Geoscience Australia has released the first update to the Tropical Cyclone Hazard Assessment (TCHA) since 2014, with new methodology to better calculate the likelihood of tropical cyclones in Australia.
“The new methodology provides a more realistic evolution of tropical cyclones over their lifetime and an improved understanding of how they weaken once they make landfall,” Geoscience Australia Atmospheric Hazards Activity Leader Craig Arthur said.
The TCHA defines the severe wind hazard posed to Australia based on the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones making landfall around the Australian coastline. Following the 2018 update, it now includes data on 160,000 tropical cyclone scenarios for 400 locations around Australia.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said when it came to tropical cyclones it was important to plan for the future rather than the past.
“To prepare the cities, towns and infrastructure of Northern Australia for tropical cyclones, we cannot just rely on our knowledge of past events. We need to have a good understanding of how big, how often and where tropical cyclones are likely to occur,” Senator Canavan said.
“Knowledge is power and one of the best ways we can help communities more likely to experience a tropical cyclone is to make sure they have access to accurate and up-to-date information.”
Based on its data, Geoscience Australia and others developed local tropical cyclone hazard and impact models, which informred evidence-based disaster management and evacuation plans, as well as infrastructure planning and mitigation strategies, he said.
“For example, Geoscience Australia is currently partnering with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC on a project led by the Cyclone Testing Station at James Cook University in Townsville to devise simple, practical and economic options for upgrading existing houses,” Senator Canavan said.