Tropical Cyclones
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Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary March 2005
[Summaries and Track Data] [Prepared by Gary Padgett]


                               MARCH, 2005

  (For general comments about the nature of these summaries, as well as
  information on how to download the tabular cyclone track files, see
  the Author's Note at the end of this summary.)

  SPECIAL NOTE:  Recently I received an e-mail from Sheldon Kusselson at
  SSD informing me of some links to add to the links section I recently
  began including in each summary.  Additional tropical satellite imagery
  along with looping ability for composite microwave imagery for the
  Western Hemisphere north of the equator can be found at:

  (1) For the Eastern North Pacific:>

  (2) For the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea:>

  (A special thanks to Sheldon for sending me this information.)


                             MARCH HIGHLIGHTS

   --> Long-lived Australian cyclone reaches Category 5 status three times
       and makes landfalls in Queensland, Northern Territory and Western
   --> First Northwest Pacific typhoon of 2005 forms and makes landfall in
       the Philippines
   --> One cyclone each in Southwest and Southeast Indian Ocean basins


                 ***** Feature of the Month for March *****


     Tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and
  Caribbean Sea are assigned names by the Tropical Prediction Center/
  National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.   A separate alphabetical
  set of alternating male/female names is used each year with the name
  of the first tropical storm beginning with the letter "A".  Names are
  repeated every six years.  The names of hurricanes which cause a lot
  of damage and/or fatalities are usually retired from the list with
  another name of the same alphabetical rank and gender replacing it.
  Following the 2004 season, the names Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne
  were retired and have been replaced in the list for 2010 with Colin,
  Fiona, Igor and Julia, respectively.

     The highest number of tropical storms named in one season in the
  Atlantic was 19 during the very active 1995 season.  The most active
  Atlantic tropical cyclone season on record was 1933, in which 21 storms
  were charted, but of course that season pre-dates the formal naming of
  tropical cyclones.  The active 1969 season is credited with 17 tropical
  cyclones (plus one subtropical storm), but only 13 were actually named
  operationally.    Several of the systems began as hybrid/subtropical
  storms and forecasters at the time were still debating how to classify
  this type of storm system, and so they remained unnamed.   A few years
  later several tracks were added to the official Best Tracks database.
  Two of these unnamed storms were hurricanes, thus giving 1969 a total
  of 12 hurricanes--the current record for the Atlantic.

     The list of names for 2005 is the same one used during the active
  hurricane season of 1999 when twelve tropical cyclones were named.
  Floyd and Lenny were the destructive hurricanes of 1999, and those
  names have been replaced with Franklin and Lee in the list for 2005.

     TPC/NHC also has warning responsibility for the Eastern North
  Pacific Ocean from the west coast of Mexico out to longitude 140W.
  Six separate alphabetical sets of names are used for this basin in
  the same manner as in the Atlantic.  Initially, the Eastern Pacific
  name sets contained only 21 names, omitting "Q" and "U" and ending
  with the letter "W", as in the Atlantic.  When the active 1985 season
  threatened to exhaust the list, the names Xina, York and Zelda were
  drafted to accommodate any additional storms which might develop.
  (Hurricane Xina was named in late October, 1985.)  The decision was
  made sometime in the latter 1980s to extend the list with these three
  names in odd-numbered years, and to add the names Xavier, Yolanda and
  Zeke in even-numbered years (to preserve the alternating gender
  scheme).  During the Northeast Pacific's year of record activity in
  1992, all 24 names were allotted to tropical cyclones forming east of
  140W, ending with Tropical Storm Zeke in late October.  Had more storms
  developed, they would have been named with the letters of the Greek
  alphabet (Alpha, Beta, etc), which is also the backup plan for the
  Atlantic basin in case more than 21 tropical storms develop in a single

    The list for this year was last used in 1999 when only nine tropical
  cyclones were named, the last one being Irwin.   The most active season
  to utilize this set of names was in 1987, when 18 cyclones were named,
  down through Selma.

     The Central Pacific Hurricane Center, located in Honolulu, has
  tropical cyclone warning responsibility for that portion of the North
  Pacific Ocean lying between longitudes 140W and 180.  The majority of
  the tropical storms and hurricanes seen in that region are visitors
  from east of 140W, but on the average about one tropical storm forms
  in the Central Pacific each year, and when this happens, the storm is
  given a Hawaiian name.   The list consists of four sets of twelve
  names each, using only the letters of the Hawaiian alphabet.  All the
  names are used--the first storm to form in a given year is assigned
  the next available name on the list.  No tropical cyclones were named
  by CPHC in 2003 or in 2004.  The last storm to form in Central Pacific
  waters was Hurricane Huko in late October, 2002, so the next name to be
  assigned will be Ioke.

     Names for 2005 are (** indicates name has already been assigned):

            ATLANTIC                EASTERN PACIFIC        CENTRAL PACIFIC

    Arlene         Lee           Adrian         Max             Ioke
    Bret           Maria         Beatriz        Norma           Kika
    Cindy          Nate          Calvin         Otis            Lana
    Dennis         Ophelia       Dora           Pilar           Maka
    Emily          Philippe      Eugene         Ramon           Neki
    Franklin       Rita          Fernanda       Selma           Oleka
    Gert           Stan          Greg           Todd            Peni
    Harvey         Tammy         Hilary         Veronica        Ulia
    Irene          Vince         Irwin          Wiley           Wali
    Jose           Wilma         Jova           Xina            Ana
    Katrina                      Kenneth        York            Ela
                                 Lidia          Zelda           Halola


     Following are monthly and seasonal tropical cyclone statistics for
  the 2004 Atlantic and Northeast Pacific hurricane seasons.  The
  parameters are the ones used by Dr. Bill Gray and the Colorado State
  University forecast team and should be familiar to everyone.  But if
  not, definitions for them may be found in the Monthly Feature section
  in the June, 2003, summary, available at the several websites listed
  near the end of this summary.

     The statistics for the Atlantic basin are based on the period
  1950-2004, and those for the Northeast Pacific are based on the
  period 1971-2004.  The NTC of 219 for the Atlantic is second only
  to the NTC of 220 for the 1950 season.  However, the NTC of only
  63 for the Northeast Pacific basin is one of the lowest on record.
  Only six seasons since 1971 have accumulated a lower NTC value.  It
  should be noted that the data for the Northeast Pacific covers the
  entire basin from the Mexican coastline to longitude 180.  Only one
  cyclone of 2004, Tropical Storm Estelle, carried gale-force winds
  west of 140W into the Central Pacific region.

     Included in the numbers for the Atlantic is Subtropical Storm Nicole.
  Operational naming of subtropical storms began in 2002, and Nicole is
  the first system so named not to have evolved into a tropical cyclone.
  Initially, the CSU forecast team included Nicole in their statistics
  for the 2004 season, but have since reversed that decision.  For the
  time being I decided to leave Nicole in the mix since it adds only a
  trivial amount to the NTC.

     The Atlantic NTC of 85 for the month of August sets a new record
  for that month.  Also, the eight named storms forming during the month
  is a new record for August dating back to 1851.  Eight tropical cyclones
  made landfall in the United States, including five of hurricane
  intensity, and of these, three were of major hurricane intensity at
  landfall (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir/Simpson scale).  Both the
  Leeward and Windward Islands, Puerto Rico, the island of Hispaniola,
  the Bahamas, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and western Cuba were also
  significantly impacted by the 2004 tropical cyclones.   However, no
  tropical storms or hurricanes struck the Mexican West Coast during 2004.

