Tropical Cyclone seasonal outlook for The Coral Sea


Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

Typical tropical cyclone season expected for Queensland in 2017-18

Issued at 1:18 pm EST on Thursday 12 October 2017.

Typical number of cyclones likely for Australia

A typical number of tropical cyclones are likely to form in the Australian region this season. The season, which runs from November to April, typically sees between 10 and 13 cyclones in Australian waters, with around four of these crossing the coast. Australia has always seen at least one tropical cyclone cross the coast each season.

This outlook is influenced by:

* ENSO-neutral to weak La Nina-like conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean, and

* slightly warmer-than-average ocean temperatures to the north and east of Australia.

During ENSO-neutral years, the first tropical cyclone to make landfall over Australia typically occurs in late December. In La Nina years, the first cyclone landfall typically occurs earlier, around the first week of December.

Tropical cyclones that do not make landfall can still have a significant impact on coastal communities, through heavy rainfall, storm surges, and large waves.

Summary of the Tropical Cyclone Seasonal Outlook for Queensland

A 54% chance of an above average number of tropical cyclones in the Coral Sea (average number is 4).

* In a typical year the Eastern Region experiences around four cyclones.

* On average, one cyclone crosses the coast.

* The outlook accuracy for the Eastern Region is low.

During the 2016-17 season, severe tropical cyclone Debbie showed that it only takes one landfalling cyclone to create a devastating impact on local communities.

The release of the Tropical Cyclone Season Outlook for 2017-18 marks the start of severe weather public awareness campaigns in northern Australia. Residents in northern coastal regions are being reminded to prepare now for the coming season.

Tropical cyclones are low pressure systems that form over warm tropical waters and have at least gale force winds (sustained winds of 63 km per hour and gusts of 90 km per hour or more) near their centre. Even tropical cyclones well offshore can have significant impacts on coastal areas. High winds, storm surges and large waves can create dangerous conditions.

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