The Mid West and Gascoyne have been warned of an early start to the cyclone season, with wetter and windier conditions predicted, as a result of the La Nina weather event. Earlier this month, emergency services from across the region held a multi-agency meeting to prepare for the summer season ahead. Hosting the meeting, Department of Fire and Emergency Services Superintendent Craig Smith told the gathered representatives of 15 agencies the meeting would provide a greater understanding of what to expect this summer. “Looking forward we see an increase potential of cyclones and flooding,” he said. “This is nothing to be concerned about, our agencies are committed to preparing the region, but our communities should be aware of the risk and plan ahead.” Meteorologist Craig Earl-Spurr said in previous years the La Nina event had contributed to extensive flooding and this could be expected in northern areas. “The event will lead to an earlier start to the cyclone system and we can expect to see a pre-Christmas cyclone,” he said. “We’re also expecting above-average rainfall starting in December across the Mid West and Gascoyne.” The La Nina event is part of a regular climate cycle which causes the warming of ocean temperatures in the western Pacific and brings increased rainfall across northern Australia. Bureau of Meteorology senior hydrologist Robert Lawry said, due to the expected above-average rainfall, the risk of serious flooding was also above average. “Communities across the region need to prepare for possible flooding,” he said. Mr Smith said weather forecasts also predicted a normal or potentially above-average bushfire season. “A normal bushfire season means we expect to see bushfires,” he said. “People should be aware of the bushfire risk, what to expect and what to do. what’s concerning to me is the increased number of travellers who are not aware of the situations that can develop. “We’re trying to get the message out to visitors to be aware of the risks wherever they may be travelling to, and prepare ahead.” Information can be found at the Emergency WA website.