Tropical cyclones often produce winds in excess of 200 km/h, causing extensive damage to property and turning debris into dangerous missiles. They can also bring flooding rains and storm tides which cause further damage to property and increase the risk of drowning. Cyclones can cause huge seas, putting vessels in danger both in harbour and out at sea. Most deaths from cyclones occur as a result of drowning, collapsed buildings, mudslides or flying debris which becomes lethal in high winds.

Depending on their location and strength, there are various terms by which tropical cyclones are known, such as hurricane (in North America), typhoon (in Asia), tropical storm, cyclonic storm and tropical depression.

The following table provides a guide to cyclone seasons around the world (note that on some occasions, a cyclone may occur outside the normal season):

South pacific islands: Fiji, Samoa, Tonga

Storm Region Geographic Region Season Start Season End
North Atlantic Caribbean, Central America June November
Northwest Pacific East Asia: Philippines, Japan, South & North Korea, China, Vietnam April January
Northeast Pacific Western Mexico May November
North Indian South Asia: Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka April December
South Indian Eastern Africa: Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania October May
Australia Southwest Pacific October May

As demonstrated by hurricanes Katrina and Wilma in 2005 and Cyclone Larry in 2006, the results of severe weather conditions caused by a cyclone can be catastrophic, with loss of life and significant damage to communication, transport and other infrastructure.

The precise path and strength of a cyclone are difficult to predict and can change quickly. A cyclone or the threat of one can prompt the closure of airports and roads by local authorities, making evacuation difficult or impossible. In an emergency, our ability to provide consular assistance may be severely limited.

If you are travelling to a storm-prone region during cyclone season, we recommend you have with you a supply of bottled water, some non-perishable food items, a basic first-aid kit and a battery-operated radio.

In the event of an approaching cyclone, you should identify your local shelter. Flights in and out of affected areas could be delayed or suspended. Available flights may fill quickly. You should contact your airline for the latest flight information. The cyclone could also affect access to sea ports in the region. In some areas, adequate shelter from a severe cyclone may not be available to all who may choose to stay. You should review and follow hotel or cruise ship evacuation plans. You should carry your travel documents at all times (i.e. Passport, picture ID’s, etc.) or secure them in a safe, waterproof location. We also suggest that you contact friends and family in Australia with updates about your welfare and whereabouts

Travellers should closely monitor the local media for weather updates and information about preparations being made and follow the advice of local authorities.

If you intend to travel to an area that has been affected by a tropical cyclone, you should first seek information from local tour operators and hotels on the condition of infrastructure and facilities in the area.

Information on tropical cyclones or other severe weather conditions can be obtained from the organisations listed in the following table:

Region Agency
Northern Atlantic National Hurricane Center
Northeastern Pacific National Hurricane Center
Caribbean Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency
North Central Pacific Central Pacific Hurricane Center
Northwestern Pacific Japan Meteorological Agency
Northern Indian Indian Meteorological Department
Southwestern Indian Meteo-France
South and
Southwestern Pacific
The Fiji Meteorological Service
Meteorological Service of New Zealand
Papua New Guinea National Weather Service
Meteo-France in French Polynesia
Australian Bureau of Meteorology
Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Centre
Southeastern Indian Australian Bureau of Meteorology