There seems to be a debate going on in Australia as to how the Bureau of Meteorology dealt with, and passed on the weather forecast for the Queensland "supercell" storm to the general public.
On the 13th November I posted news of a Piers Corbyn "Red Warning" report ( Will the Sun repeat itself in the NEXT 10 Days?), and it contained news of a R4 period for the 16th to 17th November. Although these reports are not specific enough to pinpoint world loctions, I believe they are good enough to warn authorities about the potential of enhancements to storms.
As you will read below we now have a complaint pointed towards the Australian Bureau of Meteorology that they did not make ANY allowances for this storm to be a much bigger event then it was and that this was reflected by the number of staff who were there to help with information etc.
I'm not suggesting all of the worlds Bureau's of Meteorology (inc. the Met Office) should adhere to the information the Piers Corbyn has to offer. What I'm saying is in this respect, it may have been helpful to the residents of Queensland to have known that when advised of a "suprcell" storm coming there way, the Bureau of Meteorology could have also stated that the supercell storm may be enhanced by solar activity. The activity being from one of the biggest solar events of the year
THE Weather Bureau's Queensland chief says Saturday's superstorm didn't meet warning parameters after complaints it failed to issue timely alert - but they'll review weekend decisions.
Regional director Rob Webb said because it was an unusual event that happened early in the morning and that they didn't think it was going to be a severe event.
"It just blew up on the city," he told The Courier-Mail after the press conference.
Mr Webb said as the storm was approaching it didn't meet the Bureau's parameters for issuing a storm warning.
"You aim to put out warnings ahead of the weather but it's not always possible. The forecaster made a call that this one would stay under the parameters and pass through".
Mr Webb denied staffing was an issue and that they had six staffers on both Saturday and Sunday.
South-east Queensland residents who complained the storm took them by surprise complained on social media about the lack of warning and Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk today joined the criticism and called for a review of the bureau.
Cr Quirk said the forecasting was either a feast or a famine with few warnings issued on Saturday while dozens were issued on Sunday.
Mr Webb told ABC breakfast radio this morning he had full confidence in the team but would be reviewing the weekend's forecast decisions to learn from them.
"We review those decisions so we can learn to make best decisions for the next one. What we don't want to do is reach for the warning trigger for every thunderstorm" he said.
"We focus more attention on the point when a storm gets to the point where it gets to the point where it causes damage."
"We will go back and look at those decisions we made and we won't just be moving on. We'll be watching it closely."
Mr Webb said the Bureau watches the weather every six minutes, and would have been weighing up whether to issue a message "as the community [was] prepared already".
"There is a lot of messaging out in the community that the weather would be bad; we don't want to warn for every thunderstorm that would lead to complete complacency in the community," he said.
He said that the message he wanted to get out was that, even without the warnings from BOM, thunderstorms can be very dangerous.
"Once we are forecasting thunderstorms, people should be aware that they can change in their structure fairly quickly and really need to be keeping an eye on the environment, as well keeping an eye on our website for warnings," he said.
The Courier-Mail reported this morning that the Federal Government was warned a year ago the Bureau was "at the limit of its human capacity" to provide an extreme weather forecasting and warning service.
But it has so far provided less than $5 million in this year's Budget to boost frontline staff numbers, which have fallen by almost 42 per cent in a decade, according to an Environment Department-commissioned review of the bureau.
It is not known if staffing levels were the reason the bureau failed to issue any specific warning about the freak storm that smashed into Brisbane's inner suburbs late morning on Saturday - but calls continued yesterday for a proper please-explain.
The front of Saturday's freak storm smashed into the inner northern suburbs about 10.30am. Twenty minutes later, the bureau issued its first specific storm warning.
By then the front of the storm had passed over the inner-western suburbs and the central business district and was almost at the coast.
The Courier-Mail yesterday contacted the bureau's Queensland regional director Rob Webb direct on his mobile phone, but he referred the inquiry to a spokeswoman - who first complained about having to work on the weekend - and then reissued a statement issued Saturday.
That statement said it was "difficult to predict in detail" what would happen with particular storm cells, and that the freak event had only started to show signs of severe storm characteristics as it approached the central business district.
It said: "The Bureau of Meteorology doesn't aim to issue warnings for every thunderstorm, but uses thresholds to ensure there isn't complacency in the community due to over-warning."
That threshold includes expected winds over 90km/h, hailstones bigger than 2cm, and very heavy rainfall.
Nevertheless, following the criticism of its lack of action on Saturday the bureau was in warning overdrive yesterday - issuing dozens of warnings throughout the day as storms rolled across the southeast.
Despite nobody from the bureau being willing to talk to The Courier-Mail yesterday, Dr Richard Wardle from the bureau managed to make himself available to speak on-camera to Channel 7 last night.
Dr Wardle said: "(On Saturday morning) we were tracking the system well out to the west and Darling Downs and it just - I won't use the word exploded - but it developed rapidly over a few minutes."
Ipswich city councillor Paul Tully accused the bureau of having been "asleep on the job" on Saturday morning. He had managed to warn of the storm on his Facebook page at 10.21am - nearly 30 minutes before the bureau's warning.
Other critics inundated the bureau's Facebook page on Saturday asking why there had been no warning until after the event. The bureau did not respond to their concerns.
Weatherwatch's Anthony Cornelius yesterday said it was "unfortunate" there had been no specific warning issued, and that he would have issued a warning when it hit Gatton, just before 10am." In my opinion there was definitely grounds for that storm to be warned," Mr Cornelius said.
Jeff Higgins from Higgins Storm Chasing said the bureau's strict adherence to its warning "threshold" made it difficult for residents to be alerted in time.
The bureau came under fire during last year's floods after it failed to issue a flood warning for the hardest-hit town of Grantham until 4.16pm, more than an hour after the disaster. A second top priority flash flood warning came at 5pm.
Mr Cornelius, a meteorologist, had predicted devastating flash flooding hours earlier and at the time questioned why the bureau had failed to make a similar prediction.
- additional reporting Robert Macdonald and Sophie Elsworth
Click above heraldsun.com.au link for more [VIDEOS]
A GIANT waterspout that developed off NSW's south coast may be one of the largest ever caught on camera in Australia.
The towering twister appeared off Batemans Bay on Sunday afternoon and spectacular images of the swirling, dark grey vortex rapidly spread around the world via social media sites.
Bureau of Meteorology severe weather forecaster Mick Logan said the waterspout, which lasted about 20 minutes, attracted so much attention because it was particularly well-formed and intense.
"It's the most intense that I've seen off the NSW coast," he told AAP....click dailytelegraph.com.au for more