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. 

RAINBAND MOVES THROUGH EASTERN QLD TODAY AND TONIGHT

What started as a weak trough near the Kimberley of W.A almost a week ago is now motoring eastwards through Queensland and dumping light to moderate falls of rain as it goes. Rainfall totals until 9AM today have been quite low due to a drier low level atmosphere which is not creating much uplift of moisture from the surface despite the strong forcing of a southerly change ahead of the trough.  ​Become an OCC subscriber today to access our Weather Centre and watch the band push through live ...
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WEAK TROPICAL LOW TO FORM ON TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY

​Another weak Tropical LOW is set to form or enter in the Western Australian Cyclone region this coming week. The LOW is expected to form near the South Coast of Indonesia on Tuesday and then drift south as the week progresses. The system is very unlikely to intensify into a Tropical Cyclone, however computer models indicate that as it drifts south and weakens, it could feed tropical moisture south-eastwards onto the Western Australian coastline. Early indications are that it could bec...
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SPECTACULAR RAIN AND STORMS ACROSS THE TOP END BRING THE BUILD UP TO LIFE

SPECTACULAR RAIN AND STORMS ACROSS THE TOP END BRING THE BUILD UP TO LIFE
Storms like the one pictured above from Jaco Venter show us how spectacular the build up can be across the Northern Territory's Top End region. A trough system has further enhanced the usually isolated build up storm activity. The trough system will clear the Top End coast tomorrow and weather conditions should stabilise and become drier across the region as SE winds take hold.  Through next week we should see very isolated showers and storms across coastal and adjacent inland sections...
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WEATHER CENTRE 2.0 DEVELOPMENT UPDATE - ECMWF Model Testing

Hot on the heels of our major release of the new Weather Centre, today we begin trialing some graphics from the ECMWF computer model internally to see how we can add them to the WC over the next few weeks. So far so good, everything works Check out some of the first created images below.  Currently the range of graphics tested includes MSLP, 500Hpa thickness Winds at 850Hpa and the temperature at 850Hpa. Once we establish that these charts are operating smoothly, we'll release them on ...
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HE'S A BIGGIE - CAT 5 HAIMA ABOUT TO PUMMEL THE NORTHERN PHILIPPINES

HE'S A BIGGIE - CAT 5 HAIMA ABOUT TO PUMMEL THE NORTHERN PHILIPPINES
​Mesmerising, beautiful but potentially deadly would be the best way to describe Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Haima as he approaches the Philippines Northern coastline. Haima is expected to hit the Philippines northern coastline tonight with wind gusts to 175 knots possible (324km/hr). The silver lining (if there is one) as far as the local population is concerned is that this area of the Philippines tends to be reasonably unpopulated.  Become an Oz Cyclone Chasers Eyewall member a...
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MAJOR TROUGH TO DUMP RAIN ACROSS LARGE PARTS OF AUSTRALIA

A major trough system will begin forming near the Northern Kimberley tomorrow. The trough system will remain slow moving through tomorrow and Thursday before an Upper level system amplifies and whisks it eastwards quickly beginning Friday. The trough is expected to produce widespread showers and storms across the country east of a line from Broome to the SA/WA border. Indications are that the system will make it to Queensland on Sunday. With some of the heaviest rain expected to fall around...
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RAIN AND STORMS ACROSS SOUTH-EAST QLD AND THE SE GULF

Some nice falls from a line of storms occurred in SE QLD, Wide Bay and Southern Capricornia yesterday evening and overnight while earlier in the day some good falls also occurred in the SE Gulf of Carpentaria as a trough line pushed through the area.  Some notable falls in SE/CQ Queensland included ​Miriam Vale - 29mm Cedar Pocket Dam - 26mm Milton - 30mm Mungungo Weir - 33mm Most southern suburbs of Brisbane 10-15mm, Northern suburbs 2-10mm The heaviest southern falls were from t...
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STORMS LIKELY TODAY ACROSS PARTS OF QUEENSLAND

​Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms are likely to form this afternoon/evening in and around the areas of purple on this map from the OCC Weather Centre V2.0. The Severe Weather Threat Index below shows that we have a small chance of seeing these storms becoming severe with damaging winds the most likely severe element due to strong low and mid level environmental winds. Access all the cool imagery shown on this page as well as plenty more information through daily weather vid...
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TROPICAL CYCLONE HAIMA EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN AND APPROACH THE PHILIPPINES OR TAIWAN

Straight after the Philippines endured the impact of a very high Cat 3 this morning, the Northernmost section of the country is preparing for what could be a real monster. Tropical Cyclone Haima is gradually intensifying near Yap (Micronesia) and tracking in a WNW direction. the system is expected to continue intensifying under the influence of weak vertical wind shear and strong outflow. Expectations are that this system will achieve high end Category 4 or 5 status over the ...
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PROOF - TOWNSVILLE DOES GET STORMS

A big thank you to Graeme Stokes who flew himself over to watch the Townsville air show on the weekend. He has given us concrete proof that the local Townsville area does get storms. Watch this little beauty fire up on Thursday evening on the outskirts of the city as Graeme was coming in to land.  The Royal Australian Air Force air show was held yesterday to celebrate Townsville's 150th anniversary. The RAAF base opened its gates today and let the public in for an open day. People...
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SHOWERS AND STORMS ACROSS MANY PARTS OF QUEENSLAND TOMORRROW

