Tropical cyclones around Australia

E. Linacre


The frequency of tropical cyclones (TCs) in the Southwest Pacific is shown in Fig 13.15. A similar map for the Australian region is shown below (Fig 1). Tropical cyclones are most likely at about 19S, either off the north-west or the Queensland (northeast) coast. The north coast has experienced fewer landfalling TCs, mainly because of the proximity to land. This observation does not imply that landfalling TCs on the north cause tend to be less intense.

Only the remnants of TCs are found south of about 33S. Once TCs make landfall, they quickly decay to tropical depressions, but these depressions may be long-lived and bring heavy rains even in Australia's interior.

Fig 1. The average number of days each year that the eye of a tropical cyclone is located within about 110 km (in a 2x2 box) (1).



(1) Neal, A.B. and G.J. Holland 1978. Australian tropical cyclone forecasting manual. (Aust. Bur. of Meteor.) 274pp.