Cyclones are part of living in the tropics. Most cyclones occur between November and April but cyclones have occurred outside these months.

What is a cyclone?

A cyclone is a violent tropical storm with very strong winds and heavy rain that can cause extensive property damage and injuries to people.

The eye or centre of the cyclone is an area made up of lights winds and often clear skies. This is NOT the end of the cyclone, as very destructive winds from the other direction are to come. Stay inside.

Cyclone advice

This is a "warning" that advises the location of a cyclone, its movement and strength, and identifies areas that could be affected.  Our information comes from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Cyclone watch

A watch is issued 48 hours before the cyclone is predicted to cross the coast and is updated every six hours in terms of location, movement and strength, and areas that could be affected.

Cyclone warning

A warning is issued if winds are expected to affect coastal or island areas within 24 hours. The warning is updated every three hours, and then every hour if the cyclone poses a major threat. The warning includes information on location, movement and strength of the cyclone, areas that are threatened, as well as anticipated rainfall, flooding and storm surge. If you haven't done so already, a Cyclone Warning should be the trigger to activate your household emergency plan.

Cyclone categories

Category Strongest gust Typical effect
1 Less than 125kmh Negligible house damage
Damage to some crops, trees and caravans
Craft may drag at moorings
2 125-170kmh Minor house damage
Significant damage to signs, tress and caravans
Heavy damage to some crops
Rick of power failure
Small craft may break mooring
3 170-225kmh Some roof and structural property damage
Some caravans and crops destroyed
Power failure likely
4 225-280kmh Significant roofing loss and structural damage
many caravans destroyed and blown away
Dangerous airborne debris
Widespread power failures
5 More than 280kmhExtremely dangerous with widespread destruction

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Last updated: 27 March 2017