AS THE first tropical cyclone of the season, TC Hilda, made landfall over The Kimberleys last week, the Whitsundays area was left wondering what to expect.
According to meteorologist Tristan Meyers, off the back of Debbie, this summer looks to be an “average” season for cyclones in the region.
“Last season was particularly devastating. With 263km/h winds Cyclone Debbie was the worst cyclone since 1970 where Cyclone Ada recorded $12 million worth of damage,” he said.
“However the previous season before that in 2015-16 was a record low for Australia, in fact we only saw one coastal crossing late in season with Cyclone Tatiana.”
An “average” cyclone season means about four tropical cyclones will form off Australia’s coastline however their movements are hard to predict.
Mr Meyers said the fickle nature of cyclones meant meteorologists looked to climate indicators to judge if conditions were conducive for them to form, including a warm sea temperature more than 26.5 degrees, monsoon troughs and closeness to the equator.
“At the moment we are in a weak La Nina which generally means more tropical cyclone activity however there is also an overall down trend for cyclones in Australia which means the two counteract each other,” he said.
“Only about a quarter of cyclones in the Coral Sea will make it to landfall.”
Source: Whitsunday Times