a very intense hail storm that smashed his house. This hailstorm had torn off the roof, blown out the windows of his house and left his family in complete shock, all with almost no warning. Since that day, Chris Nitsopoulos (Nitso) has been passionate about studying the weather and learning about what makes thunderstorms tick in order to better understand and forecast them. Upon completing his high school education in Townsville, he went on to James Cook university to begin a degree in Meteorology. Unfortunately Chris could not grasp the intricate mathematical formulas behind the physics involved in meteorology and changed degrees with a year left in his meteorology degree. He completed a degree in Secondary School education majoring in Geography and ironically enough, minoring in mathematics and physics. Nitso successfully taught Geography, Science, Mathematics and Physical Education for 5 years before dropping his full time teaching load to pursue a small business goal which could give him a lot more time off and help fund his storm chasing. In 2010, Nitso began a business selling sports shoes and supplements online. In 2013, Nitso shut down that business and now works primarily on Oz Cyclone Chasers and does a couple of days supply teaching at a couple of Catholic schools in Townsville The fact that his workload was far reduced allowed him to pursue his burning desire to chase tropical cyclones.



Even though Chris never completed his Meteorology degree, his passion for studying the weather and in particular severe weather systems has never diminished. During the dry season you would normally see Chris spending much of his spare time burying his head in old meteorology books or online researching meteorological studies from around the world. Chris enjoys and learns from every storm chase regardless of its success/failure, in fact Chris believes that in storm chasing you learn more from a failed chase or a failed forecast because it drives you to learn why you got it wrong and to strive to get it right next time. Chris is a registered storm spotter with the Bureau of Meteorology, he is a trained first aid officer and a qualified gym instructor. Chris also enjoys refereeing Rugby League and Rugby Union part time in the Winter months and says that he would go crazy with boredom and weigh 200kg if he didn’t have a hobby like refereeing to keep him fit and busy in the months between April and October. 



Chris is in charge of all of our subscriber services at OCC. 


CRAZY WEATHER TAKES A SHORT BREAK

Well finally after a period of temporary insanity, our weather is going back to the way it 'should' behave, at least for a few days anyway. The last of a series of trough systems has pushed off the Queensland coast and dry stable air now dominates all but the far north of Queensland (north of Townsville) and the NT;s Top End (particularly the Western Top End).  SUBSCRIBERS - ACCESS TODAY'S STATE WEATHER VIDEOS HERE To become a subscriber, please head to www.ozcyclonechasers.com.au...
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OZ CYCLONE CHASERS - WEATHER CENTRE UPDATE 21ST SEPTEMBER 2016

OZ CYCLONE CHASERS - WEATHER CENTRE UPDATE 21ST SEPTEMBER 2016
Please check out this week's video showing a few major changes we have done to our Weather Centre.  THIS WEEK'S PUBLICLY AVAILABLE WEATHER CENTRE CHANGES AND ADDITIONS  Added 64km ultra high resolution satellite data during the day for every location  Added new base map and location text   Merged high res radar reflectivities to allow better analysis of precipitation between locations   Added radar coverage zones to be able to show where radar blindspots e...
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MALAKAS DROPS HIS LOAD ON JAPAN

MALAKAS DROPS HIS LOAD ON JAPAN
Cyclone Malakas made landfall shortly after midnight (local Japanese time) in Kyushu as an Australian Category three equivalent Severe Tropical Cyclone. Winds in the city of Makurazaki were sustained at 59 knots with gusts to around 80 knots while pressures dropped to 969Hpa.  ​If you'd like to support our documentary efforts and gain access to enhanced weather information, please consider becoming an Oz Cyclone Chasers subscriber. Head to www.ozcyclonechasers.com.au/subscribe The system is...
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NUMEROUS RAIN RECORDS BROKEN OR ARE READY TO BREAK

Across Western and Southern Queensland and the top half of the Northern Territory, many September rain records are set to be broken by the end of this week. Check out the rain recorded this past week in each state vs the average rain for the whole of September.  Some massive totals overnight in the NT included  ​Jabiru - 108mm - massive record broken previous record 62.0mm Mainoru Outstation - 168mm Mount Felix - 125mm Bulman - 123mm - MASSIVE RECORD - PREVIOUS RECO...
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MALAKAS INTENSIFIES UNEXPECTEDLY - WILL HIT JAPAN OVERNIGHT

