Weather News

Early cyclones predicted off Qld

Penny Timms, Monday October 4, 2010 - 13:15 EDT

The weather bureau fears a cyclone will form off the Queensland coast by Christmas.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) has released its seasonal outlook.

It shows a distinct La Nina weather pattern, which is expected to lead to an increase in cyclone activity in the Coral Sea.

Forecaster Tony Auden says up to six cyclones could form off Queensland in coming months.

"We are expecting ... the potential cyclone season to start early," he said.

"Normally we only very rarely get cyclones forming in December or even November, but there is every chance of an increased risk this year that we will see a tropical cyclone before about Christmas."

He says residents need to be prepared for the cyclone season and above average rainfall.

"We're expecting a fairly wet season and I guess as a proxy to that, we can expect an above average cyclone season over the next six months," he said.

He says while it is difficult to pinpoint where cyclones will form, it is likely north Queensland will see an increase in activity.

Mr Auden says at least one severe cyclone is also tipped to cross the Queensland coast.

"I guess historically we've seen ... on average about three to four cyclones in a season and I guess averaging below one coastal crossing per year," he said.

"Historically, with a similar ocean patterns we've had three similar years and all of those have seen either six or seven cyclones either in the Coral Sea and at least one severe coastal crossing."


© ABC 2010

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