Meteorological
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Cyclone Tracy

Oral Histories

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When and where do tropical cyclones occur?

Formation areas and typical tracks of tropical cyclones worldwide

Tropical cyclones form over most of the world's tropical waters between about 50 and 220 latitude, except for the Southeast Pacific and the South Atlantic Oceans, where environmental conditions are not favourable.

OCEAN BASIN

SEASON

AVERAGE CYCLONES
PER SEASON

(winds above 63 km/h)

PERCENTAGE OF
GLOBAL TOTAL

SEVERE CYCLONES
PER SEASON

(winds above 120 km/h)

North Indian

May to June & October to December

5.4

7%

2.5

Northwest Pacific

Mainly June to December

25.7

31%

16.0

Northeast Pacific

May to November

16.5

20%

8.9

North Atlantic

June to November

9.7

11%

5.4

Southwest Indian

December to April

10.4

12%

4.4

Southeast Indian/Aust

December to April

6.9

8%

3.4

Southwest Pacific

November to April

9.0

11%

4.3

Source: Neumann 1993

 

Australian Region

Frequency of tropical cyclones in the Australian Region.
Adapted from Neumann 1993.

Tropical cyclones occur most frequently off the northwest coast of Western Australia, in the Gulf of Carpentaria and in the Coral Sea. The section of coast most frequently impacted by cyclones is around Port Hedland (WA). On average about ten tropical cyclones occur in the Australian Region (between 1000 East and 1650 East) each year and about six cross the coast.

Adapted from Gray 1975

 

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