24 Oct 2011

Increased Pacific cyclone activity predicted

10:33 pm on 24 October 2011

A senior climatologist at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology says there is a good chance the west of the southwest Pacific will experience more cyclones this summer.

Dr Andrew Watkins says that as a result of a weak La Nina weather pattern, there is a 65% higher likelihood of cyclones in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

He says the La Nina pattern is forecast to fade out after March but that does not mean an El Nino pattern will take its place.

Dr Watkins says in more eastern areas such as Samoa, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Tonga there is only a 40% chance of greater than average cyclone activity.