Tropical Cyclone seasonal outlook for The Coral Sea

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Issued: Monday, 15 October 2012

Tropical cyclone outlook released, communities urged to prepare early

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued its tropical cyclone seasonal outlook today, reminding communities in Australia's northern coastal regions to prepare now for the coming wet season.

Bureau of Meteorology Climate Prediction Manager, Dr Andrew Watkins, said advances in the science of climate prediction allow us to accurately gauge the likelihood of above or below average tropical cyclone activity, and better inform severe weather planning.

"The overall outlook is for a return to near average, or slightly below average, tropical cyclone activity, but this does not mean we can afford to be complacent about the risks," said Dr Watkins.

"The tropical cyclone outlook uses key climate indicators to look at what the coming season may bring. Currently the climate is in neutral territory, meaning neither La Niña or El Niño conditions are present. Typically La Niña events are associated with more tropical cyclone activity, and El Niño with less," said Dr Watkins.

Queensland Regional Director, Rob Webb, said that with the cyclone season rapidly approaching, taking a few simple steps to prepare now can make a world of difference.

"The average number of cyclones sits around four in the Queensland region and although they don't all cross the coast, even the risk of a single cyclone or flood makes the preparation worthwhile," said Mr Webb.

"When it comes to flooding, Queensland has seen widespread activity in recent years, and while we don't expect the same extent of flooding this year, we can expect typical periodic flooding in parts of the state.

"Summer is a great time of year and we all look forward to it. Tropical cyclones and floods are part of the climate that comes with the warm, tropical Queensland weather. Enjoy the sunshine, but stay tuned for what the weather might bring, particularly when you're on holidays and in unfamiliar territory," said Mr Webb.

Emergency Management Queensland Assistant Director-General Bruce Grady said the release of the tropical cyclone outlook was a prime time for Queenslanders to ensure they were prepared.

"When disaster strikes, communities can be isolated, power can be cut and damaged roads and debris can prevent emergency services from reaching you. It is vital people ensure their emergency plans and emergency kits are up to date, their homes are prepared and they know how they can seek valuable information if required," said Mr Grady.

The Bureau of Meteorology Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre in Queensland operates out of the Brisbane Regional Office. Here specialist forecasters work around the clock with our emergency services partners to keep you informed.

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