                            ATLANTIC BASIN

   Month     NS      H     IH       NSD       HD      IHD        NTC
    Aug       8      5      3      32.00    14.75      5.5      85.15
    Sep       4      3      3      52.25    29.75    16.75     123.26 
    Oct       2      1      0       5.75     0.50     0.00       8.32
    Nov       1      0      0       1.50     0.00     0.00       2.00    
    Dec       0      0      0       1.50     0.00     0.00       0.49

    Total    15      9      6      93.00    45.00    22.25       219

                        NORTHEAST PACIFIC BASIN

   Month     NS      H     IH       NSD       HD      IHD        NTC
    May       1      0      0       1.50     0.00     0.00       1.37
    Jun       0      0      0       0.00     0.00     0.00       0.00
    Jul       3      2      1      11.50     3.25     0.50      15.92
    Aug       4      1      0       9.75     1.50     0.00       8.97
    Sep       2      3      2      18.00     9.25     5.25      34.56
    Oct       2      0      0       1.25     0.00     0.00       2.34

    Total    12      6      3      42.00    14.00     5.75        63

                            ACTIVITY BY BASINS

  ATLANTIC (ATL) - North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico

  Activity for March: No tropical cyclones


  NORTHEAST PACIFIC (NEP) - North Pacific Ocean East of Longitude 180

  Activity for March:  No tropical cyclones


  NORTHWEST PACIFIC (NWP) - North Pacific Ocean West of Longitude 180

  Activity for March:  1 typhoon

                          Sources of Information

     Most of the information presented below is based upon tropical
  cyclone warnings and significant tropical weather outlooks issued
  by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center of the U. S. Air Force and
  Navy (JTWC), located at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.   In the companion
  tropical cyclone tracks file, I normally annotate track coordinates
  from some of the various Asian warning centers when their center
  positions differ from JTWC's by usually 40-50 nm or more.   All
  references to sustained winds imply a 1-minute averaging period
  unless otherwise noted.

     Michael V. Padua of Naga City in the Philippines, owner of the
  Typhoon 2000 website, normally sends me cyclone tracks based upon
  warnings issued by the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) and the
  Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services
  Administration (PAGASA).  Also, Huang Chunliang of Fuzhou City, China,
  sends data taken from synoptic observations around the Northwest
  Pacific basin.  A very special thanks to Michael and Chunliang for
  the assistance they so reliably provide.

     In the title line for each storm I have referenced all the cyclone
  names/numbers I have available:   JTWC's depression number, the 
  JMA-assigned name (if any), JMA's tropical storm numeric designator,
  and PAGASA's name for systems forming in or passing through their
  area of warning responsibility.

               Northwest Pacific Tropical Activity for March
     A tropical storm or typhoon forms in the month of March on the
  average about every 2 or 3 years in the Northwest Pacific basin.  A
  tropical storm (Butchoy--named by PAGASA) formed there in 2004, but
  the last March typhoon was Super Typhoon Mitag in 2002.  The second
  tropical cyclone and first typhoon of 2005, Typhoon Roke, formed around
  mid-month and made landfall in the central Philippines (where it was
  known by the name Auring).  A report on Typhoon Roke/Auring, authored by
  Kevin Boyle, follows.

                             TYPHOON ROKE
                     (TC-02W / STS 0502 / AURING)
                            13 - 19 March

  Roke: contributed by the United States, is a Chamorran male name
  A. Storm Origins

     The first typhoon of the year, Roke, formed from a surface trough
  after only a month's hiatus in tropical cyclone activity in the Western
  North Pacific.  It was also the first straight-runner of the year, moving
  quite briskly towards the west and across the Philippines before falling
  to pieces and dissipating in the South China Sea.

     The origins of Typhoon Roke can be traced from an area of deep
  convection that persisted for six hours near 4.5N/152.0E, and this was
  first mentioned in JTWC's STWO at 2300 UTC 11 March.  Animated multi-
  spectral satellite imagery depicted a weak circulation associated with
  the thunderstorm activity and QuikScat data identified a weak circulation
  within a broad surface trough.  Upper-level conditions were favourable
  for further development and a TCFA was issued for the organizing system
  at 12/2200 UTC, followed by the first warning at 13/0600 UTC which
  centred Tropical Depression 02W approximately 345 nm south-southeast of
  Andersen AB, Guam.

  B. Synoptic History

     After a quiet 24 hours, Tropical Depression 02W was upgraded to
  tropical storm status at 0600 UTC 14 March and passed a little under
  100 nm north of Yap between 14/1800 UTC and 15/0000 UTC.  The system was
  named Roke by JMA at 15/0000 UTC after that agency upped their MSW to
  35 kts.  The storm had been only slowly intensifying up to this point,
  but more significant strengthening ensued during the 15th.  Roke became
  a 65-kt typhoon at 15/1800 UTC, its developing eye centred approximately
  700 nm east of Manila, Philippines.  (PAGASA named the typhoon Auring at
  15/1200 UTC after the tropical cyclone had entered their AOR.) 

     Continuing westwards under the influence of the mid-level steering
  ridge, Roke maintained a MSW of 65 kts (its peak intensity) until it made
  landfall near Tacloban, Philippines, at 16/1800 UTC.   Roke crossed the
  Philippine Archipelago as a strong 55-kt tropical storm and emerged back
  over water, passing just north of Palawan shortly after 17/1200 UTC.  The
  tropical cyclone continued to weaken as it tracked westward into a pool
  of cold, dry air located in its path and was downgraded to a tropical
  depression at 17/1800 UTC, the time of the final warning issued by JTWC.
  JMA continued to monitor the dying system's progress as a 25-kt tropical
  depression across the South China Sea almost to the Vietnam coast, ending
  bulletin transmissions at 19/0600 UTC. 

     NMCC estimated a peak intensity of 60 kts while the highest MSW
  estimated by the other Asian warning agencies bar HKO was 55 kts.   HKO
  classified Roke as a 50-kt severe tropical storm.  The lowest CP
  estimated by JMA was 980 mb.

     A graphic displaying the track of Typhoon Roke/Auring may be found
  at the following link:>

  C. Meteorological Observations

     Huang Chunliang sent in one observation from the Philippines.  Guiuan,
  Samar Island (WMO 98558, 11.0N/125.7E) recorded 139.8 mm of rainfall
  during the 24 hours ending at 17/0000 UTC.

     The center of Auring passed about 85 nm south of Naga City on Luzon
  on the 16th.  Michael Padua reported that his weather station recorded
  a peak wind of 24.5 kts at 16/0650 UTC but with a minimum SLP of
  1007.7 mb at 0645 UTC on the 17th.  The maximum rainfall rate of
  87.1 mm/hr occurred at 16/2327 UTC and the total measured rainfall for
  the 2-day period was 24 mm.

     Michael sent the following links whereby more observations can be

  D. Damage and Casualties

     According to press reports, eight persons were confirmed dead and
  11 reported missing after Typhoon Roke scythed its way across the
  Philippines.  Six of the casualties occurred when the commercial vessel
  MV Esperanza capsized in high winds near Ormoc City Pier.   The NDCC
  indicated that 939 families or 4793 persons were displaced by
  Roke/Auring, and 1181 houses in Leyte and Eastern Samar were destroyed.

