Australia can expect up to 11 cyclones this "storm season": Official weather bureau
SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Australia can expect an average cyclone season with up to 11 tropical storms, four of them severe, in the next six months, the Bureau of Meteorology forecast said on Monday.
Australia's cyclone season runs from Nov 1 to April 30 with storms forming in the tropical waters off the north-east and north-west coasts before making landfall.
Each year, cyclones close shipping lanes and disrupt mining of hundreds of millions of tonnes of iron ore, coal and other commodities in Australia.
Last February, Cyclone Rusty, packing winds up to 200 km per hour, closed the Indian Ocean ports of Cape Lambert and Dampier ports used by Rio Tinto . It also closed nearby Port Hedland, used by BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals , which handle 500 million tonnes of iron ore annually between them.