The strong frontal system pushing through Adelaide right now (check out images below) will extend a trough east and north into Queensland tomorrow. The system will bring with it widespread showers and isolated storms embedded in a line that tracks rapidly eastwards through the day. The trough should clear the SE coast district tomorrow evening. Higher resolution modelling is showing some reasonably heavy falls of rain inland of Bundaberg with this system. Activity is expected to be widespread so...
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TROPICAL CYCLONE SARIKA TO HIT PHILIPPINES

Category Three Tropical Cyclone Sarika (on our Aussie scale) will hit the Philippines overnight tonight near the city of Baler (population 40000). Computer models show Baler residents could experience winds gusting to almost 90 knots as the system passes by between 2 and 6AM (QLD time)  The system is expected to dump very heavy rain particularly north of its track forecast. Storm surge north of the forecast track is also a strong threat.  Gain access to our amazing ...
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Featured

OZ CYCLONE CHASERS WEATHER CENTRE 2.0 OUT NOW

OZ CYCLONE CHASERS WEATHER CENTRE 2.0 OUT NOW
G'day folks the day has arrived. The new Oz Cyclone Chasers Weather Centre Version 2 has been released. Become your own weather forecaster with the Oz Cyclone Chasers Weather Centre Version 2.0. This is a great little intro video to the capabilities of our new meteorological analysis and forecasting tool useable by anyone no matter what your weather knowledge is. Version 2 allows you to become your own weather forecaster. It contains major enhancements to version 1 allowing you access to ex...
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CHRISTMAS ISLAND TROPICAL LOW OBLITERATES RAIN RECORDS - STILL A SMALL CHANCE OF BECOMING A TC

Christmas Island is breaking all sorts of records these past 48 hours. A Tropical LOW that has been lingering on the edge of the Western Australian Area Of Responsibility near Christmas Island remains a small chance of developing further particularly in the next 12-24 hours according to the Bureau's WA Cyclone Outlook.  ​Become an Oz Cyclone Chasers subscriber today and access enhanced cyclone information and forecasts across season 2016/2017 along with access to our soon - to - be rel...
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IT'S A CYCLONIC LOVE STORY TO RIVAL 'THE NOTEBOOK'

​Hot on the heels of Matthew impacting Haiti, Cuba and the East coast of the USA, Tropical Cyclone Nicole has been biding her time waiting for her partner to do his worst and is now ready to reunite with him in Meteorological Paradise. The cyclone has been present almost since Matthew was born, Nicole has waited patiently while her main man Matthew took charge. Now with Matthew's dying breath of wind, he has created a trough system that will clear the way for his me...
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LOW FORMS NEAR INDONESIA, EXPECTED TO DEEPEN AND ENTER AUSTRALIAN WATERS

​This afternoon, computer models and the Indonesian Met Office along with our Aussie BoM analysed the position of a Tropical LOW off the SW coast of Indonesia near 8S 105E. The LOW is expected to slowly deepen while moving in a southerly direction during Wednesday and Thursday into the Australian region. From late Friday the LOW is expected to halt its southward progression and then push to the west. Computer models indicate that 100mm - 200mm could fall on Christmas Island a...
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FINALLY SOME SHOWERS AND STORMS ON THE WAY

Across Queensland after such a hectic September weather wise we've encountered a real lull in interesting weather in October. Now we're not expecting major things later this week, but it will be nice to see some showers and isolated thunderstorms forming across Central Queensland beginning tomorrow and then pushing northwards into Northern Queensland on Thursday. The stuff tomorrow won't be remarkable but hey at least it's something. The dry air around will keep rainfalls from these storms ...
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THE QUEENSLAND BOM CYCLONE OUTLOOK

THE QUEENSLAND BOM CYCLONE OUTLOOK
Tropical Cyclone Outlook indicates a more active cyclone season ahead for Queensland. This has been taken from  http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/outlooks/seasonal/qld.shtml For further information please check out the following OFFICIAL links Further information: Bureau of Meteorology Tropical Cyclone Outlook - http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/cyclones/australia/ Surviving Cyclones: Preparation and Safety Procedures - http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/about/checklist.shtml About Tropical Cyclones - h...
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OZ CYCLONE CHASERS - WA WEATHER UPDATE OCTOBER 10 2016

OZ CYCLONE CHASERS - WA WEATHER UPDATE  OCTOBER 10 2016
​A Tropical LOW forms off Indonesia shortly, it will push south and deepen slightly as it enters the Western Australian Area Of Responsibility in the vicinity of Christmas Island. That is the primary topic of today's WA weather video. We take a look at how temps heat up as the week progresses too.  To gain access to daily weather videos for Queensland, NT and WA along with weather graphics shown here, please consider becoming an Oz Cyclone Chasers Subscriber and supporting ou...
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OZ CYCLONE CHASERS - NT WEATHER UPDATE - OCTOBER 10 2016

OZ CYCLONE CHASERS - NT WEATHER UPDATE - OCTOBER 10 2016
​We take a look at the Territory today and more importantly overnight tonight and tomorrow as shower and storm potential do increase during the overnight hours and tomorrow afternoon. Furthermore we take a look at Thursday as well which has the potential to be another interesting one. To gain access to daily weather videos for Queensland, NT and WA along with weather graphics shown here, please consider becoming an Oz Cyclone Chasers Subscriber and supporting our documentary efforts at www.ozcyc...
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