  E. How Strong Was Typhoon Roke?

     There were some indications that the midget Typhoon Roke was
  substantially stronger than 65 kts.  Following is an excerpt from an
  e-mail sent by Mark Lander:

     "I contend that Roke made it to 100 kts at about 0500 UTC March 16.  I
  have appended the Aqua images and the corresponding VIS at that time.
  The eye was very well-defined, but very small.  It only showed up in the
  89 (GHz) channel and not the 36 (GHz)--I think because at the lower
  levels where the 36 (GHz) "sees", the eye diameter was too small--maybe
  10 miles or less--then expanding outward to perhaps 15 miles or so at the
  top where the higher frequency channels could see it.   Although in some
  of the before and after SSMI shots, it was apparent in both the 85 and 37
  GHz channels.

     "As a midget tropical cyclone, changes in intensity can be very rapid
  (both ways).  By the way, there is a later TRMM pass (16 MAR 1618 UTC)
  that shows that it still had a nice eye as it made landfall in the
  central Philippines.

     "I'm certain that the peak intensity was substantially higher than
  65 kts!"

  (Report written by Kevin Boyle)


  NORTH INDIAN OCEAN (NIO) - Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea

  Activity for March:  No tropical cyclones


  SOUTHWEST INDIAN OCEAN (SWI) - South Indian Ocean West of Longitude 90E

  Activity for March:  1 severe tropical storm

                         Sources of Information

     The primary sources of tracking and intensity information for
  Southwest Indian Ocean tropical cyclones are the warnings issued by
  the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre on La Reunion Island, part of
  Meteo France (MFR), and the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre
  for the basin.    However, tropical cyclones in this region are named 
  by the Sub-regional Tropical Cyclone Advisory Centres in Mauritius and 
  Madagascar with longitude 55E being the demarcation line between their 
  respective areas of naming responsibility.  The La Reunion centre only 
  advises these agencies regarding the intensity of tropical systems.  
  References to sustained winds imply a 10-minute averaging period unless
  otherwise stated.

     In the companion tropical cyclone tracks file, I occasionally
  annotate positions from warnings issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning
  Center (JTWC) of the U. S. Air Force and Navy, located at Pearl
  Harbor, Hawaii, when they differ from MFR's coordinates by usually
  40-50 nm or more.  The JTWC warnings are also the source of the
  1-minute average maximum sustained wind values included in the
  tracks file.    Additionally, information describing details of
  satellite imagery and atmospheric circulation features included in
  the narratives is often gleaned from the JTWC warnings.

             Southwest Indian Ocean Tropical Activity for March

     Two numbered tropical disturbances formed in the South Indian Ocean
  west of 90E during the latter part of March.  The first, Tropical
  Disturbance 16, strengthened into a severe tropical storm and was named
  Hennie.   Hennie passed southward a short distance east of Mauritius and
  Reunion Island where heavy rainfall occurred.   Tropical Disturbance 17
  formed at the end of the month and in early April became Tropical Storm
  Isang.   Isang will be covered in the April summary.  A report on Severe
  Tropical Storm Hennie follows.

                       SEVERE TROPICAL STORM HENNIE
                             (MFR-16 / TC-24S)
                               21 - 29 March

  Hennie: contributed by Namibia

  A. Storm Origins

     Following the flurry of weak tropical systems during February, the
  tropical Southwest Indian Ocean lay quiet until after the middle of
  March.  On the 19th an area of convection formed approximately 465 nm
  west of Diego Garcia with deep convection beginning to consolidate around
  a possible developing LLCC.  Outflow was increasing in all quadrants and
  the system lay within an environment of very favorable divergence aloft
  and increasing 850-mb vorticity.  On 20 March animated infrared imagery
  revealed a broad area of convection around a possible LLCC with good
  poleward outflow.  In addition, vertical shear was low.   JTWC upgraded
  the development potential to 'fair' at 0200 UTC on 21 March as deep
  convection continued to increase in organization.  MFR issued the first
  bulletin on Tropical Disturbance 16 at 21/0600, placing a weak 20-kt
  center approximately 600 nm west-southwest of Diego Garcia.  JTWC issued
  a TCFA at 21/0900 UTC.  Deep convection and surface cloud lines were
  beginning to rotate around the LLCC, which was located underneath the
  near-equatorial ridge axis in an environment of low shear and favorable

  B. Synoptic History

     JTWC's first warning on TC-24S came at 21/1800 UTC with the MSW
  estimated at 30 kts (1-min avg).  The system was tracking southwestward
  at 10 kts and possessed strong dual outflow channels, indicating that
  rapid intensification was a possibility.   MFR upped the winds to 30 kts
  at 22/0000 UTC, resulting in classification as a tropical depression.
  Six hours later Mauritius named the depression Hennie while it was
  located roughly 350 nm north-northeast of Mauritius, and at 1200 UTC MFR
  upgraded Hennie to tropical storm status with 35-kt winds.  Hennie's
  motion, which had been steadily southwestward on the 22nd, began to slow
  and become south-southwesterly around 23/0000 UTC.  By 1200 UTC the storm
  was moving due southward at 8 kts.  Intensification was slow at first,
  but the storm strengthened some on the 23rd and reached its peak
  intensity of 55 kts at 0000 UTC on 24 March when it was centered only
  about 75 nm east-northeast of Mauritius.  The minimum estimated CP was
  980 hPa.  Outflow was still good and vertical wind shear was low.  Hennie
  maintained its peak MSW of 55 kts (per MFR) for 24 hours.  (JTWC's peak
  1-min avg MSW was 65 kts at 24/0600 UTC--in good agreement with MFR's
  assessment.)  However, animated EIR water vapor imagery at this time
  revealed a decrease in poleward outflow and a weakening of the deep

     Severe Tropical Storm Hennie's southward motion continued through
  0600 UTC on 25 March, after which time the storm took a jog to the east-
  southeast.  Beginning at 26/0000 UTC the system's track was generally
  southeastward with a few wiggles and wobbles.     By late on the 25th
  Hennie had begun to enter an area of cold, dry air and increased vertical
  wind shear.    The cloud pattern and LLCC were becoming elongated,
  indicating that the system was beginning the initial stages of extra-
  tropical transition.   The LLCC had become fully-exposed to the northwest
  of the remaining deep convection by 26/1800 UTC, and by 27/0600 UTC the
  former tropical storm had completed its transformation into an extra-
  tropical cyclone about 425 nm southeast of Mauritius.  The remnants of
  Hennie continued southeastward as a 45-kt gale center, being last
  reported about 775 nm southeast of Mauritius at 1200 UTC on 29 March.

     A graphic displaying the track of Severe Tropical Storm Hennie may be
  found at the following link:>

  C. Meteorological Observations

     On Reunion Island, a couple of locations had 24-hour rainfall amounts
  exceeding 150 mm in the 24 hours ending at 22/0500 UTC.  One station near
  the volcano (altitude > 2000 m) recorded 397 mm during this period.

     Mauritius experienced heavy rainfalls from Tropical Storm Hennie.
  Following are some of the more significant 24-hour totals:

  Station                Rainfall (mm)              Date/Time (UTC)
  Sans-Souci                202.8                   18/0000 - 19/0000
  Grand-Bassin              126.0                   18/0000 - 19/0000
  Providence                 91.6                   18/0000 - 19/0000
  Souillac                   96.0                   19/1200 - 20/1200
  Fuel                      101.0                   20/0000 - 21/0000

     The table below lists some 3-hour totals recorded between 0000 and
  0300 UTC on 21 March:

  Station                 Rainfall (mm)
  Souillac                    87.6
  Bain Boeuf                  50.8
  Mon-Loisir Rouillard        45.6
  Queen-Victoria              42.4
  Plaisance                   39.3
  Palmar                      37.0

  Bain Boeuf recorded 110.8 mm of rain on 21 March, but the exact period
  during which this amount was recorded was not specified.

