The Bureau of Meteorology’s 2018-19 Tropical Cyclone Outlook released this morning shows fewer tropical cyclones than usual are likely for the coming cyclone season from October through to April 2019.
While the outlook points to a slightly lower than average number of cyclones, Australia has never never had a season on record without at least one cyclone crossing the coast, Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist Greg Browning said.
On average Australia sees 11 cyclones in its region in every season with 4 coastal crossings.
“And as many communities in northern Australia unfortunately know, it only takes one cyclone to cause widespread damage,” Mr Browning said.
“Even cyclones that don’t reach the coast can still have a significant impact through heavy rainfall, storm surges and large waves.”
One of the key factors influencing the below-average outlook is neutral to weak El Niño conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
“However, cyclone formation is rarely spread evenly throughout the season with quiet periods often followed by periods of higher activity.
“We’ve already seen an early season cyclone in the Fijian area of responsibility, the first recorded in September in their region.”
While cyclones are one of the key concerns during the coming months, there are also the threats of bushfires, heatwaves, thunderstorms and flooding rain.
Based on current and predicted future conditions there is an increased likelihood of bushfire activity and heat waves throughout parts of eastern and southern Australia, while the chances of widespread flooding events are less likely. The risk of thunderstorm activity remains average.
“Australia’s weather can change quickly and the best way to minimize the impacts is by being prepared.”
Source: Bureau of Meteorology. The Bureau’s 2018-19 Cyclone Outlook can be accessed here http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/cyclones/australia/
The Bureau has also recorded a video news release with Greg Browning which can be accessed here.
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