The outcome for wind patterns is not well known. There are two main types of wind that could impact on our built environment: thunderstorm and tropical cyclone. Cyclones do not come as far south as the Central Coast. However, the event known as the “east coast low” is one where an intense low pressure system off the coast of NSW creates high winds with heavy rain. These winds cause widespread damage to Central Coast suburbs while the heavy rain leads to flooding. The wind speeds do not however reach the gust speeds found in strong thunderstorm events (thunderstorm “down-bursts”). Tornados are rare on the Central Coast but have sometimes been reported (their strength is not known).
The movement of weather patterns southward is likely to bring more intensity to thunderstorm activity but the degree of this change is not yet known. However, it is clear from observation of extreme events (e.g. Townsville flooding Feb 2019) that we are already seeing rainfall intensity increases.
The movement of cyclone tracks southward may result in cyclone activity impacting more southward along the Queensland coast than currently occurs. The possibility of cyclones moving into NSW is not currently expected so it is not likely they will impact as far south as the Central Coast.
The frequency of East Coast Lows such as those that occurred in June 2016 may increase. However, the wind gusts expected from these storms are not expected to increase enough to impact on the design of buildings but will increasingly impact on the built environment by knocking over trees and electricity poles.
Impact type 2050 2100 2300
Low High Low High Low High
Wind Speed Not known……
[Reviewed Feb 2019]