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BoM Releases Severe Weather Outlook And Advises Aussies To Prepare

The Bureau of Meteorology's most recent Severe Weather Outlook has revealed that Australia will be at high risk of grassland and bush fires this summer, and Aussies around the country should prepare accordingly.

The Severe Weather Outlook combines various factors to give insight into the risk of bushfire, tropical cyclone, storms and flood in the period of October through to April.

The most recent report provides information about the season spanning October 2019 to April 2020.

Stanthorpe Drought
Drought in Queensland. Photo: Facebook/Aratula Market, Warwick Farmers Market & Stanthorpe Markets.

"While severe weather can occur any time of the year, this is the peak time for bushfires, heatwaves, flooding, tropical cyclones and severe thunderstorms," BoM Metrologist Dr. Adam Morgan said.

Risk Of Bushfires And Heatwave High

Rainfall in parts of western, central and southern Australia has increased the growth of grass, which drys out as the days get hotter, becoming ample fuel for fires. The BoM predicts the bushfire risk is higher than average around the nation this summer.

A higher rate of heatwaves is also expected, which can further add to the risk of bushfire.

READ MORE: A Tribute To Our Amazing Firies, In 10 Incredible Photos

The risk of bushfire is high this severe weather season. Image: AAP Photos.

"The increased odds of warmer than average days, coupled with a very dry landscape and a likely late start to the northern wet season, give a clear indication that we're likely to see more heatwaves than normal," BoM's head of long-range forecasts Dr. Andrew Watkins said.

"It also adds to the potential bushfire risk, particularly when you consider how dry many parts of southern and eastern Australia are at the moment."

Despite Heat, Flood Risk Still Present

While the risk of flood is much lower than that of fire and heatwave, Australians are still being urged to prepare for heavy rainfall and thunderstorms.

Severe thunderstorms and rain can occur during any season, according to the Outlook. Australians are being reminded not to be deterred by the hot temperatures and expect some rainfall throughout the summer months.

Townsville during the February 2019 floods. Image: AAP Photos.

The NRMA and the NSW SES have also issued a warning to people living in NSW ahead of 'storm season' which occurs at a similar time to severe weather season -- between October and March.

Sydney's Hills District, the northern and western suburbs, as well as the Central Coast,  are most prone to heavy rains or floods.

Berowra Heights was named as the most storm-affected suburb in NSW, followed by Castle Hill and Chipping Norton.

Suburbs ranging from the Hunter Region to Greater Western Sydney and Wollongong made up the six remaining spots in the top 10. West Pennant Hills came in fourth, followed by Baulkham Hills, Casula, Quakers Hill, Berowra, Moorebank and Glenwood.

Sydney Thunderstorms in October 2018. Image: AAP Photos.

In fact, a whopping 86 percent of all home claims made to the NRMA in December last year came from those areas.

Cyclone Risk Lower Than Average

There is a slightly reduced risk of cyclone this season according to the recently released Tropical Cyclone Season Outlook, also from the Bureau of Meteorology. On average, Australia experiences 11 cyclones each season, with roughly four crossing the coast.

"We've never had a tropical cyclone season without at least one cyclone crossing the coast. This means that despite a reduced risk this season, all communities in northern Australia must be ready," Dr. Watkins said.

Cyclone Veronia (left) and Cyclone Trevor (right) in March 2019.Image: AAP Photos.

READ MORE: Cyclone Sandwich: State Of Emergency Declared In The NT

The BoM advises knowing severe weather is approaching is the best way to prevent it from impacting your life negatively.

You can learn more about severe weather and where you could be at risk at the BoM website.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au