Tropical Cyclone Outlook for northwest Australia 2015-16

Monday, 12 October 2015

The Bureau of Meteorology today issued its Tropical Cyclone Outlook for 2015-16.

Western Australia 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.

"It only takes one tropical cyclone to change your life and community. If you live in a cyclone prone area, you need to prepare. Coastal communities between Broome and Exmouth face the highest cyclone risk in Australia," said Mr Santos.

"Weather hazards associated with cyclones include storm surge flooding, destructive winds, inland flooding from heavy rain and high seas and heavy swells.”

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.” This was highlighted last season when Severe Tropical Cyclone Olwyn devastated coastal parts of the Gascoyne, including Carnarvon and Coral Bay. These areas hadn't had a significant cyclone impact for many decades.

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. This includes securing all items outside such as your boat, caravan or trailer.”

Summary of the Tropical Cyclone Outlook for Western Australia:

  • An 85% chance of a below average number (15% chance of an above 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:

Further enquires to: Severe Weather Section
Severe Weather Section, Bureau of Meteorology, Perth.
Information on preparing for cyclones and floods is available from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services: