North Coast storm season shaping up to be dramatic one
STORM season has officially started and, according to the North Coast Storm Chasers, this summer could see many severe storms sweep across the Northern Rivers.
North Coast Storm Chasers founder Antonio Parancin said after a fairly mild storm season last summer, this year was shaping up to be severe, with the El Nino assisting.
"It can definitely affect storms, especially an El Nino this strong," he said.
"It has already exceeded the El Nino thresholds of the last big one in 1997-1998."
A lack of moisture was the key to a less severe storm season last summer.
"We did have a short burst of really good storms and that was due to the moisture that was available," Mr Parancin said.
"There were storms that turned really rainy because the moisture in the air was a lot higher than usual.
"Also it doesn't get as hot in La Nina because of the different trade winds, so the lack of heat helped to not get the storms as severe as a hot day would."
Yesterday's conditions were close to ideal for producing severe storms, Mr Parancin said.
"It's really clear and it's rather warm," he said.
"We didn't get a lot of those days last year, we got a lot of cloudy days.
"I think there's a good chance of seeing more severe storms this season because there's going to be a lot warmer weather than usual.
"At the same time the amount of moisture can also make or break a severe storm."
Relying on his portable weather station, radar and satellite images and climate modelling, Mr Parancin has been posting on Facebook about storms for more than three years.
In that time the North Coast Storm Chasers page has attracted more than 34,000 followers. "I recommend that people look at their favoured weather page to monitor storms or otherwise the Bureau of Meteorology website and radar," Mr Parancin said.