  (All the above rainfall data was sent by Patrick Hoareau--a special 
  thanks to Patrick for forwarding the information to me.)

  D. Damage and Casualties

     No reports of casualties or significant damage resulting from Severe
  Tropical Storm Hennie have been received.

  (Report written by Gary Padgett with contributions by Patrick Hoareau)



  Activity for March:  2 severe tropical cyclones **

  ** - one of these originated in the Coral Sea, east of 135E

                        Sources of Information

     The primary sources of tracking and intensity information for
  Northwest Australia/Southeast Indian Ocean tropical cyclones are 
  the warnings and advices issued by the Tropical Cyclone Warning
  Centres at Perth, Western Australia, and Darwin, Northern Territory. 
  References to sustained winds imply a 10-minute averaging period
  unless otherwise stated.

     In the companion tropical cyclone tracks file, I occasionally
  annotate positions from warnings issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning
  Center (JTWC) of the U. S. Air Force and Navy, located at Pearl
  Harbor, Hawaii, when they differ from the Australian centres' coor-
  dinates by usually 40-50 nm or more.  The JTWC warnings are also the
  source of the 1-minute average maximum sustained wind values included
  in the tracks file.   Additionally, information describing details of
  satellite imagery and atmospheric circulation features included in
  the narratives is often gleaned from the JTWC warnings.

                 Northwest Australia/Southeast Indian Ocean
                        Tropical Activity for March
     In contrast to March of 2004 when several tropical cyclones (Monty,
  Nicky, Fay and Oscar) stirred waters of the Southeast Indian Ocean, only
  one named cyclone formed there during March of 2005.  Severe Tropical
  Cyclone Willy formed south of the Indonesian islands and moved slowly
  southwestward for several days, roughly paralleling the coastline of
  Western Australia.  Willy became an impressive cyclone but its effects
  on Australia were minimal.  A report on Tropical Cyclone Willy follows.

     However, there was a very significant visitor to the region.  Severe
  Tropical Cyclone Ingrid orginated in the Coral Sea on the 5th and pursued
  a storied career as it traveled from its region of birth across the Cape
  York Peninsula of Queensland into the Gulf of Carpentaria, thence
  continuing west-northwestward and skimming the Top End coastline, causing
  great destruction to many towns and resorts on various islands off the
  Northern Territory coast.  Finally, the small but intense cyclone turned
  southwestward, making landfall in the Kimberley region of Western
  Australia and wrecking the Faraway Bay resort.  The report on Severe
  Tropical Cyclone Ingrid can be found in the next section of this summary
  covering Northeast Australia and the Coral Sea.

                       SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE WILLY
                                9 - 17 March

  A. Storm Origins

     The first tropical cyclone in the Southeast Indian Ocean in over a
  month began to take shape late in the first week of March.  The daily
  Tropical Weather Outlook issued by BoM Perth on the 7th indicated that
  while there were no significant tropical LOWs, models were indicating
  that one might form in a day or so near 13S/115E and move southwest-
  ward, possibly developing.   The Outlook on the 8th basically re-iterated
  this information.    At 1800 UTC on 8 March JTWC issued a STWO which
  described an area of convection which had formed and persisted roughly
  400 nm north of Port Hedland, Western Australia.    Recent animated
  infrared imagery indicated an increase in deep convection, and a
  08/1013 UTC QuikScat pass depicted a well-organized LLCC located in an
  environment of moderate vertical shear and moderate upper-level

     Perth initiated gale warnings on the LOW at 0100 UTC on the 9th in
  anticipation that the system would likely intensify into a tropical
  cyclone.  The LOW was then centered approximately 450 nm north of Port
  Hedland and deep convection was increasing around the LLCC.   JTWC
  upped the development potential to 'fair' at 09/0500 UTC and issued a
  TCFA at 1230 UTC.  At this time animated multi-spectral satellite imagery
  revealed a rapidly developing system with a well-defined LLCC.  Shortly
  thereafter, at 09/1600 UTC, Perth named the system Tropical Cyclone
  Willy with 35-kt winds, still located roughly 450 nm north of Port
  Hedland, although a little west of the 09/0100 UTC position.   (At 1800
  UTC JTWC issued their first warning on TC-23S, also with an intensity
  of 35 kts.)

  B. Synoptic History

     For several days Tropical Cyclone Willy moved rather slowly along a
  west-southwesterly to southwesterly track off the coast of Western
  Australia as it was guided by a ridge lying to the southeast.    The
  cyclone was located in a favorable environment with dual outflow channels
  and strengthened steadily, reaching severe tropical cyclone (i.e.,
  hurricane) status with 65-kt winds by 2200 UTC on 10 March while located
  approximately 350 nm north-northwest of Onslow.  Willy continued to
  intensify, reaching its peak intensity of 80 kts with an estimated
  minimum CP of 960 hPa around 2200 UTC on the 11th.  The cyclone was then
  centered roughly 300 nm northwest of Onslow.  The forward motion had
  slowed some by then as Willy had gotten caught in a weak steering
  environment between two upper-level ridges.   However, by early on the
  12th the storm was moving southwestward again at a faster pace.  (JTWC's
  estimated peak 1-min avg MSW of 90 kts was in very good agreement with
  Perth's peak assessment, although JTWC had upped Willy's intensity to
  90 kts at 11/0600 UTC, during which time Perth was reporting the 10-min
  avg MSW at around 70 to 75 kts.)

     Following its peak in intensity, Cyclone Willy's MSW levelled off
  and remained pegged at 75 kts for 24 hours.  A fairly rapid decline in
  intensity ensued thereafter.  Perth downgraded the system to below
  hurricane strength at 13/1000 UTC, and Willy was reduced to a tropical
  LOW with 30-kt winds at 1000 UTC on the 14th while located approximately
  475 nm west-northwest of Carnarvon, Western Australia.    During its
  weakening phase Willy turned to a westerly track in response to a low to
  mid-level ridge building equatorward of the system.  The ex-Willy LOW
  continued to drift westward for two to three days well west of the
  Australian coastline, being mentioned for the last time on the 17th
  near 21S/102E.

     A graphic displaying the track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Willy may be
  found at the following link:>

  C. Damage and Casualties

     No damage or casualties are known to have resulted from Severe
  Tropical Cyclone Willy.

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)



  Activity for March:  1 severe tropical cyclone

                         Sources of Information

     The primary sources of tracking and intensity information for
  Northeast Australia/Coral Sea tropical cyclones are the warnings
  and advices issued by the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres at
  Brisbane, Queensland, and Darwin, Northern Territory, and on very
  infrequent occasions, by the centre at Port Moresby, Papua New
  Guinea.  References to sustained winds imply a 10-minute averaging
  period unless otherwise stated.

     In the companion tropical cyclone tracks file, I occasionally
  annotate positions from warnings issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning
  Center (JTWC) of the U. S. Air Force and Navy, located at Pearl
  Harbor, Hawaii, when they differ from the Australian centres' coor-
  dinates by usually 40-50 nm or more.  The JTWC warnings are also the
  source of the 1-minute average maximum sustained wind values included
  in the tracks file.   Additionally, information describing details of
  satellite imagery and atmospheric circulation features included in
  the narratives is often gleaned from the JTWC warnings.

