Mar 27

Coral Sea Tropical Cyclone likely to develop this weekend

PHOTO: Cyclone Debbie is expected to impact areas from Cardwell to St Lawrence. (Bureau of Meteorology)

North Queensland remains on high alert with the tropical low in the Coral Sea likely to intensify to tropical cyclone strength this weekend.

The next name on the cyclone list is #CycloneDebbie.

Bureau of Meteorology Queensland Regional Director, Bruce Gunn, said the low was located approximately 600km northeast of Cairns and Townsville, and likely reach cyclone strength as early as Saturday.

“Communities between Cape Tribulation and Proserpine are urged to prepare now for a potential crossing anytime between late Sunday and early Tuesday, but the most likely scenario is for the cyclone to make landfall between Cairns and Townsville on Monday,” said Mr Gunn.

“There is always a degree of uncertainty in forecasting cyclones, for this reason we urge the public to stay tuned for the latest official warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology and follow the advice of local emergency services.

“The intensity of the cyclone will hinge on how much time the system spends over the water. If the cyclone speeds up, it is likely remain at the lower end of the spectrum, but if it crosses on Monday or Tuesday there is the potential for it to intensify to severe tropical cyclone strength, Category 3 or higher.”

Heavy rains are likely to continue well into next week for northern and central Queensland. A Flood Watch has also been issued today for coastal catchments between Cooktown to Mackay extending inland to the eastern Gulf Rivers.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services are urging the public to review their emergency kits and discuss their emergency plans with their household and family.

Exercise caution and avoid travel when warnings are in place. Never walk, ride or drive through floodwaters.

There have been three tropical cyclones already this season, Yvette in December, Alfred in February, Blanche in March. Cyclone Caleb formed in the Indian Ocean near the Cocos Islands yesterday (23 March 2017).

The last cyclone to cross the Queensland coast was Tropical Cyclone Nathan, which crossed near Cape Flattery, north of Cooktown (20 March, 2015) as a Category 4 system.

The Bureau’s Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre in Brisbane operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with forecasters monitoring the situation and providing the latest information for emergency services, media and the community.

Oct 11

Tropical Cyclone season to be more active for NW Australia

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Northwest Australia can expect the tropical cyclone season to be more active than last season according to the Bureau of Meteorology Tropical Cyclone Seasonal Outlook released today.

Acting Regional Director for Western Australia, Mr Grahame Reader, said it is important that residents are not complacent ahead of the start of the season on 1 November.

“Over the past 5 years the number of significant cyclone and flood impacts has been well below average, and the 2015-16 season was a very quiet one, with only Tropical Cyclone Stan impacting the WA coast at the end of January 2016.” he said.

According to the outlook released today, Mr Reader said that climate models are indicating an average to above average number of tropical cyclones this season, but he cautioned that the number of tropical cyclones is not a good indicator of the threat to communities.

“If just one cyclone impacts a community with destructive winds or flooding, then that will be a bad season for that community”. The tropical cyclone seasons runs from 1 November to 30 April.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Country Assistant Commissioner Graham Swift is urging people in the northwest to be ready, even if they think they’re not at risk.

“Just because you haven’t been impacted by a devastating cyclone previously, doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen to you this year – all it takes is one cyclone to change your life” Assistant Commissioner Swift said.

Communities in the State’s north remain at serious risk of the devastation of cyclones and need to prepare now to keep their homes and loved ones safe.

Keeping safe is as simple as securing outdoor items like boats or trailers, preparing an emergency kit and taking heed of the community warnings.

Summary of the Tropical Cyclone Seasonal Outlook for Western Australia:

  • A 63% chance of an above average number of tropical cyclones in waters off the northwest coast (average number is five).
  • Likelihood of around two coastal impacts.
  • Significant risk of at least one severe tropical cyclone coastal impact during the season.

More information: