Tropical Cyclone seasonal outlook for The Coral Sea


Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

Queelslanders encouraged to Get Ready for extreme weather.

Issued at 4:10 pm EST on Thursday 31 October 2019.

Below average number of tropical cyclones expected for the Coral Sea Region.

With the storm season on the horizon, Queenslanders are being urged to prepare for extreme weather as part of Get Ready Queensland Week.

The week was launched in Brisbane on 14 Oct and ran until 19 October, coinciding with the release of the Bureau of Meteorology's Tropical Cyclone Outlook for 2019-20 season.

Computer models suggest the odds are favouring a below average number of tropical cyclones, but this is not a signal that Queensland residents should be complacent, as it only takes one tropical cyclone to significantly impact a community, such as was the case with Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie in 2017.

Bureau's head of long-range forecasts, Dr Andrew Watkins was quick to point out that the risk from cyclones was always high.

"We've never had a tropical cyclone season without at least one cyclone crossing the coast. This means that despite a reduced risk this season, all communities in northern Australia must be ready," Dr Watkins said.

"Even if cyclones stay well out to sea, they can still pose a significant risk to property and lives through strong winds, intense rain and flooding, and storm surges."

Bureau of Meteorology State Manager Bruce Gunn said although severe weather can occur at any time in Queensland, October to April is the peak time for heatwaves, flooding, tropical cyclones and severe thunderstorms.

Bushfires and early season heatwaves will likely be the main hazard in Queensland for the remainder of 2019, with isolated occurrences of the usual severe thunderstorms, particularly in the south-east, Mr Gunn said.

However, parts of Queensland will undoubtedly also experience major flooding or a tropical cyclone before the end of the 2019-2020 season.

The projected absence of any strong climatic influence of El Nino or La Nina indicates an average to slightly below average number of tropical cyclones in the Australian region, but it only takes one cyclone to cross the coast for it to be a significant season.

The main message the Bureau would like to convey to everyone in Queensland is to know your weather and know your risk to be ready to act and stay safe.

Summary of the Tropical Cyclone Seasonal Outlook for the Eastern Region (ie. the Coral Sea and the Tasman Sea):

* For the 2019-20 season, there is ~40% chance of more than average or ~60% chance of fewer than average tropical cyclones in the Coral Sea region.

* In an average season, the Eastern Region has around four tropical cyclones

* Any tropical cyclone in the Eastern Region has a one in four chance of crossing the eastern Australian coastline.

Further information: