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Tropical Cyclone

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Understanding the Track Map

  • Tropical Cyclone Pink Background

    The symbol with a red background indicates the observed positioning of the tropical cyclone.

  • Tropical Cyclone Black Background

    The symbol with a white background and black outline indicates previously observed positioning of the tropical cyclone.

  • Tropical Cyclone Category Three

    The symbol with a white background and grey outline indicated a forecasted position of the tropical cyclone. The number indicates the intensity of the tropical cyclone, from 1 to 5 (5 being the most severe). An ‘L’ symbol represents a Tropical Low (ie. an intense low pressure system, but not technically a tropical cyclone). Forecasted positions are usually only shown for the next 72 hours.

  • Tropical Cyclone Wind Direction

    The red rings indicate the size and extent of the destructive winds. The dark red colour represents hurricane-force winds (>117 km/h), the light red colour indicates storm-force winds (>89 km/h), and the extra light red colour indicates storm-force winds (<89 km/h).

  • Tropical Cyclone Projected Direction

    The arrows indicate the projected direction (track) of the tropical cyclone

  • Tropical Cyclone Watch Area

    Land-mass regions coloured in red/pink indicate ‘warning areas’ that will be severely affected.

  • Tropical Cyclone Warning Area

    Land-mass regions coloured in yellow indicate ‘watch areas’ that should be monitored.

Understanding Tropical Cyclone Categories

  • Tropical Cyclone Category One
    CATEGORY 1 (tropical cyclone)

    Negligible house damage. Damage to some crops, trees and caravans. Craft may drag moorings. A Category 1 cyclone's strongest winds are GALES with typical gusts over open flat land of 90 - 125 km/h.

  • Tropical Cyclone Category Two
    CATEGORY 2 (tropical cyclone)

    Minor house damage. Significant damage to signs, trees and caravans. Heavy damage to some crops. Risk of power failure. Small craft may break moorings. A Category 2 cyclone's strongest winds are DESTRUCTIVE winds with typical gusts over open flat land of 125 - 164 km/h.

  • Tropical Cyclone Category Three
    CATEGORY 3 (severe tropical cyclone)

    Some roof and structural damage. Some caravans destroyed. Power failures likely. A Category 3 cyclone's strongest winds are VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with typical gusts over open flat land of 165 - 224 km/h.

  • Tropical Cyclone Category Four
    CATEGORY 4 (severe tropical cyclone)

    Significant roofing loss and structural damage. Many caravans destroyed and blown away. Dangerous airborne debris. Widespread power failures. A Category 4 cyclone's strongest winds are VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with typical gusts over open flat land of 225 - 279 km/h.

  • Tropical Cyclone Category Five
    CATEGORY 5 (severe tropical cyclone)

    Extremely dangerous with widespread destruction. A Category 5 cyclone's strongest winds are VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with typical gusts over open flat land of more than 280 km/h.