26 Oct 2005

Up to nine cyclones expected in South Pacific as season about to begin

4:48 pm on 26 October 2005

The South Pacific's tropical cyclone forecasting centre in Nadi, Fiji, is expecting neutral climatic conditions for the cyclone season, which begins next week.

The centre's director, Rajendra Prasad, says seven to nine cyclones are likely to form over the next six months.

"There has been a tendency of tropical cyclones to form more towards the north east of Fiji, more in the region of Tuvalu, east of Tuvalu, north of Samoa, and they have really followed the common south-east trajectory."

Mr Prasad says conditions this year may favour the development of cyclones to the north and north-west of Fiji, towards the easternmost Solomon Islands, and in the Coral Sea north-east of Australia.

Mr Prasad says the first cyclone of the season will be called Tropical Cyclone Tam.