                      Northeast Australia/Coral Sea
                       Tropical Activity for March

     One of the most remarkable tropical cyclones of recent years menaced
  northern Australia from the Cape York Peninsula all the way to the
  Kimberley region of Western Australia.  Severe Tropical Cyclone Ingrid
  reached Category 5 status (Australian scale) three times and brought a
  Category 4/5 impact to Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western
  Australia--the only known cyclone to strike all three areas at such an
  intensity.   In regard to its long trajectory, Ingrid was reminiscent of
  Tropical Cyclone Steve of February and March, 2000, which struck all
  three of the tropical areas and brought gales to South Australia and
  possibly even Victoria and Tasmania in its extratropical stages.  A
  report on Tropical Cyclone Ingrid written by Simon Clarke follows.

                             5 - 19 March

  A. Introduction

     Tropical Cyclone Ingrid was certainly a cyclone for the record 
  books:  the only cyclone known to have delivered a Category 4 or 5 
  (Australian scale) impact in all three tropical regions of Australia 
  (Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia).  In doing so, 
  the cyclone travelled in excess of 2500 km (1360 nm), reminiscent of 
  fellow "long traveller" Tropical Cyclone Steve in February/March, 

     A preliminary report on Severe Tropical Cyclone Ingrid, authored 
  by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology is also available on-line at 
  the following URL:>

  B. Storm Origins

     A mildly active monsoon trough became re-established to the north 
  of the Australian continent in early March, and by 3 March an area of 
  low pressure gradually consolidated to the northeast of Cape Wessel, 
  Northern Territory, and commenced movement toward the east-southeast. 
  The developing tropical LOW crossed the northern tip of Cape York 
  Peninsula, moving into the far northwestern Coral Sea.  By 05/0500 
  UTC it was near 11.9S/145.0E (approximately 100 nm east of Cape 
  Greenville, Queensland) and moving eastward at 10 kts. 
     The LOW was located in a favorable environment for further 
  development consisting of low vertical wind shear and favorable 
  diffluence aloft.  The LOW was sustained by such conditions for much 
  of its life as a cyclone and in addition, when it was over water, the 
  SSTs were generally about 30 C.

  C. Synoptic History

     The LOW was upgraded to cyclone status and named Ingrid at 06/0200 
  UTC near 12.7S/148.0E, or approximately 250 nm east of Lockhart 
  River, Queensland, as gales wrapped around the LLCC.  The cyclone 
  intensified at a rapid rate and slowed its forward momentum as a high 
  pressure ridge built to the south across the Coral Sea.  In a little 
  over 24 hours, Ingrid was a severe 'midget' tropical cyclone located 
  220 nm east-northeast of Cooktown with gales extending little more 
  than 30 nm from the centre and hurricane force winds of up to 75 kts 
  confined to near its centre.   Soon afterward Ingrid recurved to the 
  southwest and commenced movement toward the far northern Queensland 
  tropical coast in response to the strengthening of a mid-level ridge 
  located to the south of the system.  The first Tropical Cyclone 
  Advice was issued at 07/0600 UTC for the far northern tropical coast 
  of Queensland.  However, Ingrid continued to recurve and was directed 
  on a general west-northwesterly path at 4 kts towards the Northern 
  Cape York Peninsula, a direction that the cyclone would follow for 
  the following six days.  The first of Ingrid's three periods of 
  Category 5 intensity was achieved in the northwestern Coral Sea.  At 
  14.0S/147.9E, or approximately 180 nm east-northeast of Cooktown, 
  Ingrid reached an estimated CP of 930 hPa and possessed maximum 
  10-min avg winds of 115 kts near the centre. 

  (Note:  Despite some estimations at the time of a CP as low at 908 hPa,
  it should be noted that BoM Brisbane varies their assessments based on
  the size of the system.  For midget cyclones [or near midget cyclones
  like Ingrid], they use a higher CP for a given intensity.  Jeff Callaghan
  from Brisbane BoM notes that Cyclone Ada [Whitsunday Islands, 1970] had
  a measured CP of 960 hPa, but caused Category 4 damage, and Cyclone Tracy
  [Darwin, 1974] had a high CP of 952 hPa, also causing Category 4/5 level

     In satellite imagery, Ingrid developed a very symmetrical eye with 
  an impressive but tight outflow pattern (see Link 1 in Section F of 
  this report).  However, the cyclone weakened on its approach to 
  northern Cape York (to 970 hPa with maximum gusts of 103 kts) due to
  unfavourable wind shear and a weakening in poleward outflow due to 
  the passing of a mid-latitude trough, but re-strengthened slightly 
  just prior to landfall at 13.2S/143.5E, or 15 nm south of Old 
  Lockhart River Mission and 30 nm south-southeast of New Lockhart 
  River.  At this time, Ingrid was a compact 955 hPa cyclone with 
  destructive winds extending out 30 nm from the centre and very 
  destructive gusts of up to 130 kts extending out only 10 nm from the 

     The cyclone continued to track across Cape York Peninsula on a 
  westerly track at 8-12 kts, gradually weakening, but maintaining 
  cyclone status prior to crossing back to sea in the Gulf of 
  Carpentaria near Aurukun (13.3S/141.8E) at 10/0900 UTC.  Ingrid had 
  maintained a fairly well-intact structure while crossing land and 
  quickly re-intensified as it moved west-northwestward over the very 
  warm waters of the Gulf.

     By 11/0600 UTC, Ingrid had crossed into the Northern Territory's 
  AOR and had regained hurricane intensity (see Link 2).  The cyclone 
  maintained a path to the west-northwest at 10 kts, passing 
  approximately 15 nm north of Nhulunbuy (Gove) at 11/1800 UTC where 
  wind gusts reached 60 kts.  The cyclone was tracked by the Nhulunbuy 
  (Gove) radar which depicted a compact cyclone with a tightening wind 
  core, signifying intensification.     The cyclone brushed the 
  northeastern tip of the Northern Territory at Cape Wilberforce and 
  continued on a general west-northwesterly path, crossing through the 
  southern part of the Wessel Island chain and approximately 25 nm north
  of Elcho Island at 12/0000 UTC.  Ingrid regained Category 5 status at 
  about this time (CP of 938 hPa and peak 10-min avg winds of 110 kts) 
  and maintained an oscillating west-northwestward path at 10 kts 
  parallel to and approximately 30-40 nm off the Arnhem coastline.  
  Ingrid maintained a very compact destructive core with hurricane 
  force winds extending out little more than 10 nm from the centre and 
  gales out to 60 nm.  As such, the very destructive core was for the 
  most part maintained offshore.  Radar imagery indicated a very small 
  and intense system with an eye diameter near 5 nm: cloud tops 
  surrounding the eye were estimated at -76 C to -80 C.

     The cyclone turned to the west as it approached Coburg Peninsula 
  and reached its second major peak in intensity of 925 hPa and 10-min 
  avg winds of 120 kts.  Ingrid passed to the south of the southern tip 
  of Croker Island at 12/1800 UTC before moving over Coburg Peninsula 
  at 13/0000 UTC.  The cyclone weakened due to interaction with land 
  and unfavorable shear with the eye disappearing momentarily from 
  satellite and radar imagery.  

