CYCLONE SEASON: Five cyclones predicted to cross the coast

A cane fied on Shute Harbour Rd is battered by winds in the prelude to tropical cyclone Debbie.
A cane fied on Shute Harbour Rd is battered by winds in the prelude to tropical cyclone Debbie. Lyndon Mechielsen

NORTH Queensland is in for another nervous storm season according to weather forecaster Jeff Higgins, who has predicted there will be 11 cyclones develop in the Australia region between now and April 30.

Mr Higgins posted on his weather forecasting website, Higgins Storm Chasing, that five of the 11 predicted cyclones were to develop into a severe category three or worse.

"Also up to five of the 11 cyclones could potentially cross the Australia coastline," he wrote.

His forecast released on Sunday night was followed by the Bureau of Meteorology's cyclone outlook release announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk Monday morning.

"A typical number of tropical cyclones are likely to form in the Australian region this season," the Bureau's outlook says.

"The season, which runs from November to April, typically sees between 10 and 13 cyclones in Australian waters, with around four of these crossing the coast. Australia has always seen at least one tropical cyclone cross the coast each season.

"During ENSO-neutral years, the first tropical cyclone to make landfall over Australia typically occurs in late December. In La Niña years, the first cyclone landfall typically occurs earlier, around the first week of December. Tropical cyclones that do not make landfall can still have a significant impact on coastal communities, through heavy rainfall, storm surges, and large waves."

Mr Higgins broke down his forecast to show which regions would be hardest hit by cyclones this season.

The eastern region of the Queensland Coast, Coral Sea and Gulf of Carpentaria is forecast to have four cyclones with two having a chance or developing into a category three or higher.

"Two of these systems potentially crossing the Queensland coast with one along the Gulf Coast and one along the East Coast," Mr Higgins wrote.

This forecast is not as alarming as last season when Mr Higgins predicted 13 cyclones and two possibly making landfall across Northern Queensland.

However he did make a note to his subscribers that it only took one cyclone this season to cause widespread damage.

"The biggest threats are heavy rain causing major flooding, sea surge causing coastal inundation and destructive winds causing property and infrastructure damage," he wrote.

"All of these threats are potentially life threatening."

Topics:  cyclones cyclone season editors picks higgins storm chasing jeff higgins mackay weather north queensland cyclones

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