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BOM issues cyclone advice for season

Luka Kauzlaric

THE Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a less active tropical cyclone season for Australia from November to April as El Niño patterns kick in.

Forecasters are also predicting the date of the first tropical cyclone to cross the coast will be later than average. In 'neutral' years, the average date of the first cyclone is the second week of January.

"On average, there are around 11 tropical cyclones each season, four of which cross the coast," reads the outlook. 

However, the bureau warns there are no guarantees and northern regions should make their preparations as normal.

"For instance, during the strong El Niño 1997-98, tropical cyclone Sid formed in late December near Darwin before moving into the Gulf of Carpentaria and weakening. The remnant low produced record, devastating floods two weeks later over northern Queensland."

The Australian tropical cyclone season runs from November 1 to April 30.

READ RELATED: Queenslanders warned to prepare for severe weather events

% Chance of more tropical cyclones than average
% Chance of more tropical cyclones than average Contributed: BOM

The outlook indicates that fewer tropical cyclones than average are likely in all regions for the 2015-16 season.

The Australian region has only a 9% chance of having more tropical cyclones than average, meaning a 91% chance of having fewer tropical cyclones than average. Typically, around 4 tropical cyclones cross the Australian coastline in a season. Outlook accuracy for the Australian region is high.

The Western region is most likely to experience fewer tropical cyclones than average this season, with a 25% chance of more tropical cyclones than average (meaning a 75% chance of fewer tropical cyclones than average). Typically between about 15% and 40% of tropical cyclones in the Western region will have an impact upon the coast. Outlook accuracy for the Western region is low.

The Northwestern sub-region is most likely to experience fewer tropical cyclones than average this season, with a 15% chance of more tropical cyclones than average and an 85% chance of fewer tropical cyclones than average. Typically, five cyclones form in or pass through this area each season. Around 40% of tropical cyclones in the Northwestern sub-region impact on the coast at some stage in their life cycle. Outlook accuracy in this region is moderate.

The Northern region is most likely to experience fewer tropical cyclones than average this season, with a 36% chance of more tropical cyclones than average; 64% chance of fewer tropical cyclones than average. In an average year the Northern region typically experiences three cyclones, and one or two tropical lows that later become cyclones after moving into the Western or Eastern regions. About three-quarters of the tropical cyclones in the Northern region impact the coast. Outlook accuracy in this region is very low.

The Eastern region is most likely to experience fewer tropical cyclones than average this season, with only a 27% chance of more than average; 73% chance of fewer than average. About a quarter of tropical cyclones in the Eastern region make landfall. Outlook accuracy in this region is low.

Topics:  cyclone editors picks el nino weather wildweather


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