Fewer Cyclones Expected in Australia During El Nino

12/10/2015 3:29 PM AEDT | Updated 28/09/2016 9:53 PM AEST
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Terra satellite image of tropical cyclone Ingrid in Coral Sea

El Niño might be a harbinger for drought, but the weather event also decreases the chance of cyclones, the Bureau of Meteorology said on Monday.

While the Australian tropical cyclone season officially started on November 1, meteorologist Andrew Watkins said El Niño often meant it came late.

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

"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."

australia cyclone oswald

Cyclone Oswald showed even a small weather cell could cause serious damage. Picture: Getty Images

He said cyclone-prone communities should still prepare for the upcoming season.

"We know from history the devastating effect even small cyclones have had on our communities," he said.

"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."

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