Cyclones have been notoriously hard to predict, but a new Australia-New Zealand, forecast model could improve predictions, particularly in the Pacific. This could strengthen the Pacific’s preparedness for its annual cyclone season, November to April.
The University of Newcastle, in collaboration with New Zealand’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research, has released a new predictive tool call Long-Range Tropical Cyclone Outlook for the Southwest Pacific (TCO-SP), which can forecast cyclones up to four months in advance.
Current modelling only produces forecasts one month in advance.
“We consider the most recent changes in ocean and atmospheric variability, and that enables us to refine the outlooks based on what’s just happened,” Andrew Magee, a specialist in climate change’s effects on extreme weather events at Newcastle University, told the ABC.
Dr Magee added this could buy Pacific governments lifesaving time to prepare for the region’s annual cyclone season.
There are already nine tropical cyclones predicted in the south-west Pacific for the upcoming season.