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. 


ANOTHER "DRY" SEASON RAIN EVENT TO HIT QLD AND PARTS OF NT THIS WEEK

​Another unseasonal rain event is cooking in the atmosphere as we type. An upper level trough induced rain event will begin over the Northern Territory on Tuesday and shift quickly into Northern Queensland on Thursday and Central and Northern Queensland on Friday and Saturday.  The event has the potential to create and break some rain records across far northern parts of the Northern Territory, and parts of Central Queensland with some records also possibly falling across Northern Quee...
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NEPARTAK TO CROSS THE COAST TOMORROW MORNING

​Taiwan's East coast begins bracing for impact tonight as Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Nepartak approaches. The system has continued to defy track forecasts (which 24 hours ago had it hitting the NE section of Taiwan and 24 hours before that had it missing Taiwan altogether)and maintains a slightly more southerly trajectory. Thus it appears that Taitung City, a city of about 100000 people will  get close to feeling this system's full impact.  The system looks set to make landfall b...
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TWIN SEXY CYCLONES IN THE PACIFIC

TWIN SEXY CYCLONES IN THE PACIFIC
​Now sexy in cyclone nerdist language of course means very dangerous too. The Pacific has been quite dormant this season, but the world's largest and best cyclone baby making factory has been awakened this past week.  Tropical Cyclone Blas is menacing many many fish in the NE Pacific, while more importantly, Tropical Cyclone Nepartak is about to menace many people in the next few days in Taiwan and possibly China.  If you like what we do here at OCC and want to be inside...
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WEST PILBARA RAIN MOVING EAST TOWARDS KARRATHA

Over the past few days we've seen some amazing falls in the Western Pilbara. There are signs on computer models that tomorrow the wet stuff will focus in the vicinity of Karratha.  The current satellite imagery on our Weather Centre shows an area of deep convection approaching Karratha already.  ​If you like what we do here at Oz Cyclone Chasers, please consider becoming a subscriber and supporting us. Head to www.ozcyclonechasers.com.au/subscribe   ​The difficulty here is that th...
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MORE HEAVY RAIN FOR THE PILBARA

​A trough system is dragging in lots of unseasonal tropical moisture from the Indian Ocean into the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The end result will be some moderate to heavy rainfall particularly focused in the Exmouth to Karratha area. isolated falls of 50+mm can be expected overnight and tomorrow around the Onslow area while widespread falls of 10-30mm should occur throughout the wider mentioned region.  The Satellite image below shows some of that deep tropical convection a...
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MORE RAIN ON THE WAY FOR THE GASCOYNE AND WESTERN PILBARA

​Now that the craziness has ended in the East, we look to the west where a new rainband will create some very decent falls for NW Cape region of Western Australia. Initially places like Exmouth, Carnarvon, Coral Bay will be affected with the focus then shifting Eastwards/Northwards and weakening as it heads to Onslow, Karratha and Port Hedland mid to late week.  The 4 day model rainfall charts from the BoM is attached below and shows the expected rain until 8PM Thursday WA time. If you like...
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SE QLD ABOUT TO COP SOME OF THE ACTION

SE QLD ABOUT TO COP SOME OF THE ACTION
The event has taken hold across the state and is beginning to clear areas north of Central Queensland, however the SE parts of Queensland are only just beginning to feel its effects. Some heavy rain is about to hit them over the next 6-9 hours. This video takes us through it all  Thanks to our data providers at BSCH and Weather Watch for today's imagery. Our focus shifts to our subscribers from the Gascoyne of W.A and the Western Pilbara from tomorrow as a new cloud and rain band hits ...
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WHEN AND WHERE WILL THE RAIN FALL?

WHEN AND WHERE WILL THE RAIN FALL?
This short video will go through an analysis of the ECMWF precip forecast thanks to www.wunderground.com over the coming 24-36 hours. All other major models are in pretty good agreement on timing and intensity of the rainfall.  If you like what we do at OCC, please consider supporting our efforts by subscribing to our Eyewall membership to gain access to in-depth cyclone forecasts and analysis as well as our developing Weather Centre. Please head to www.ozcyclonechasers.com.au/sub...
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MAJOR UNSEASONAL RAIN COMING TOMORROW FOR EASTERN QUEENSLAND AS TROUGH SYSTEM INTENSIFIES

​Wooohooo some places on the Burdekin have waited so long for some decent rain, and it now looks like the best of the rain through Queensland will fall in a patch from about Ayr/Bowen through to St Lawrence. This covers most of the Burdekin and the Central Coast and Whitsundays, Falls of 50-100mm are likely tomorrow with the passage of the trough. With perhaps the hint of isolated local falls of up to 200mm (although only one computer model estimates rain that strong)  That's not ...
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QUEENSLAND RAIN EVENT THIS WEEKEND

Once again we have a developing weather situation across Eastern Australia. An Upper level trough is sharpening through inland Australia. The trough will intensify and spawn another LOW in NSW on Sunday. And once again NSW will bear the brunt of the system, but folks in Central, Northern and inland QLD will benefit from the rainfall it causes.  This morning's sat image on our OCC Weather Centre shows the cloud band associated with the trough system. As the system intensifies through to...
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EAST COAST LOW HURTLES SOUTHWARDS NEAR SYDNEY

