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This summer’s cyclone forecast

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This summer we are expecting less tropical cyclones thanks to what is known as the El Niño weather cycle which is currently occurring in Australia. This effect causes the number of cyclones to reduce compared with the historical average.

This is what the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has revealed for the recast for the 2015-2016 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.

·  In a regional breakdown, the BOM note that the Western region of Australia has a 75% chance of fewer cyclones while the Northwest sees an 85% chance of fewer storms.

·  The Northern region has a 64% chance of avoiding historical averages while the Eastern region is similarly placed with a 74% chance of fewer than average cyclones.

It is possible Queensland may not get any cyclones this summer. Historical averages show 11 cyclones occurring over the full season, with 4 tropical cyclones crossing the Australian coastline, but the El Niño cycle does not mean cyclones will disappear entirely but much less are expected.

The cyclone season is considered to be November to April. The strong El Niño in the tropical Pacific Ocean is expected to continue into 2016, and typically delays the date of the first cyclone to cross the Australian coast.

El Niño is usually associated with fewer cyclones and a later start to the season, but there has never been a cyclone season without at least one tropical cyclone crossing the Australia coast.

With lower than average numbers expected, the outlook does warn those living in cyclone-affected regions to still prepare for cyclone season as the disastrous effects of under preparation are well-known.

Even small cyclones have had a devastating effect on our communities. In January 2013, Oswald caused major flooding for virtually the entire Queensland coast as it tracked steadily south as an ex-tropical cyclone, or tropical low.

So still be prepared for Cyclones but hopefully the risks will be lower while we remain in El Nino. For the BOM report read here

Last changed: Oct 22 2015 at 3:50 PM

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