Broome Cyclone Season: What You Need to Know
During the many years living in Broome, we cannot recall having 2 cyclones pass by within two weeks of each other. Whilst the memory fades with age, we can recall some the more memorable ones and near misses, or the 'big one' Cyclone Rosita in 2000, which was at the end of a very good wet season. We have seen dozens of them pass close by without much effect on the town other some welcome, soaking rains and a few leaves and small branches down around the gardens.
Each cyclone is a different beast and even though there are Categories form 1-5 to identify the strength and assist in personal preparations, you never really know what Mother Nature is going to throw at you.
Broome's modern architecture is designed and built with cyclone ratings, so the fear of major building damage has not crossed our minds on too many occasions and we generally can safely shelter indoors away from danger. With many travellers having pre-booked their Broome holiday in the coming dry season months, they can rest fairly well assured that their accommodation will be still standing - although some minor repairs may be required in coming weeks.
From the usual blue skies and calm, blue seas, Cable Beach takes on a new persona. With an imminent cyclone, the local surfers take their boards to Cable Beach to enjoy the few waves that are brought in on the higher tides. Cable Beach is not known for its surf, so any suggestion of a wave brings out the surfboards!
A normal day at Cable Beach.
After the cyclone has passed.
Watching the clouds build up to a cyclone gets people talking – from those who are sceptical that the clouds don’t ‘look right’ and suggest the storm might not occur, to those who can’t wait for authorities to declare a ‘yellow alert’ when businesses and schools close in readiness for ‘red alert’ meaning a day or two off work.
Once the drama of a cyclone has passed, calm is restored and the evening skies usually turn on a few magnificent sunsets.
The glorious sunsets after the storms have passed.
For those who are interested, or are travelling in the north of Australia during the summer months, the following are the alerts issued by the authorities when a cyclone is expected to form.
Community Alerts Issued for cyclones:
- Blue Alert: Get Ready for a cyclone. You need to start preparing for cyclone weather.
- Yellow Alert: Take action and get ready to shelter from a cyclone. You need to prepare for the arrival of a cyclone.
- Red Alert: Take shelter from the cyclone. You need to go shelter immediately.
- All Clear: The Cyclone has passed but take care. Wind and Storm surge dangers have passed but you need to take care to avoid the dangers caused by damage.
- Cyclone Watch: Is used when damaging winds or gales are expected to affect communities within 48 hours.
- Cyclone Warning: Are issued when damaging winds or gales are likely to affect communities within 24 hours.
Also, check out the Bureau of Meteorology website for regular updates of the path of the weather systems