USQ leads leads study to develop better early warning forecasts for severe storms

By Fidelis Rego

Posted February 25, 2015 13:46:10

Researchers at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) have begun a study looking at improving the way authorities can predict the severity of storms.

They have begun collecting radar images and data from cells in major urban areas like the south-east from as far back as the year 2000.

USQ’s Dr Justin Peter said they hoped to get a better understanding of why some storms could be destructive.

“Storms are highly unpredictable by their nature but yes the more information you get from looking at observations, the more observations too that you’re able to feed in to the numerical models, the better these forecasts do get,” he said.

Dr Peter said they had been given access to the weather bureau’s CP2 radar which provided the most in-depth analysis of storm cells.

“But it enables us to look deep inside the clouds and the storms and determine whether, for instance, rain or hail is present and the severity of the hail,” he said.

He said they plan to do case studies on storms that devastated parts of Brisbane in November last year and in 2008.

He is hoping the study will improve storm warning forecasts for urban areas.

Topics: weather, disasters-and-accidents, toowoomba-4350

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