Heavy rain and strong winds are set to affect northern parts of Australia in the coming six months, as the region enters its annual wet season. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is predicting a slightly more active season than usual, with an early start possible
In north and north-east Australia, the wet (or monsoon) season runs from November to April. During these months, winds blow predominantly from the north-west, in a reversal of the south-easterly trade winds that blow during the rest of the year. These north-westerly winds become hot and humid as they cross the tropical seas around Indonesia and the Philippines, leading to heavy rainfall for northern Australia.
Tropical cyclones usually occur around three or four times a year to the north-east and north-west of Australia, although they typically make landfall just once or twice in the season.
Intensely active cyclone seasons in Australia are often associated with La NiÃ±a episodes. La NiÃ±a occurs every three to eight years, causing stronger Pacific trade winds and warmer sea temperatures to the north of Australia. Although there is currently no strong evidence of a La NiÃ±a episode the BOM said there were some indicators the current bias towards the La NiÃ±a side of neutral could continue.