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Cyclone season severe forecast

Australia is warned to expect a stormy summer with double the amount of tropical cyclones.

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About 15 tropical cyclones are predicted to form within Australian waters this year with about half likely to cross the coast.

"In a neutral year [neither La Nina or El Nino], we tend to see about 10 tropical cyclones in Australian waters," Alex Zadnik, meteorologist at The Weather Channel, said.

"However, in a La Nina year, such as this year, a 50 per cent increase in cyclone development is often experienced.

"Cyclones derive their energy from warm sea surface temperatures. During a La Nina year, we see warmer than usual sea surface temperatures around northern and eastern Australia. In turn, this increases the chance of tropical cyclones.

"Based on a 50 per cent increase in tropical cyclone activity, we can expect to see about 15 tropical cyclones form in Australian waters within the longitudes of 105°E to 160°E.

"Additionally, the season is likely to begin earlier. Typically, the first cyclone is around Christmas, but this year the first cyclone could occur as early as November.

"Australia has been feeling the influence of a strong La Nina pattern so far this spring, with record rainfall occurring through northern and eastern parts of the country.

"With the likelihood of an earlier and more active season, residents in cyclone-prone regions of tropical Australia should get a head start on their usual wet season preparations," he said.

smh.com.au

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