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Above average cyclone season for north WA

AAP logoAAP 10/10/2016

Two tropical cyclones are likely to cross Western Australia's northern coast this season, the Bureau of Meteorology predicts.

Spokesman Neil Bennett said there was a high prospect of more cyclones than last season, which was the least active on record, with only one battering the WA coast at the end of January as El Nino influenced weather patterns.

"This season, we're looking at it being more of a neutral phase, tipping towards its counterpart La Nina. And typically in La Nina situations, you'll see an increase in tropical cyclones," Mr Bennett told reporters on Monday.

"On top of that, we've got incredibly warm ocean temperatures off WA's north coast, so that fuel is ready to go. You just have to have the weather system that's there to develop tropical cyclones."

The BoM is expecting about seven cyclones in WA's northern regions, compared to an average of five, but most will fizzle out at sea.

Two cyclones are expected to cross the coast and one of them should be severe at category three or above.

Mr Bennett said subsoil moisture levels were higher than normal, which was a particular concern as it could cause flooding, with rivers bursting their banks.

The tropical cyclone season runs from November 1 to April 30, but they could start from now, Department of Fire and Emergency Services assistant commissioner Graham Swift said, so communities should start preparing themselves.

As with bushfires, people who wished to leave for somewhere safer should do so well before a cyclone hits, otherwise they'd have no option but to stay and bunker down, Mr Swift said.

He warned against the practice of cyclone parties, which was just an excuse to consume excessive amounts of alcohol, making people more vulnerable just when they should be protecting themselves.

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