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What does the El Niño weather system mean for the Coast?

THE El Niño is likely to dominate the coming season and we can expect a windy, dry and hot summer on the Fraser Coast. 

The Bureau of Meteorology has released its 2015-16 tropical cyclone season outlook, signalling the start of severe weather public awareness campaigns.

Dr Andrew Watkins said this year's strong El Niño is very likely to dominate the coming season.

"This year we expect fewer tropical cyclones than normal because of the effects of the strong El Niño in the tropical Pacific Ocean," Dr Andrew said. 

So what does this weather system mean for the Fraser Coast?

The Bureau's Brendan Bradford said we can expect dangerous wind gusts and a risk of heat waves over the next fews months. 

"We have already seen wind warnings on the Fraser Coast which are usually due to a high pressure system," Mr Bradford said. 

He said we could expect a higher than normal fire danger across the Fraser Coast and below average rainfall compared to the last three years. 

"We will see conditions similar to the 2006/2007 droughts."

Despite expecting fewer cyclones this season, the Bureau is urging Australians in the tropics to start their cyclone season preparations now.

"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," Dr Andrew said. 

"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.

Tropical cyclones are low pressure systems that form over warm tropical waters and have at least gale force winds (sustained winds of 63 km/h and gusts of 90km/h or greater) near the centre.

Even tropical cyclones well offshore can have significant impacts on coastal areas.

High winds, storm surges and large waves can create dangerous conditions.

For the latest Bureau of Meteorology forecasts and warnings visit: http://media.bom.gov.au/

Topics:  bureau of meteorology, wildweather



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