Western Australia Seasonal Tropical Cyclone Outlook

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Issued: 30 January 2013

Updated tropical cyclone outlook - communities urged to stay prepared

The Bureau of Meteorology has today issued an updated tropical cyclone outlook for Western Australia for the next three months (February to April 2013).

As we pass the mid-point of the tropical cyclone season the Bureau and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) are urging people in the northwest not to become complacent.

Bureau of Meteorology WA Regional Manager for Severe Weather Services, Andrew Burton, said the second half of the season is often busier than the first and carries a higher chance of a severe tropical cyclone impact.

"Although the outlook for the first half of February is for a reduced risk of tropical cyclones, a level of threat still remains because about a quarter of our cyclones form during these quieter periods" said Mr Burton.

"By the end of February the tropical cyclone risk will increase, and we would expect to see at least one cyclone threaten the coast during March and early April" Mr Burton said. "Cyclones that form during this period are more likely to become severe tropical cyclones (Category 3 and above), so we often get our worst impacts in the second half of the season".

To date there have been three tropical cyclones off the northwest coast. Mitchell passed well to the west of Northwest Cape late in December, followed by Narelle which tracked parallel to the northwest coast in mid January. The only direct impact has been from Peta which hit the coast just east of Roebourne on 23 January as a Category 1 cyclone.

DFES is urging the community to act responsibly during and after a cyclone and know the community alerts system and the steps that must be taken for each.

DFES Chief Superintendent Robert Cox said everyone in a cyclone prone area needs to talk to their family about their cyclone plan.

"Make sure everyone knows what to do, particularly during a Red Alert when you need to take shelter immediately and stay indoors until the All Clear is given," Mr Cox said.

"We also urge people to have an emergency kit ready in case a cyclone strikes, including a first aid kit, torch, battery operated portable radio, spare batteries, water and non-perishable food."

Tropical cyclone outlook for the remainder of the season:

  • Lower than usual chance of a tropical cyclone affecting the northwest coast during the first half of February.
  • Cyclone risk to increase from the last week of February.
  • Likelihood of at least one more coastal impact, with a significant risk that it could be a severe tropical cyclone.

More information

Further enquires to:
Severe Weather Section, Bureau of Meteorology, Perth.
Ph. (08) 9263 2222;
email: sevwx_wa@bom.gov.au

Information on preparing for cyclones is available from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.