     The cyclone maintained a 5-kt westward path over the northern part 
  of the Tiwi Islands, passing firstly over Melville Island as a 
  Category 3 (950 hPa, maximum 10-min avg winds 90 kts) cyclone.  The 
  cyclone eventually moved out into the Timor Sea at 13/1800 UTC from 
  Bathurst Island as an 80-kt cyclone.  Once again the cyclone 
  commenced the process of re-strengthening as it moved clear of the 
  Tiwi Islands and in response to favourable upper-level outflow 
  conditions in all directions and high SSTs.  Satellite imagery and 
  the Darwin radar depicted an intensifying cyclone with deep 
  convection increasing around the eyewall.  Ingrid continued to be a 
  very compact cyclone as it moved initially to the west-southwest and 
  then on a southwesterly path at 7 kts in response to a weakening in 
  the middle-level ridge to the south.  The main jet stream moving to 
  the southeast of the system across into Queensland further enhanced 
  the intensification process as Ingrid regained Category 5 status at 
  15/0000 UTC (CP of 935 hPa, maximum 10-min avg winds of 110 kts):  an 
  intensity that was maintained until landfall.

     At 15/1200 UTC, Ingrid made its final landfall, crossing the north 
  Kimberley coast about 30 nm northeast of Kalumburu and 115 nm northwest
  of Wyndham.  The Wyndham radar depicted the compact core of Ingrid making
  landfall at Faraway Bay.

     The cyclone maintained a southwesterly course overland, slowing to 
  3 kts before recurving to the east-southeast around the upper-level 
  ridge to the south.   As expected for a small system, the cyclone 
  weakened fairly rapidly over the rugged terrain of the north Kimberley
  region and was finally downgraded at 16/2100 UTC (near Kununurra, Western
  Australia) as it moved at 6 kts back into the Northern Territory as a
  rain depression.

  (Note: JTWC's estimated 1-min avg MSW values for Ingrid's three "peaks"
  in intensity agreed very well with the 10-min avg MSW estimates from
  the Australian TCWCs.    At the first "peak" on 7-8 March, Brisbane
  estimated 115 kts while JTWC's 1-min avg MSW was 130 kts.  At the second
  and maximum "peak" on 12 March, Darwin estimated 120 kts while JTWC's
  1-min avg MSW was 135 kts.  At the third and final "peak" on 15 March,
  Darwin's MSW was 110 kts while JTWC's 1-min avg MSW was 130 kts.)

     A graphic displaying the track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Ingrid may
  be found at the following link:>

  D. Meteorological Observations

     Ingrid was a compact but intense cyclone.  It should be noted that 
  observations are hardly ever taken in the strongest part of any 
  cyclone.  However, the preliminary BoM Report at the following URL 
  provides the most salient observations recorded with the cyclone and 
  also provides further links to wind and pressure charts:>

     Another interim report is also available from the Queensland 
  Environmental Protection Agency providing useful material on Ingrid's 
  storm tide at the following link:>

     For the purposes of this report, it is not intended to reproduce any 
  further data here.

     However of interest, BoM reported that anemometer cups became bent at 
  McCluer Island, and at Cape Don anemometer cups blew off in the middle of
  the event (and apparently they still have not been found).

     Huang Chunliang sent the following 24-hourly rainfall observations
  taken in association with Ingrid:

  Only daily amounts >= 100 mm listed:

  GOVE AIRPORT (WMO94150 12.28S 136.82E)        198.4 mm  [11/00-12/00Z]
  NARAWILLI (-------- 12.00S 135.57E)           123.6 mm  [12/00-13/00Z]
  MILINGIMBI (WMO94140 12.12S 134.90E)          120.0 mm  [12/00-13/00Z]
  MANINGRIDA (WMO94142 12.05S 134.22E)          154.8 mm  [12/00-13/00Z]
  WARMUN (WMO94213 17.02S 128.22E)              135.8 mm  [16/00-17/00Z]

  E. Preliminary Damage Reports

     Cyclone Ingrid was not only a significant weather event, but also 
  a major media event, particularly in areas along its path.  The 
  significant attention paid to the cyclone by the communities 
  contributed to the fact that no significant injuries were reported in 
  Australia and is a testament to the warning system in place to deal 
  with the cyclone.

     Ingrid was a small but very intense cyclone.  Communities beyond 
  a 50 nm radius of the track were hardly affected.  Furthermore, 
  whereas some significant rainfall totals were recorded, total amounts 
  were generally not as remarkable as those reported after some other 
  larger but less intense cyclones in the past (particularly over Cape 
  York Peninsula). 

     However, five lives were lost in the Coral Sea near Kerema in 
  Papua New Guinea as a boat capsized in the large swells generated by 

     The following is a preliminary snapshot of the effects of Ingrid 
  on communities in the cyclone's path, collated from various sources:

  (1) Cape York Peninsula, Queensland

     Ingrid was not a great rain producer over the Cape and damage was 
  confined to a relatively narrow swathe close to the coastal crossing 
  near Bombart Point.  The police officer at Lockhart River (very close 
  to the QLD coastal crossing) reported from an aerial surveillance 
  that the area affected by the cyclone core had been "totally and 
  utterly cleared" of trees.  The leaves had been stripped and the 
  dismembered trunks had been pushed over near the base.  Channel 7 
  showed footage of a 30-nm wide swathe of tree damage and a house 
  demolished near the beach.
     The police officer also reported that there was evidence of water 
  inundation 10-15 km inland, and that he thought it was salt water 
  inundation (noting that there wasn't a lot of rain with Ingrid).  The 
  EPA report (see Link 3) reported an estimated peak water level of 4.0 
  metres above Australian Height Datum (AHD) near Voaden Point (at the 
  southern end of the Lockhart River Aboriginal Reserve).  Furthermore 
  in the officer's opinion, had Ingrid gone over the town, it would 
  have destroyed everything. 

     The police officer at Iron Range recorded a storm surge of 1 metre 
  at the time of landfall.  This location is 30 km north-northwest of 
  the point where the centre crossed the coast.

     The people of Lockhart River (population approximately 400) were 
  placed in the town's stronger buildings shortly prior to landfall. 
  There were no reports of injury as a result of the Cape York crossing. 

     The cyclone forced Qantas to cancel two flights from Cairns to far 
  northern destinations:  a midday service to Horn Island in Torres 
  Strait was cancelled at midday and a separate flight to Weipa was 
  also cancelled during the afternoon.

     It was estimated that (AUS) $2 million worth of damage was caused 
  in Queensland from Ingrid, with the Cook Shire Council estimating 
  that damage of up to $1 million had occurred to shire roads and the 
  Douglas Shire reporting up to $300,000 of road damage. 

  (2) Top End, Northern Territory

  Nhulunbuy - In the town of approximately 4000 people, about 250 people 
  sheltered in the town's main cyclone shelter near the hospital as the 
  main destructive core passed just to the north of the township. 
  Arafura Pearls reported suffering more than $1 million damage to its 
  pearling fleet, with seven vessels lost or missing and a 27-metre 
  vessel that had run aground in Nhulunbuy harbour was damaged. The 
  company reported that none of the crew or staff was injured in the 

  Oenpelli - The Acting Police Sergeant reported that power was out at 
  Goulburn Island, but no major damage had been reported from the 
  cyclone. "A lot of trees down around the town and a fair bit of 
  rubbish blown about," he said.  "Some minor damage to signs and so 
  forth but it doesn't appear that the roofs have been taken off houses 
  and so forth."

  Croker Island - The Minjilang Community Council on Croker Island said 
  it could take years to recover from the devastation of Ingrid. 
  Extensive damage was reported to the town of 200 people, including 
  the school being unroofed, damage to half the community's 60 houses 
  and many steel power poles felled or bent out of shape.  The town was 
  left with no running water and only enough food for two days.  Jarbu 
  fishing lodge was reported as being obliterated and most buildings 
  were extensively damaged, including the teachers' accommodation.  A 
  local said "I would doubt if there's a single tree left in town 
  that's standing." 

     Survivors reported that they could not believe that no one was 
  killed or injured and this was attributed to the community heeding 
  the warnings and acting responsibly.

  Cobourg Peninsula - A number of the buildings at Cape Don lost roofs. 
  Tree damage on the Cobourg Peninsula included extensive defoliation 
  of the forest (see video footage at the end of Link 4).

  Tiwi Islands - The picturesque Tiwi Islands were described as 
  resembling a war zone after Cyclone Ingrid unfurled her full wrath on 
  the island's tiny communities.  Tiwi islanders began to emerge from 
  emergency shelters on Monday afternoon, after enduring a terrifying 
  24 hours as the eye of the destructive cyclone passed directly 
  overhead.  At least two houses were ripped apart, and 'flying' trees 
  damaged several other homes as gales pummeled the two Tiwi islands on 
  Sunday night.

     Cyclone Ingrid was reported as causing serious damage to the Tiwi 
  Island community of Nguiu, knocking over trees and cutting 
  communications to the community.  Nguiu essential services 
  coordinator reported that there were "quite a large number of big 
  mahogany trees over--one onto a house, one has fallen into the store 
  here and also lifted up the telecommunications cables out of the 
  ground which ran nearby."  The power had been turned off because the 
  high voltage cables were clashing together.  "Down along the beach 
  there's been a number of trees uprooted and the water is up to the 
  road at the beach."

     Residents of Milikapiti, the northern-most community on Melville 
  Island, spent the night in the Milikapiti Recreation Centre and told 
  of hearing clattering objects and wind howling in all directions as 
  they took shelter from the cyclone.  It was reported that "there were 
  sounds of logs and metal hitting the side of the hall and it was a 
  terrifying ordeal.  Plus the rain came in and it was very scary for 
  the old people."

     While almost none of the trees in town survived, there was little 
  damage to buildings.  Milikapiti's housing manager said that he could 
  not understand how this could be:  given the size of the objects he 
  saw flying through the air. "A lot of big sections of trees went past 
  us.  It (the wind) had no trouble in picking them up," he said. 
  Roofing was blown from Milikapiti's school.

     Along with Milikapiti, the small communities of Ranku and 
  Pirlangimpi were without functioning sewerage services, according to 
  police reports.

     Communities at Snake Bay and Garden Point on Melville Island were 
  also affected by widespread tree damage.

     The Northern Territory Government estimated that Ingrid may have 
  caused about (AUS) $5 million damage to Croker and the Tiwi Islands.

  Darwin - The city was advised to prepare for the cyclone and warned 
  of $5000 fines for people failing to act.  Schools were also closed 
  in preparation and some flights were cancelled, including an Air 
  Garuda flight from Denpasar, leaving tourists stranded.  Heavy rain 
  squalls with winds gusts up to 41 kts were recorded at Lee Point on 
  the outskirts of Darwin.  Despite this and all the preparations, 
  Ingrid left Darwin unscathed.

  (3) Kimberley Coast, Western Australia

  Faraway Bay - The remote resort of Faraway Bay, which had previously 
  withstood Category 3 cyclones with no damage, was reported as being 
  wrecked by Ingrid.  Two staff members sheltered in a sea container 
  while Ingrid passed directly overhead and escaped unharmed.  At the 
  time of report writing the future of Faraway Bay resort remains 

     The storm tide accompanying the cyclone was reported as depositing 
  boats about 100 metres inland and several metres above the usual high 
  tide mark.

  Kalumbaru - Ingrid had weakened a little by the time it reached 
  Kalumburu (population approximately 400) which was spared the worst.
  While the cyclone brought down trees and power lines, and disrupted 
  essential services like water, there was no severe damage. 

     However flooding was extensive in the Kimberley region as the 
  adjacent King Edward River became a massive swollen torrent. 
  Floodwaters cut the Great Northern Highway near Kununurra and 
  isolated some properties. 

     At one point, the State Emergency Service had concerns for two 
  tourists and a local man believed to be at an eco-tourism retreat 
  called Alligator Camp at the mouth of the Drysdale River.  However, 
  all three missing people were found safe and well.

     At the time of writing an estimate of damage from the Western 
  Australian Government was not available.

  F. Links

  Link 1:

  Satellite Imagery of Ingrid in the Northern Coral Sea>

  Link 2:

  Link 3:

  Queensland Environmental Protection Agency Interim Report on Ingrid:>

  Link 4:

  Video footage (large in size) of the cyclone passing by Cape Don,
  Northern Territory is available at:>

  Additional Links:

  Further photographs, reports and a basic plot of Ingrid's track can 
  be found at the following sites:>>>

  TRMM Imagery is available at:>

  Further satellite pictures can be found at:>>

  ABC News report as Ingrid passes to the north of Darwin:>

  Cyclone chaser report from Geoff Mackley at:>

  Damage photographs, near the Argyle Diamond Village:>

  (Report written by Simon Clarke)


  SOUTH PACIFIC (SPA) - South Pacific Ocean East of Longitude 160E

  Activity for March:  1 tropical depression
                       1 tropical cyclone of gale intensity

                        Sources of Information

     The primary sources of tracking and intensity information for
  South Pacific tropical cyclones are the warnings and advisories
  issued by the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres at Nadi, Fiji (for
  waters north of latitude 25S), and Wellington, New Zealand (for
  waters south of latitude 25S).  References to sustained winds imply
  a 10-minute averaging period unless otherwise stated.

     In the companion tropical cyclone tracks file, I occasionally
  annotate positions from warnings issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning
  Center (JTWC) of the U. S. Air Force and Navy, located at Pearl
  Harbor, Hawaii, when they differ from the Southern Hemisphere
  centres' coordinates by usually 40-50 nm or more.  The JTWC warnings
  are also the source of the 1-minute average maximum sustained wind
  values included in the tracks file.    Additionally, information
  describing details of satellite imagery and atmospheric circulation
  features included in the narratives is often gleaned from the JTWC

                 South Pacific Tropical Activity for March

     As the month of March opened, intense Tropical Cyclone Percy was
  moving southward well east of Samoa.  Percy reached its peak intensity
  of 125 kts early on the 2nd about 200 nm northwest of Palmerston Island
  and thereafter began to steadily weaken as it moved into higher
  latitudes.  The complete report on Cyclone Percy can be found in the
  February summary.  Except for two weak systems which formed in the wake
  of Percy, the month of March was quiet throughout the South Pacific--in
  stark contrast to the month of February when four very intense tropical
  cyclones traversed South Pacific waters east of the International Date-
  line.  A tropical disturbance which formed in late February was numbered
  as Tropical Depression 12F on 1 March northeast of Fiji.  This system
  spent the next few days drifting generally southeastward, becoming
  Tropical Cyclone Rae on the 5th while located west of Rarotonga.  A
  report on Rae written by Simon Clarke follows.

