You’re looking at a pretty typical wet season weather chart. That blue line of dots and dashes across the top of Australia represents the monsoon. It’s a line of unstable weather that shifts, with the seasons, north and south of the equator. During the Australian summer, it surges south of the equator, pushing in to northern Australia. Along the monsoon trough, you get areas of low barometric pressure, heavy to phenomenal rainfall, and the perfect breeding conditions for cyclones.
The monsoon can begin to head south anytime from late November, but at present it’s still to the north, where Typhoon Haiyan is roaring through the Philippines. It’s one of the most powerful tropical weather events in a long time, and a very timely reminder to us of the need to prepare for the coming Australian wet season.
Yesterday in Cairns, ABC Far North was involved in the latest Get Ready Queensland event. Emergency management, disaster responders, local & state government agencies took part, talking about their roles in an emergency and how each of us can prepare for cyclones and floods. The clear message is if you live in far north Queensland – now is the time to get ready. Early and comprehensive preparation dramatically improves your chances of getting through a weather emergency unscathed and back on your feet in a shorter period of time.
HOW WET WILL THIS WET BE Richard Wardle is supervising forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology
WILL THERE BE FLOODING Andrew Preece is senior hydrologist at the Bureau of Meteorology
WHAT IS GET READY QUEENSLAND Cheryl-Lee Fitzgerald at Emergency Management Queensland
SHOULD I GO TO A CYCLONE SHELTER Ian Fell from Cairns Regional Council says shelters are a last resort
WILL THE ROADS BE OPEN Jim Harding-Smith is with the Department of Main Roads
WHAT ABOUT DOCTORS & HOSPITALS Brad McCulloch is with the Cairns & Hinterland Hospital and Health Service
DISASTER PREPARATION LINKS
Atherton Tablelands residents go here
If you live in the Cairns Regional Council area go here
For Cassowary Coast residents, this is the link for you
And if you live in Cook Shire go here