El Niño likely to reduce cyclones

12 Oct, 2015 09:54 AM
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El Niño typically reduces the number of coastal crossings

A STRONG El Nino is expected to reduce the number of tropical cyclones in Australia for the 2015-16 cyclone season.

The Australian tropical cyclone season runs from November 1 to April 30.

In its 2015–16 Australian tropical cyclone season outlook released today, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) says during El Niño seasons, the average date of the first tropical cyclone to cross the coast - which is the second week of January - is later than during neutral years.

BoM reports that El Niño typically reduces the number of coastal crossings, but at least one tropical cyclone has crossed the Australian coast each cyclone season since reliable records began in the 1970s.

It says northern Australian coastal regions should still prepare for the cyclone season.

BoM says on average, there are around eleven tropical cyclones each season, four of which cross the coast.

However, tropical cyclones can still significantly impact coastal communities even when cyclones remain well offshore.

"While El Niño shifts the odds towards both fewer cyclones and a later first cyclone coastal crossing of the season, it does not guarantee this will always occur," the BoM report states.

"For instance, during the strong El Niño 1997–98, tropical cyclone Sid formed in late December near Darwin before moving into the Gulf of Carpentaria and weakening.

"The remnant low produced record, devastating floods two weeks later over northern Queensland."

The outlook indicates that fewer tropical cyclones than average are likely in all regions for the 2015–16 season.

The Australian region has only a 9 per cent chance of having more tropical cyclones than average, meaning a 91pc chance of having fewer tropical cyclones than average.

The Western region is most likely to experience fewer tropical cyclones than average this season, with a 25pc chance of more tropical cyclones than average (meaning a 75pc chance of fewer tropical cyclones than average). Typically between about 15pc and 40pc of tropical cyclones in the Western region will have an impact upon the coast.

The Northwestern sub-region is most likely to experience fewer tropical cyclones than average this season, with a 15pc chance of more tropical cyclones than average and an 85pc chance of fewer tropical cyclones than average.

Typically, five cyclones form in or pass through this area each season. Around 40pc of tropical cyclones in the Northwestern sub-region impact on the coast at some stage in their life cycle.

The Northern region is most likely to experience fewer tropical cyclones than average this season, with a 36pc chance of more tropical cyclones than average; 64pc chance of fewer tropical cyclones than average.

In an average year the Northern region typically experiences three cyclones, and one or two tropical lows that later become cyclones after moving into the Western or Eastern regions. About three-quarters of the tropical cyclones in the Northern region impact the coast.

The Eastern region is most likely to experience fewer tropical cyclones than average this season, with only a 27pc chance of more than average - 73pc chance of fewer than average. About a quarter of tropical cyclones in the Eastern region make landfall.

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Sorry did i get it wrong..? Rankins Springs is still open..?!
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No doubt a few frosted Freddies out there who will wish they had taken a closer look at the AGC
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Matthew, I was wondering if you had followed up this story with the farmer after the whole