Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Higher Risk of Cyclones Near, East of Date Line

Media Release 21 September 2006

Higher Risk of Tropical Cyclones Near and East of the Date Line

Weak to moderate El Niño conditions are likely to increase the chances of tropical cyclone activity for several tropical South Pacific countries over coming months.

“For the coming tropical cyclone season, from November 2006 – May 2007, we are likely to see above average numbers of tropical cyclones in several parts of the South Pacific near and east of the Date Line. Countries with increased risk over this period include Fiji, Wallis and Futuna, Tonga, Niue, and the southern Cook Islands,” said NIWA climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger. “Islands west of the Date Line are still likely to experience tropical cyclones, with a normal rate of occurrence.”

Tropical sea surface temperatures, which play an important role in the development of tropical cyclones, are presently above average along the equator across the entire Pacific Basin. “Climate forecasting organisations in the Pacific are in general agreement that we are seeing the development of a weak to moderate El Niño, although the situation is still evolving. This brings above normal risk of tropical cyclones near and east of the Date Line,” said Dr Salinger. “There is a good chance that the first tropical cyclone of the coming season in the South Pacific region may occur before the end of November, about a month earlier than is normal in either a neutral or La Niña seasons.” About ten tropical cyclones on average can be expected over the entire Southwest Pacific region during a weak El Niño season.

“In the Southwest Pacific, tropical cyclones usually develop in the wet season, from November through April, but occasionally occur in May. Peak cyclone occurrence is usually from January to March. In seasons similar to the present, several tropical cyclones usually occur in the region between Vanuatu and Niue with some affecting other areas. About half of the tropical cyclones that develop reach hurricane force with mean wind speeds at least 64 knots (118 km/h).”

For New Zealand, the predicted weak El Niño conditions will not have much effect on the likelihood of experiencing an ex-tropical cyclone. There is an 80% chance of an ex-tropical cyclone passing within 500 km of the country sometime between November and May, with the highest risk districts being Northland and Gisborne. By the time such systems reach New Zealand they are no longer classified as tropical cyclones, but can still cause strong winds and heavy rainfall. The most common months for ex-tropical cyclones affecting New Zealand are January to March.

Southwest Pacific tropical cyclones are grouped into classes ranging from 1 to 5, with 5 being the strongest. On average four per season reach at least class 4 with mean wind speeds of at least 64 knots or 118 km/h, while two usually reach class 5 with mean speeds in excess of 90 knots or 167 km/h. Last season (2005/06) in the South Pacific, Cyclones Larry and Monica were particularly severe, both reaching class 5 in strength. These were especially destructive to coastal and some populated environments in Queensland and the Northern Territory of Australia. Three class 4 tropical cyclones occurred further east, but these missed populated areas.

Acknowledgements

This tropical cyclone information has been prepared as a collaborative effort between NIWA and Meteorological Services around the Pacific. It has been prepared based on contributions and climate information received from the Meteorological Services of Australia (Bureau of Meteorology), Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and in the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI).

ENDS

See... Cyclone season statistic and images (PDF)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

ScoopPro: Helping The Education Sector Get More Out Of Scoop

The ScoopPro professional license includes a suite of useful information tools for professional users of Scoop including some specifically for those in the education sector to make your Scoop experience better. More>>

Big Tax Bill Due: Destiny Church Charities Deregistered

The independent Charities Registration Board has decided to remove Destiny International Trust and Te Hahi o Nga Matamua Holdings Limited from the Charities Register on 20 December 2017 because of the charities’ persistent failure to meet their annual return obligations. More>>

57 Million Users' Data: Uber Breach "Utterly Preventatable"

Cybersecurity leader Centrify says the Uber data breach of 57 million customer and driver records - which the ride-hailing company hid for more than a year - was “utterly preventable”. More>>

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

Having A Cow? Dairy Product Prices Slide For Fourth Straight Auction

Dairy product prices fell at the Global Dairy Trade auction, retreating for the fourth straight auction amid signs of increased production... Whole milk powder fell 2.7 percent to US$2,778 a tonne. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Butter At Record $5.67/Block; High Vegetable Prices

Rising dairy prices have pushed food prices up 2.7 percent in the year to October 2017, Stats NZ said today. This followed a 3.0 percent increase in the year to September 2017. More>>

ALSO:

Science: New Research Finds Herbicides Cause Antibiotic Resistance

New University of Canterbury research confirms that the active ingredients of the commonly used herbicides, RoundUp, Kamba and 2,4-D (glyphosate, dicamba and 2,4-D, respectively), each alone cause antibiotic resistance at concentrations well below label application rates. More>>

ALSO: