Wild summer weather forecast for CQ - Higgins Storm Chasing

SEVERE storms, scorching heatwaves and dust storms could all be in store for Central Queensland in the next few months, according to Higgins Storm Chasing (HSC).

The Brisbane-based social media weather reporters yesterday released a long-range storm season outlook for September 1 to December 31 favouring an increased chance of severe storms, heatwaves and dust storm activity over Central Queensland due to a hotter, drier climate pattern.

HSC's prediction is based off current El Niño patterns which are now forecast to be significantly strong, possibly equalling that of 1997-1998, one of the hottest summers in Australian history.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology confirmed all international climate models surveyed suggest El Niño, which is associated with reduced rainfall, warmer temperatures, a shift in temperature extremes, reduced tropical cyclone numbers and increased fire danger in south-east Australia, will persist until early 2016.

HSC forecast a high chance of more frequent severe storms with damaging winds, lightning and large hail, as well as a higher threat of heavy rain and flash flooding.

"This forecast is worrying for drought-declared areas with a higher potential of worsening drought conditions," HSC said.

El Niño

 Reduced rainfall, warmer temperatures, shift in temperature extremes, increased frost risk, reduced tropical cyclone numbers, later monsoon onset, increased fire danger in south-east Australia and decreased alpine snow depths.

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