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Bureau predicts up to 3 cyclones could hit NT

By Marty McCarthy, Monday October 14, 2013 - 13:28 EDT

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted the Northern Territory could be hit by as many as three cyclones this wet season.

In it's tropical cyclone outlook for Northern Australia the bureau said the Top End had only been affected by two cyclones over the past two seasons.

However, the bureau's manager of weather services, Todd Smith, said he expects that will change.

"When we go back over historical records, when we've had neutral conditions we tend to see a near-average number of cyclones right across the Australian region," Mr Smith said.

"For the NT that's 2 to 3, that's a little more than what we've seen in the last few years, but across the Australian region we tend to see 11 to 12 cyclones in an average year."

Mr Smith said the bureau had made changes to its website to give people more time to prepare for a cyclone.

The changes to the cyclone forecast website will enable users to track cyclones up to three days in advance.

"People will be really familiar with our forecast track maps. That's where we put a forecast of up to 48 hours of where we expect the cyclone to go and indicate the watch and warning areas across coastal regions.

"This year we're extending that track out to 72 hours to give Territorians more time to prepare and respond to a cyclone threat."

Mr Smith said regardless of the number of cyclones predicted this year, it's important Territorians be prepared.

"The important thing for people is not to get too focussed on the numbers.

"Every year we have cyclones and every year we have floods. People just need to be prepared.

"This far out it's impossible to say how intense and where a cyclone is going to cross the coast.

"But one day it is going to cross the coast where you live so just make sure you're ready," Mr Smith said.


© ABC 2013

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