MALAKAS INTENSIFIES UNEXPECTEDLY - WILL HIT JAPAN OVERNIGHT
Tropical Cyclone Malakas intensified unexpectedly over the past 18 hours and has now been upgraded to a Category 3 typhoon (Category 4 Tropical Cyclone on our Australian scale) its sights are now firmly set on Japan's South-west coast. The system is expected to make landfall overnight tonight near Makurazaki (pop 24000) and Ibusuki (pop 44000). The weakening circulation may then pass near Japan's major cities of Tokyo and Kyoto. Do you like what we do? Why not become an OCC subscriber and gain a...
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TROPICAL CYCLONE MALAKAS SETS COURSE FOR JAPAN

Tropical Cyclone Malakas narrowly missed Taiwan to the east and has now set its sights for Southern Japan. The weakening Category 3 cyclone on the Australian scale passed a couple of hundred kilometres east of Taiwan yesterday. The system was much stronger yesterday and Taiwan dodged a bullet there after Severe Tropical Cyclone Meranti nudged the southern tip of the island as a Category 5 a few days ago. The cyclone is expected to approach Southern Japan on Tuesday morning Australian time. The s...
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WOOHOO THE BUILD UP HAS DEFINITELY ARRIVED

​The sensational start to the build up period (the period of convective showers and storms just before the wet season) has definitely arrived with a bang across the NT. For much of the Central Arnhem districts it began a couple of weeks ago, but it has made its way to the Darwin area now. The image below shows the Darwin region's current  radar, satellite and the storm probabilities for the day.  Become an Oz Cyclone Chasers subscriber and gain access to enhanced weather info...
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NEW TROUGH TO DUMP MORE HEAVY RAIN ACROSS INLAND QUEENSLAND AND NT

​One trough dies and a new one develops to take its place. Pretty standard stuff IF IT WAS NOVEMBER OR DECEMBER , but it's not, it's September. This is simply extraordinary. Take a look at the past week of rain across Queensland's interior.  Become an OCC subscriber and gain access to enhanced weather information, and get ready for our massive subscriber release of our new Weather Centre in early October.  Subscribe today at www.ozcyclonechasers.com.au/subscribe These areas in aqu...
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BRONCOS V COWBOYS - YOUR FOOTY FORECAST

BRONCOS V COWBOYS - YOUR FOOTY FORECAST
​Hey everyone, as the excitement builds before tonight's do or die rugby league games in Townsville's 1300Smiles Stadium let's take a look at whether the weather Gods are going to be good hosts this evening.  Want to support our documentary efforts? Why not become an OCC Subscriber Head to www.ozcyclonechasers.com.au/subscribe ​NRL A GRADE KICK OFF TIME - 7:55PM VENUE - 1300smiles Stadium - Kirwan (a western suburb of Townsville) WILL IT RAIN? - It is highly unlikely that we will see a...
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OZ CYCLONE CHASERS WEATHER CENTRE VIDEO UPDATE

OZ CYCLONE CHASERS WEATHER CENTRE VIDEO UPDATE
This is the second update on what is going on with our Weather Centre. The Weather Centre will go live to our members from early October and should be fully completed in November. This week we have added:  1 - A radar intensity scale in mm/hr to show what the reflectivity roughly equals in terms of rain intensity - already available  BEHIND THE SCENES  1 - We have added road overlays for all Australia's main roads  2 - We have added best coverage overlay to show radar coverag...
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WEAK TROPICAL CYCLONE JULIA FORMS OFF THE USA EAST COAST

​A very weak Tropical Cyclone has been named off the coast of the USA. Tropical Cyclone Julia was an area of strong storm activity over the Florida Peninsula for the last couple of days, before it surprisingly managed to pop off the coast overnight and intensify just enough to be a borderline tropical cyclone. The cyclone appears to have been smashed by wind shear, but the NHC is maintaining warnings and intensity of the system. The circulation centre is expected to be slow moving and the NHC ex...
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MALAKAS FOLLOWS MERANTI

​Tropical Cyclone Malakas ( my Greek friends will definitely have a chuckle at that name :p :p )  is gradually deepening east of the Philippines and tracking in a WNW direction. Malakas will move towards Taiwan over the coming days, but model guidance is split on whether the cyclone will nudge the island or track just to its east as Malakas changes direction and moves north in a few days time. In the meantime Malakas will gradually intensify and is expected to attain Category 4 or...
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OCC WEATHER CENTRE RADAR - CHANGE

​For those who subscribe to our OCC Eyewall subscription membership, you will have noticed something a little different today. The scale for our radar has been updated. One of the key benefits with the OCC radar is its high resolution imagery.  To access high res radar and satellite imagery, please become an OCC subscriber at www.ozcyclonechasers.com.au/subscribe ​On our scale we have now added an estimation of the actual intensity of the rainfall that the colours represent. This is di...
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THE RAIN HAS JUST BEGUN ACROSS QUEENSLAND

​In what can only be marveled in awe and classed as unseasonal. Parts of the state's south may receive near record breaking September rainfall. Long standing records in inland southern Queensland range from about 100-200mm for September and during the last half of the month, those records may come under serious threat. Remember most Southern and inland parts of the state have an average of 10-30mm for September (in fact that's about the average for most/all of Queensland), so this is t...
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TROPICAL CYCLONE MERANTI UNDERGOES EYE WALL REPLACEMENT CYCLE

As Meranti approaches the southern tip of Taiwan, he has decided to undergo a procedure called an Eyewall replacement cycle. Basically what occurs is a new eye tries to form around the old eye. The new eye then shrinks and takes the place of the old eye, in the meantime the old eye 'dies'.  Gain access to Australia's most comprehensive cyclone information in season 2016/2017  Become an Oz Cyclone Chasers Subscriber at www.ozcyclonechasers.com.au/subscribe The result is that during this...
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CYCLONE MERANTI - 2016'S PERFECT CYCLONE?

CYCLONE MERANTI - 2016'S PERFECT CYCLONE?
​As expected yesterday, Meranti further intensified into a Strong Category 5 tropical cyclone today and looking at the imagery below, you would have to say it's the best looking cyclone of 2016 to date, even slightly better looking than Nepartak in July.  Become an Oz Cyclone Chasers subscriber today and access Australia's most comprehensive cyclone information for 2016/2017 Head to www.ozcyclonechasers.com.au/subscribe   The cyclone is packing wind gusts estimated to 195 knots (360km/...
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SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE MERANTI BREAKS THE FORCEFIELD

SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE MERANTI BREAKS THE FORCEFIELD
A major tropical cyclone is brewing in the NW Pacific Ocean. Tropical Cyclone Meranti will be the first cyclone since late July to move west and hit a country other than Japan in the NW Pacific basin The Category 4 Tropical Cyclone continues to intensify gradually and is expected to hit Taiwan Wednesday night or Eastern China Thursday most likely as a category 5. However there is still a large enough error margin that keeps the Northern parts of the Philippines in harms way as well, while t...
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TOWNSVILLE AND NE QLD COAST COPS SOME RAIN YAY

TOWNSVILLE AND NE QLD COAST COPS SOME RAIN YAY
Some moderate to heavy showers have hit Townsville suburbs this morning. The showers have also extended northwards to the Herbert coastline all the way north to Cairns. General rainfall of 5-15mm have been reported which means quite a few Townsville suburbs have just got September's average rainfall in one shower.  Become an Oz Cyclone Chasers subscriber and gain access to our Tropical Cyclone Seasonal outlook for season 2016/2017 and support our team. Subscribe today at www.ozcyc...
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BIG 14 DAYS OF WEATHER COMING UP

Well the stage is set for some big rains across inland Australia and South Eastern Australia, but almost everyone should get something from the upcoming fortnight of weather coming up. The combination of enhanced moisture from an unusually warm ocean to the north and north-west of Australia will combine with multiple trough systems to funnel moisture southwards through inland Australia and to the SE.  Want to know what effect these warmer waters could have on our cyclone season in 2016/2017...
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TROPICAL CYCLONE SEASON OUTLOOK - PUBLIC

THIS IS AN UNOFFICIAL OZ CYCLONE CHASERS OUTLOOK - The official Bureau Of Meteorology outlook is released in Mid October.  All signs are pointing to a near average Tropical Cyclone Season across the Australian basin (from 90E - 160E). The combination of a Cool-Neutral pattern moving towards a Neutral pattern in the ENSO Pacific region and a Negative IOD moving towards a Neutral IOD in the west of the continent results in an overall near average season coming up.  Positive rainfall...
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