BOM puts out cyclone warning reminder for upcoming top end season

The Bureau of Meteorology launched a new video as part of its cyclone awareness campaign aimed at improving understanding of tropical cyclone warnings.

The launch comes after the release of the Bureau of Meteorology’s Tropical Cyclone Outlook earlier this month, and a cyclone awareness campaign run through social media during November. Building resilience in communities is vital, and it starts with the knowledge to prepare early and act appropriately when cyclone warnings are issued.

Bureau of Meteorology Deputy Director, Rob Webb, said the likelihood of severe weather events rapidly increases through spring and summer. “While the strong El Niño in the tropical Pacific Ocean reduces the chances of an unusually active cyclone season, it’s not the number we’ll remember, it’s the impacts,” said Mr Webb. “Even one tropical cyclone can have a significant impact, particularly if it makes landfall in a heavily populated region, or an area vulnerable to storm surge and flooding.

“Enjoy the Australian summer, but make sure you keep one eye on the weather and be ready to act. There has always been at least one cyclone cross the Australian coast each year, including during El Niño seasons. Typically eleven tropical cyclones form in the Australian region during the November to April cyclone season, and four of these make landfall,” he added.

The first step is tracking where the cyclone has been and how strong it is. The number in the centre of the cyclone symbol is the intensity category of the cyclone. The higher the number, the stronger the intensity with category 5 being the most severe. Coloured circles show where the strongest winds are including the size of the cyclone's destructive core.

The next step is to assess where the cyclone may go and estimate its likely intensity and time of arrival at various locations.

The dark line shows the cyclone’s most likely path. Either side of this line the grey zone shows where the cyclone centre could be in the next 72 hours. It is important to be well prepared for any sudden change in the cyclone’s predicted path.

Finally, the track map also includes wind warnings for nearby areas.

The darker orange shading shows the warning area that might experience gale force or destructive winds within the next 24 hours. The lighter orange shading shows the watch area where gale force or destructive winds might occur within the next 24 to 48 hours. To stay safe during cyclone season stay keep a watch on the Bureau’s website. You can access the track maps through the cyclone page or our mobile website. 

Maintain a watch on the warnings page too so that you always have the latest information.

Bureau of Meteorology

Understanding cyclone categories

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