Tropical cyclone knowledge centre

Satellite photo of the north-west Australian coast. The eye of Tropical Cyclone Isla is north of Port Hedland, in the middle of a swirling mass of cloud. Beyond this, fragments of cloud scatter over the ocean and Australian continent.
Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Ilsa approaches the north-west Australian coast at 1:45 pm on 13 April 2023. Credit: NASA's Earth Observatory.

About tropical cyclones

Tropical cyclones are violent, spiralling wind and rain systems that threaten lives and property at sea and on land. They can cause disruption, damage and destruction far beyond the coast, including extensive flooding. These powerful storms are one of our climate influences.

Australia's most cyclone-prone area is the north-west coast between Broome and Exmouth. Tropical cyclones cross this coast more often than anywhere else around the continent. Other areas such as north Queensland and the Top End also get a high number of tropical cyclones.

We're part of an international network that forecasts and warns about tropical cyclones. On average, about 11 tropical cyclones form in the Australian region each season.

Australia's tropical cyclone season

Australia's tropical cyclone season runs from 1 November to 30 April. They can happen at other times in our region but this is rare.

Warning Australians about tropical cyclones

To help keep coastal communities safe, we:

  • keep a 24-hour watch on developing cyclones in our region
  • provide a tropical cyclones forecast for the 7 days ahead
  • deliver seasonal outlooks for Australia and the South Pacific
  • issue watches and warnings when a cyclone is expected to affect Australia's coast or territories.

Tropical cyclone warning services

Learn how we track tropical cyclones and warn communities.

Learn about warning services

Understanding cyclones

Discover how tropical cyclones form, how they are named, their categories and impact.

Learn about tropical cyclones

Predicting tropical cyclones

Learn how we forecast cyclone paths and predict cyclones in the Australian region.

Learn about forecasting tropical cyclones

Past tropical cyclones

Read about past tropical cyclones and learn about cyclone climatology.

Learn about past tropical cyclones