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Trust Me, I'm An Expert: Cyclone season approacheth, but this year there's a twist

Madeleine De Gabriele, Deputy Editor: Energy + Environment; Wes Mountain, Multimedia Editor; , Sunday October 7, 2018 - 18:53 EDT This article was originally published at The Conversation

Australia has just had its driest September on record, and the second driest month ever: the only drier month was April 1902.

The Bureau of Meteorology's tropical cyclone outlook is out today. It's predicting a weaker-than-normal tropical cyclone season this year but if one hits - and it's likely one will - it'll bring water to rain-starved soil that will soak it up and reduce the flooding risk.

Read more: Lessons not learned: Darwin's paying the price after Cyclone Marcus

Wes Mountain speaks to forecaster Andrew Watkins, who explains how the forecast works, why a cyclone could help some farms, and how to keep safe this cyclone season.

We've never gone through a tropical cyclone season without at least one hitting our coast, but Australia's past may no longer be a reliable guide to our future.

In her book Sunburnt Country: the history and future of climate change in Australia , scientist Joelle Gergis maps Australia's climate over thousands of years. While we've always been a land of extremes, rapid warming since 1950 is starting to alter our weather patterns.

Read more: Australia's 2017 environment scorecard: like a broken record, high temperatures further stress our ecosystems

Dr Gergis told Madeleine De Gabriele about creating the most comprehensive history of Australia's climate ever, and why she still has hope for the future.


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- theconversation

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