Learn more about tropical cyclones and the Bureau's tropical cyclone warnings services from our videos and blog posts.
Learn more through our videos
Articles about tropical cyclones from the Bureau's blog.
14 May 2020
Tropical cyclones are one of nature's fiercest phenomena, and also one of its most fascinating. The intricacies of these spiralling wind and rain systems are almost enough to make your head spin! Here our meteorologists answer some of your common questions about tropical cyclones.
18 October 2019
Eleven tropical cyclones form (on average) in the warm tropical waters around northern Australia each year. They bring with them extraordinary weather, including gale-force winds and heavy rainfall, and can cause serious destruction and devastation. So, how and where do they begin and what's needed for one to 'spin up'?
22 May 2019
An East Coast Low (ECL) is an intense low pressure system that causes severe weather over much of Australia's eastern seaboard, and the Tasman and Coral seas. ECLs hog the headlines, but where strong low pressure systems in the east are concerned, they're far from the only game in town. So, what exactly is an ECL—and what else is out there?
22 March 2019
It's 20 years ago today that severe tropical cyclone Vance tore across Western Australia's Pilbara coast near Exmouth. Vance still holds the record for the highest wind gust ever recorded on the Australian mainland. So how did this storm evolve from humble beginnings in the Timor Sea near Darwin to become one of Australia's most powerful cyclones?
12 January 2018
The eastern United States experienced a very severe winter storm last week, which caused damaging winds, heavy snow and the highest tide on record for Boston. Meteorologists call this type of storm a 'bomb cyclone', or simply a 'bomb'. But what is it?
14 January 2016
Tropical cyclones are named to help with communication about these dangerous storms. Names also raise the profile of the cyclone, heightening public awareness and reducing confusion if multiple cyclones occur at the same time. So, how do cyclones get their names?
05 November 2015
Always wanted to know your tropical cyclones from your typhoons? Your tornadoes from your twisters? It might be simpler than you think.
19 November 2012
Over warm tropical oceans, a cluster of thunderstorms can start rotating around a common centre, due to the earth's rotation. If the conditions are just right, this process can sustain itself and create a tropical cyclone. At this stage, the tropical cyclone is like a giant, atmospheric heat engine. The moisture from the warm oceans is its fuel, generating huge amounts of energy.
02 November 2015
Storm surges are powerful ocean movements caused by wind action and low pressure on the ocean's surface. This raises the sea level and strong winds at the coast that can create large waves, enhancing the impact. These types of events can swamp low-lying areas, sometimes for kilometres inland.
05 November 2015
Tropical cyclones are usually defined as low-pressure systems that form over warm, tropical waters. To an ordinary person, this definition makes them sound almost innocuous, but as anyone who has witnessed a cyclone knows, this is far from the case. They are violent, spiralling wind and rain systems that can wreak havoc at sea and on land, causing extensive flooding and foreshore erosion, wind damage and loss of property and life.
17 December 2014
Tropical cyclone forecasting has come an extremely long way in the four decades since cyclone Tracy – and Australia benefits from some of the best scientific and technological resources in the business.
24 May 2017
Tropical cyclones can have savage effects as they cross the coastline, with the potential for torrential rain, flooding and destructive wind gusts to cause widespread damage to property and infrastructure. But they start life at sea and the interaction between cyclones and the ocean can be just as ferocious.
05 April 2017
If you don’t live in Australia’s tropical zone, you might think tropical cyclones need only concern northerners—but it’s not quite as simple as that. While our tropics are most prone to the direct impact of tropical cyclones, they or their effects can be felt as far south as Perth on the west coast, and across the border into New South Wales on the east coast.
23 December 2014
Three Bureau forecasters look back on a night that shook up their lives—and left an indelible mark on their careers.
10 December 2014
When tropical cyclone Tracy crossed Darwin in the early hours of Christmas Day 1974, thousands of people’s lives were instantly and irrevocably changed—and a new chapter was born in Australian history.
20 November 2012
If you lived in Western Australia you could be forgiven for thinking that a tropical cyclone in Queensland was nothing to worry about. But in March 2005, tropical cyclone Ingrid changed all that. It made the record books by crossing three State and Territory coastlines as a severe tropical cyclone.
19 November 2012
The formation of a cyclone or two at one time isn't a far-fetched thought, yet six at one time can be far more than a handful or two.