Tropical cyclones are one of the most destructive weather systems on Earth. The great majority occur in the Northern Hemisphere tropics; however 12% of the global tropical cyclones develop in the Australian sector from November to April. From year-to-year, the frequency of the tropical cyclones in the Australian sector varies depending on the sea surface temperatures in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. An overall increase in the number of tropical cyclones is observed during La Niña years, while a reduction typically occurs during El Niño events. The relationship between the Indian Ocean sea surface temperature and tropical cyclone frequency is less known; nonetheless equally important to understand for planning and managing weather impacts over land. This project investigates the relationship between tropical cyclone characteristics in the Australian sector and the sea surface temperature conditions in the Indian Ocean. Students with a background in atmospheric science, physics, mathematics or similar areas are encouraged to apply. The candidate will use statistics, coding (Python preferably) and data management.
This project will be based at UNSW.
Dr Zoe Gillett and Dr Andrea Taschetto