Fewer cyclones expected in WA this season

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica.
NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica.

A BELOW-average number of tropical cyclones are expected in Western Australia this season but the Bureau of Meteorology is warning against complacency.

Acting state manager James Ashley said the number of cyclones did not indicate how much rain could fall, and urged residents to remain vigilant.

“Last season, we saw a below-average number of tropical cyclones, with just three,” he said.

“Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica was a clear example that it only takes one system to significantly affect communities … with its destructive winds, very heavy rainfall, a storm surge along the coast and flooding through large parts of the central Pilbara.”

Department of Fire and Emergency Services assistant commissioner Paul Ryan said people often underestimated the impact of a cyclone or flood.

“Keeping safe is as simple as cleaning up and removing loose items from around your home, preparing an emergency kit, including stocking drinking water and non-perishable foods for up to five days, and paying attention to community warnings,” he said.

“People who live near the coast also need to be aware of storm surges … at high tide, the surge can be powerful enough to knock down buildings, run ships aground and wash away roads.

“The consequences could be deadly.”