Western Australia Seasonal Tropical Cyclone Outlook

Monday, 13 October 2014

Tropical Cyclone Outlook for northwest Australia 2014-15

The Bureau of Meteorology today issued its Tropical Cyclone Outlook for 2014-15, reminding northwest communities to prepare now for the wet season.

Western Australia Acting Regional Manager of Severe Weather, Bradley Santos, said with the wet season rapidly approaching, it is important that residents begin preparations for the start of the season on 1 November, and remain prepared throughout the season.

"Every season brings the risk of wind damage, storm surge, flooding and being cut off from food and basic resources, and there is simply no room for complacency. Coastal communities between Broome and Exmouth face the highest cyclone risk in Australia," said Mr Santos.

"At this early stage, the Bureau cannot predict the likely path or intensity of any individual cyclone. Northwest communities need to be aware of the latest tropical cyclone and flood forecasts throughout the season."

Mr Santos said climate models are indicating a below average number of tropical cyclones this season, however he cautioned that the number of tropical cyclones is not a good indicator of the threat to communities.

"For most people, a bad season is one when their community cops a direct hit or suffers a major flood, regardless of the total number of cyclones."

Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Country Assistant Commissioner, Graham Swift, said now was the time for people to prepare for the coming wet season.

“If you live in the State’s northwest preparing your family and your home for the upcoming cyclone and flood season is your responsibility,” Assistant Commissioner Swift said. “Preparations can be as simple as cleaning up and securing loose items around the home, trimming trees and preparing an emergency kit that includes a portable battery operated radio.”

Summary of the Tropical Cyclone Outlook for Western Australia:
• A 38% chance of an above average number (62% chance of a below average number) of tropical cyclones in waters off the northwest coast (average number is five).
• Likelihood of around two coastal impacts.
• Significant risk of at least one severe tropical cyclone coastal impact during the season.

More information:
• Tropical cyclone warnings and information: www.bom.gov.au/cyclone
• National Tropical Cyclone Outlook: www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/tc.shtml
• WA rainfall and river conditions: www.bom.gov.au/wa/flood/
• Visit the DFES website for more information on preparing for cyclones and floods: www.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/cyclone/Pages/publications.aspx

Further enquires to: Severe Weather Section
Email: sevwx_wa@bom.gov.au
Severe Weather Section, Bureau of Meteorology, Perth.
Information on preparing for cyclones and floods is available from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services: http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/