7 Nov 2011

Forecasters predict below average tropical cyclone activity in Pacific this season

2:40 pm on 7 November 2011

Climate and weather forecasters from the Southwest Pacific region are predicting below average tropical cyclone activity for the current season.

An average of nine tropical cyclones occur in the region during the season which runs from November to April.

New Zealand's National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research or NIWA says five to eight named cyclones are expected, with at least one predicted to reach category three.

NIWA says tropical cyclone activity is expected to be below normal to the west of the Dateline, except near North Queensland where more activity may occur.

It says during the second half of the season, higher than normal cyclone activity is possible east of the Dateline especially in French Polynesia.