Heading to Australia this Winter? Beware, It’s Their Cyclone Season

Australia Tropical Cyclone MapsCyclone season? You mean hurricane season correct? The short answer, both are correct. The only difference between a hurricane, typhoon, and cyclone is location, location, location. In the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific Ocean, these storms are called hurricanes. The same types of storms in the Northwest Pacific are called typhoons, while cyclones occur in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

I’m traveling to Australia next month, why is the cyclone season important to me? Simple! The Australian region cyclone season officially runs from November 1 through April 30. The region normally averages eleven cyclones, four of which cross the coast. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, there has never been a season without a tropical cyclone crossing the Australian coast.

Here is a look back at two of the more significant cyclones in Australia’s history.

The deadliest cyclone in Australia history occurred on March 4, 1899 when a Category 5 severe tropical cyclone struck Bathurst Bay, north of Cooktown. The massive storm surge killed 307 known individuals. You are welcome to read the newspaper article called, The Hurricane in the North, published on March 16, 1899 in the Kalgoorlie Western Argus by clicking HERE.

More recently, a powerful cyclone occurred on February 3, 2011. Called Cyclone Yasi, this Category 5 storm made landfall in northern Queensland causing severe damage to the area. This cyclone produced $3.6 billion (USD 2011) in damages and killed one person.

Satellite image of Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi Approaching Queensland, Australia on February 2, 2011.
The Dark Red: Very Destructive Winds.  Light Pink: Gale Force Winds

The Bureau of Meteorology has a wonderful webpage dedicated to Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi. Click HERE for more information.

Just visiting Sydney? You should be fine. Cyclones are very rare, however   remnants of ex-cyclones do affect the city. The average high temperature from December through March is 77 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Enjoy!


Source: http://www.bom.gov.au/