Cyclone season forecast good news for offshore operators

Oct 20, 2015

A strong El Niño effect may mean that Australia’s offshore oil and gas sector may have a quieter than normal 2015-16 Tropical Cyclone Season (TCS).

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) recently reported that it was forecasting that there was the potential for a less than average number of cyclones crossing the coast this season.

The BOM’s Senior Climatologist and manager of climate prediction said this year’s strong El Niño is very likely to dominate the coming season.

“The long-term average number of tropical cyclones in Australia during the November to April cyclone season is 11.This year we expect fewer tropical cyclones than normal because of the effects of the strong El Niño in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

“The El Nino is expected to continue into 2016, and typically delays the date of the first cyclone to cross the Australian coast,” Dr Watkins said.

However, while BOM is forecasting fewer cyclones, it also warned that everyone living and operating in cyclone prone areas still needs to be prepared.

“While El Niño is typically associated with fewer cyclones and a later start to the season, there has never been a cyclone season without at least one tropical cyclone crossing the Australia coast.

“We know from history the devastating effect even small cyclones have had on our communities,” he added, “In January 2013, Oswald caused major flooding for virtually the entire Queensland coast as it tracked steadily south as an ex-tropical cyclone, or tropical low,” he said.

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