Well the crazy weather brought upon by the east Coast LOW, and a sharp upper trough is almost at an end. ALMOST The following three screen grabs from www.wunderground.com show where the LOW is (A) Currently positioned based on radar at 8:00PM (B) Forecast to be positioned in 2 hours time (C) Forecast to be positioned at 1AM You can see it is moving south at a great rate of knots and moving a little closer to the coast with each passing hour, There is very little weather North of the LOW so it tr...
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THE PILBARA ABOUT TO COP SOME GREAT RAIN

Further to yesterday's post, a strong trough system with small embedded circulations has been affecting the Gascoyne and will today affect the NW Cape region around Exmouth to Coal bay and extend its influence further inland. Tomorrow the focus of activity shifts towards places like Barrow Island, Onslow and Karratha. On Tuesday, a weakening trough moves further east towards Port Hedland and even Broome may see a shower or two out of it on Wednesday.  CURRENT SETUP As we can see on the righ...
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LOW TO HIT PILBARA AND GASCOYNE COAST SUNDAY NIGHT

​While we're all going ga ga over what's happening in the East, the West is copping their fair share of awesome weather too. Our subscribers in the Gascoyne and Pilbara haven't had any meaningful rain all year. This morning residents of Exmouth are awakening to about 50mm. Tomorrow/tomorrow night a rapidly moving, weak LOW (don't worry it won't be a TC) will make landfall around Coral Bay. A period of heavy rain will accompany it.  ​The expectation is that rain will ease later tod...
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AM UPDATE FOR RAIN EVENT SE QLD

Well as we mentioned last night in our blog everything was pushed forward a few hours (if you missed last night's blog, make sure you subscribe to our blog - it's free that way you get the latest information all the time)  Looking at where the rain has fallen so far, we've seen heavy falls over 100mm on large parts of the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and parts of the Wide Bay coastline.  While the overall totals have had a slight downgrade because the system is moving faster than expecte...
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SE QLD RAIN FORECASTS SLIGHTLY DOWNGRADED AND START EARLIER

Ha ha ha how many times have we seen this happen. Those of us in Northern Australia will be very familiar with this concept. One or two computer models show Armageddon, everyone jumps on the bandwagon and then BAM downgrades begin to happen just before the start of the event.  Now we're not saying there won't be some heavy falls of rain, but the upper trough is moving much quicker than forecast and the heavy rain won't stick around for as long. So it'll be a violent few hours but that'...
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"DANGEROUS" WEATHER EVENT FOR SE QLD AND NSW

No it isn't and don't do that!!!!! THIS POST HAS BEEN SUPERSEEDED WITH NEW INFORMATION!!! ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU ARE READING OUR LATEST BLOG POST BY SUBSCRIBING TO IT!!! There has been a lot of hype in recent days about a pretty cool weather event across SE Australia, and while it's outside the scope of our subscriber region it's something that only really comes about once or twice a year so it is worthwhile mentioning in at least one or two blog posts.  Here's some important questi...
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OCC TALKS NEXT WET SEASON IN THE TOWNSVILLE BULLETIN

​I was in the paper today talking about our prospects for next season's wet. As we all know we at OCC are very hopeful of a bumper wet season next season as we transition towards a possible La Nina. Multiple computer forecast models are showing a fairly active Spring storm season with below average surface pressures, above average sea temps being predicted around September and October. The models that then delve further towards Summer are certainly showing interesting signs of a good 2016/2...
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MORE HEAVY FALLS ACROSS FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

Well the overnight totals are in and two of our three major computer forecast models were spot on the money. The GFS and ACCESS R predicted heavy rain for the Western Peninsula region and by goodness they weren't wrong. The third model the ECMWF was half right, it too predicted the heavy rain in the West Peninsula but it was also predicting cataclysmic falls on the East coast between Cairns and Cooktown. That definitely didn't happen last night and this morning (so far). That's not to say we did...
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MODELS CONFUSED ABOUT WHO IS GETTING SMASHED TONIGHT

​Well just when you'd love computer models to make things clear for you as to who is getting the rain, they begin to disagree. (yes the title is talking about computer models and by smashed we mean rained on, so get your minds out of the gutter ;)  CURRENTLY We have a very active convective area in the SE Gulf and that extends southwards into NW Queensland. We also have an active convergent area off the coast between Cairns and Cooktown. Now all the modelling is showing the Gulf convective&...
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OVERNIGHT RAIN MUCH HEAVIER THAN FORECAST - PLENTY MORE TO COME

OVERNIGHT RAIN MUCH HEAVIER THAN FORECAST - PLENTY MORE TO COME
​WOW!!!! What a night, now we knew we were in for heavy rain overnight (see our previous blog) but not one computer model predicted it to be so heavy on the east coast. Let's take a look at some totals until 6AM this morning. Let's take it from the pointy bit and work our way southwards shall we? Horn Island 72mm Weipa 68mm Kowanyama a surprisingly low 13mm Palmerville 11mm Cooktown 203mm Daintree 205mm Cairns Airport 113mm Mareeba 46mm Tinaroo Dam 27mm Malanda 126mm Japoonvale 230mm Mission Bea...
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