Research Reports - Cyclones
Perth , Western Australia
The Perth region is subject to a range of meteorologically related hazards including winter storms, summer storms, floods, tropical cyclones, heatwaves and bushfires. Of these, cool-season storms are the most frequent event and, on average, have the greatest economic impact.
There is little doubt that tropical cyclones pose a significant threat to the urban communities of southeast Queensland. These spectacular meteorological phenomena are very large and have the potential to bring severe losses to the whole region.
Since Cairns was founded in 1876 there have been at least 53 cyclones which have had a reported or measured impact on the city. One of the first, on 8 March 1878, almost destroyed the settlement before it had a chance to fully establish.
There have been at least 77 cyclones which have had an impact on Mackay since the settlement was founded in 1862. The most significant impact was caused by a cyclone on 21 January 1918 in which the combined effects of strong winds, storm tide and flood resulted in the death of 30 people and destruction of, or damage to around 75 per cent of the town's buildings.
The Community Risk in Gladstone report considers tropical cyclones along with severe wind and storm tide as well as earthquakes.
Severe tropical cyclone Larry crossed the far north Queensland coast near Etty Bay around 7:00 am on 20 March, 2006. It then tracked west-northwest and passed directly over the town of Innisfail. Within 48 hours teams from Geoscience Australia were on the ground to begin a program of assessing building and crop damage. The assessment continued for three weeks.
Risk modelling reports
The modelling of severe wind gust is a fundamental part of any wind hazard assessment. Statistical modelling is used for the most part to describe the probability of extreme wind occurrences.
Tropical cyclone Larry was classified as a 'midget' cyclone due to the limited range of its destructive winds and the reduced exposure of coastal communities to cyclonic winds and airborne debris. This occurred because the cyclone moved relatively quickly after making landfall.
On Christmas Day 1974, Cyclone Tracy devastated Darwin with winds gusting to 237km/h. The cyclone resulted in the deaths of 71 people, including six lost at sea, and, according to the Insurance Disaster Response Organisation, caused more than A$837 million dollars damage.
N H (Doc) Fisher Geoscience Library
The N H (Doc) Fisher Geoscience Library at Geoscience Australia is the premier geoscience library in Australia. Established in 1946, the library, which is open to the public, has an extensive collection of earth sciences material.
External research links
- Cyclone Larry Forum Report Report - James Cook University - Townsville Campus, 7 April 2006
- Tropical cyclone Larry - Bureau of Meteorology
- Tropical Cyclones Affecting West Coast Towns - Bureau of Meteorology
- Tropical cyclone impacts along the Australian east coast from November to April (1858 to 2004). Bureau of Meteorology [PDF 959KB]
- Severe Weather Events - Bureau of Meteorology