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A cyclone before Christmas, and three more in the new year, bureau says

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Queenslanders should brace themselves for a summer of volatile weather, with predictions of several cyclones crossing the coast in a season that meteorologists say will be wetter and more humid than usual.

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The Bureau of Meteorology’s annual severe weather outlook is tipping a higher than average risk of cyclones between November and April, with the first of the season likely to form in the weeks before Christmas.

It came as a huge cloud band continued to move across the state from the west, dumping 18mm of rain in Mount Isa and 6mm in Charleville. The rain is likely to reach Queensland’s south-east by Tuesday, brining temperatures down into the low to mid-20s for much of the week.

The outlook says Australia has a 65 per cent chance of having more than the average nine to 11 tropical cyclones forming over the summer. At least four of these and possibly more would pose a risk to Queensland.

The bureau’s senior climatologist, Greg Browning, said the state was likely to have more rain than usual over summer and fewer days of extreme heat.

He urged Queenslanders to understand the kinds of severe weather that could hit the places where they lived.

“Many climate drivers are indicating that it could be an active seasons across parts of Australia,” he said.

“It is also likely that the first rains of the northern wet season will arrive earlier than normal for many locations.

“On average, the Coral Sea would see four tropical cyclones in a season, and during 2021-22 we are expecting an average to slightly above average number.”

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