Chance of more: 56%
The typical South Pacific tropical cyclone season:
Chance of more: 56%
Chance of above average tropical cyclone (TC) activity
number of TCs*
|Whole South Pacific region||Near average||48%||15|
|Western region||Near average||56%||8|
|Eastern region||Near average||47%||11|
*averages may change when the dataset is updated.
This outlook is based upon the status of the El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) over the preceding July to September period. In 2013, neutral conditions were present during these months. In the absence of El Niño or La Niña (i.e., Neutral years), tropical cyclone numbers in the South Pacific region tend to be near average, though individual years can be above or below the long term mean.
The model has a high level of accuracy predicting cyclones in the western region , but less accuracy predicting cyclones in the eastern region. Regardless of the region or the skill of the statistical model, there is currently nothing in the broad climate drivers to suggest anything but a typical tropical cyclone season for the South Pacific region. This outlook is for the southern hemisphere tropical cyclone season which runs between 1 November and 30 April.
Related information: Tropical cyclone average conditions.
Before a tropical cyclone forms it is difficult to predict its exact strength and path, including whether it will make landfall. Tropical cyclones which remain out to sea can still cause storm surges, gales and areas of heavy/flooding rainfall over land.
Even after a tropical cyclone has passed, or has decayed below tropical cyclone strength, significant flooding may occur. The impacts of flooding may be more widespread than the area impacted by the cyclones damaging winds..
During the cyclone season, ensure you are well informed of any warnings from local agencies and instructions from local emergency services authorities.
Pacific tropical cyclones portal tracks since 1969
This outlook is produced using statistical relationships between tropical cyclone numbers and two indicators: the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and the Niño3.4 sea surface temperature index (NINO3.4 SST). These indicators provide a measure of the strength of the atmospheric and oceanic state, respectively.
The July, August and September SOI and NINO3.4 values were used in making the South Pacific tropical cyclone season outlook.
The current status of ENSO can be viewed via the Bureau's ENSO Wrap-up. Tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures have been in a neutral state since October 2012. This means that the sea surface temperature patterns in the Pacific are neither La Niña nor El Niño and is therefore not driving the South Pacific region toward significantly more or fewer tropical cyclones than average. As such, the forecast is suggesting a season closer to average.
This Outlook provides general guidance for the South Pacific region. For specific guidance for an individual country, please contact their National Meteorological and Hydrologic Service.
Map showing South Pacific tropical cyclone outlook regions.
|Whole South Pacific region||5° S||40° S||142.5° E||120° W|
|Western region||5° S||40° S||142.5° E||165° E|
|Eastern region||5° S||40° S||165° E||120° W|
Model: Kuleshov, Y., L. Qi, R. Fawcett and D. Jones, 2009: Improving preparedness to natural hazards: Tropical cyclone prediction for the Southern Hemisphere, in Advances in Geosciences, 12 Ocean Science, (Ed. Gan, J.), World Scientific Publishing, Singapore, 127-143.
Data: Kuleshov, Y., R. Fawcett, L. Qi, B. Trewin, D. Jones, J. McBride and H. Ramsay, 2010: Trends in tropical cyclones in the South Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean, Journal of Geophysical Research 115, D01101, doi:10.1029/2009JD012372.