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Tropical cyclone season is here

Ben Domensino, Sunday November 1, 2020 - 09:07 EDT

Today is the first day of Australia's 2020/21 tropical cyclone season and this one is expected to be busy.

The official tropical cyclone season in Australia runs from November until April. During this time, we usually see around 11-12 tropical cyclones in Australia's area of responsibility, although the first one doesn't typically form until December or even January.

This season, La Niña is likely to help boost the overall number of tropical cyclones that develop near Australia.

La Niña can also cause more cyclones to make landfall. In an average year, we usually see about four coastal crossings.

Past La Niña events have helped fuel some of Australia's strongest tropical cyclones, including Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi in 2011. This large category five system was one of the most powerful tropical cyclones on record to affect Queensland.

Image: Tropical Cyclone Yasi. Source: NASA

But while La Niña may produce more cyclones than usual in this season, it's impossible to know exactly when and where they will strike until they develop. Even then, these powerful storms are volatile systems and can be notoriously difficult to predict.

If you live in northern Australia, now's a good time to go over your tropical cyclone plan and make sure you're ready for the season ahead.

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