CYCLONE MARCIA: An uprooted tree in Lions Park next to the Burnett River in North Bundaberg.
Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
CYCLONE MARCIA: An uprooted tree in Lions Park next to the Burnett River in North Bundaberg. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott BUN210215UPROOTED1

Bureau says we're in for a more active cyclone season

THE Bureau of Meteorology has released its annual cyclone outlook and it seems the state could be in for some wild weather with the possibility of an above average cyclone season.

The predictions are being based on neutral to weak La Nina conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean and warmer than average ocean temperatures to the north and east of Australia.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster James Thomson said Queenslanders should be prepared for the cyclone season starting in November.

"We're forecasting an average to above average season,” he said.

"Typically in December we see the first cyclone but our cyclone season is November to April so we can expect anything from November and we have even seen some past April.”

Mr Thomson said it wasn't possible to put an exact number on how many cyclones could be coming or whether they would make landfall.

"The average is four,” he said.

Last week, Higgins Storm Chasing put a number on how many storms they expected to hit Australia in the 2016/17 season, predicting 11 cyclones overall.

Queensland is forecast, according to Higgins, to be hit by five cyclones, two of which will be greater than a category three (severe).

The season will be in stark contrast to a relatively mild cyclone season last year when just three formed during the season.

Only one made landfall, with Tropical Cyclone Stan crossing Western Australia's Pilbara Coast as a Category 2 system.

"It is highly unlikely Australia will see a cyclone season as quiet this year,” Bureau of Meteorology climate prediction services manager Dr Andrew Watkins said.

During neutral years, the first tropical cyclone to make landfall typically occurs in late December.

In La Nina years, the first cyclone to make landfall over Australia typically occurs earlier, around the first week of December.

The Australian region typically experiences more tropical cyclone activity during La Nina years.

The eastern region outlook also indicates a near average tropical cyclone season is most likely, with a 58% chance of above average and 42% chance of below average numbers.

About a quarter of tropical cyclones in the Eastern region make landfall.



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