SYDNEY (Reuters) - Warmer ocean temperatures have increased the possibility of more cyclones developing near Australia during the upcoming November to April cyclone season, the Bureau of Meteorology said on Monday.
The Australian region has a 56 percent chance of having more tropical cyclones than average, the bureau said in its latest cyclone outlook.
"Ocean temperatures are currently 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius warmer than average to the north and east of Australia, which marginally increases the likelihood of cyclones developing," it said.
Warmer ocean water generally provides more energy for storm development.
On average, there are 10 to 13 tropical cyclones each season in the Australian region, four of which typically cross the coast, data from the bureau shows.
Each year, cyclones close shipping lanes and disrupt mining of hundreds of millions of tonnes of iron ore, coal, sugar and other commodities important to Australia's export-reliant economy.
Cyclone Debbie crossed the north of tropical Queensland state in late March, smashing tourist resorts, bringing down power lines, flattening canefields and shutting coal mines.
Australia's tropical cyclone season officially runs from November 1 to April 30.
(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Manolo Serapio Jr.)