     Another LOW which formed in late February south of Guadalcanal was
  classified as Tropical Depression 13F on 2 March just northwest of Fiji.
  TD-13F remained weak as it drifted near Fiji, dissipating near the
  Dateline on the 4th.  A track was included for TD-13F in the companion
  cyclone tracks file.  A graphic displaying the track of short-lived
  Tropical Depression 13F may be found at the following link:>

                          TROPICAL CYCLONE RAE
                           (TD-12F / TC-21P)
                          27 February - 8 March

  A. Storm Origins

     Tropical Cyclone Rae was the eighth tropical cyclone to form in the 
  Southwest Pacific for the 2004/2005 season and the last cyclone in 
  the string of five storms in a four-week period that brought wild 
  weather stretching from Fiji through to the Cook Islands.  However, 
  unlike the earlier cyclones in the sequence, Rae was a short-lived 
  storm that barely reached cyclone status, appearing to be merely a 
  cyclonic wave left in the wake of its intense predecessor, Percy. 

    The initial easterly-moving depression (TD-12F) can be traced back to 
  near 11.5S/178.5E at 28/2100 UTC.  At this time, convection remained 
  detached from the centre with active convection evident only in the 
  northern and eastern quadrants.  At the time, SSTs were around 30 C 
  and TD-12F remained under an upper-level (250-hPa) outflow with 
  relatively weak environmental shear.

     However, early development appeared to be suppressed partly due to 
  the proximity of Tropical Cyclone Percy to the east.  It was not until 
  04/1815 UTC that convective organization rapidly improved with the 
  development of a spiralling band pattern.  Despite vertical shear and 
  diurnal influences suppressing development, TD-12F was steered by the 
  monsoon westerlies to the south-southeast at 10 kts into an area of 
  reduced vertical wind shear relative to the system and a region of 
  good outflow to the north, enhanced by the jet entrance region to the 

  B. Synoptic History

     At 05/2100 UTC TD-12F was upgraded to cyclone status by RSMC Nadi and 
  named Rae as convection erupted close to the LCCC and gales encircled 
  in all quadrants.  At the time of naming, Rae was located near 
  21.0S/164.5W, or approximately 200 nm west-southwest of Rarotonga and 
  moving to the south-southeast at 13 kts.  This path was maintained 
  for the rest of Rae's short life.  Peak intensity of 990 hPa and 10-min
  avg winds of 40 kts was briefly attained shortly after naming.   Soon
  thereafter weakening commenced as Rae began to run into the subtropical
  ridge located to the southeast.

     At 06/1200 UTC Rae was located near 23.9S/161.4W, or approximately 
  180 nm south of Mangaia, and was downgraded from cyclone status by 
  RSMC Nadi as major convection became detached from the centre and lay 
  on the southern side of the LLCC.  Strong shear from the mid-latitude 
  westerlies and dry air entrainment from the south rapidly weakened 
  Rae into an extratropical system.  However, gales were maintained 
  between the stalling ex-cyclone and the high pressure ridge to the 
  south due to the increased gradient for a couple of days to come.

     A graphic displaying the track of Tropical Cyclone Rae may be found
  at the following link:>

  C. Damage and Casualties

     Prior to intensifying into a cyclone, the Australian-Pacific Centre 
  for Emergency and Disaster Information reported that TD-12F brought 
  flooding rains to parts of Fiji and Samoa.  Flooding in Fiji in the 
  Suva and Nausori area of Viti Levu was reported as causing several 
  landslides and displacing several people.

     Following upgrading to cyclone status, Rae maintained a path over 
  open ocean with no reports of casualties.  However, Rae contributed 
  to the difficulties of life associated with a prolonged period of wet 
  and windy conditions through a broad swath of the central/eastern 
  South Pacific that was initiated a month earlier by Tropical Cyclone 

  (Report written by Simon Clarke)



     The purpose of this section is to list some websites where many and
  varied types of tropical cyclone information are archived.  Many readers
  will know about these already, but for the benefit of those who don't,
  I wanted to include them. 

  (1) Aircraft Reconnaissance Information

     Various types of messages from reconnaissance aircraft may be
  retrieved from the following FTP site:>

     Information regarding how to interpret the coded reconnaissance
  messages may be found at the following URL:>

  Links are also included to websites with further information about the
  U. S. Air Force 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron and the NOAA Air-
  craft Operations Center.

  (2) Archived Advisories

     All the advisory products (public advisories, forecast/advisories,
  strike probabilities, discussions, various graphics) issued by TPC/NHC
  are archived on TPC's website.  For the current year (using 2004 as an
  example), the archived products can be found at:>

  Links to tropical products archives for earlier years are available at
  the following URL:>

  JTWC warnings for past storms are archived on the NRL Monterry website:>

  On the NRL site, the link to past years can be found in the upper left 
  corner of the screen.

     I am not aware at the moment of any other TCWC which archives all
  its tropical cyclone warning/advisory products for public access, but
  if I learn of any, I will add them to this list.

  (3) Satellite Imagery

     Satellite images of tropical cyclones in various sensor bands are
  available on the NRL Monterrey and University of Wisconsin websites,
  courtesy of Jeff Hawkins and Chris Velden and their associates.  The
  links are:>>

  On the NRL site, the link to past years can be found in the upper left 
  corner of the screen.  For the CIMSS site, a link to data archives is 
  located in the lower left portion of the screen.

     Additional tropical satellite imagery, along with looping ability for
  composite microwave imagery for the Western Hemisphere north of the
  equator, can be found at:

  (1) For the Eastern North Pacific:>

  (2) For the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea:>

     I'm sure there are other sites with available imagery available, and
  as I learn of them, I will add the links to this list.


                              EXTRA FEATURE

     In order to shorten the amount of typing in preparing the narrative
  material, I have been in the habit of freely using abbreviations and
  acronyms.   I have tried to define most of these with the first usage
  in a given summary, but I may have missed one now and then.  Most of
  these are probably understood by a majority of readers but perhaps a
  few aren't clear to some.  To remedy this I developed a Glossary of
  Abbreviations and Acronyms which I first included in the August, 1998
  summary.  I don't normally include the Glossary in most months in
  order to help keep them from being too long.  If anyone would like to
  receive a copy of the Glossary, please e-mail me and I'll be happy
  to send them a copy.


  AUTHOR'S NOTE:  This summary should be considered a very preliminary 
  overview of the tropical cyclones that occur in each month. The cyclone
  tracks (provided separately) will generally be based upon operational
  warnings issued by the various tropical cyclone warning centers.  The
  information contained therein may differ somewhat from the tracking and
  intensity information obtained from a "best-track" file which is based
  on a detailed post-seasonal analysis of all available data. Information
  on where to find official "best-track" files from the various warning
  centers will be passed along from time to time.

    The track files are not being sent via e-mail.  They can be retrieved
  from the archive sites listed below.  (Note: I do have a limited e-mail
  distribution list for the track files.    If anyone wishes to receive
  these via e-mail, please send me a message.)

    Both the summaries and the track files are standard text files
  created in DOS editor.  Download to disk and use a viewer such as
  Notepad or DOS editor to view the files.

     The first summary in this series covered the month of October,
  1997.   Back issues can be obtained from the following websites
  (courtesy of Michael Bath, Michael V. Padua, Michael Pitt, Chris
  Landsea, and John Diebolt):>>>>>

     Another website where much information about tropical cyclones may
  be found is the website for the UK Meteorological Office.  Their site
  contains a lot of statistical information about tropical cyclones
  globally on a monthly basis.  The URL is:>


     JTWC now has available on its website the Annual Tropical Cyclone
  Report (ATCR) for 2004 (2003-2004 season for the Southern Hemisphere).
  ATCRs for earlier years are available also.

     The URL is:>

     Also, TPC/NHC has available on its webpage nice "technicolor"
  tracking charts for the 2004 Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific
  tropical cyclones; also, storm reports for all the 2004 Atlantic
  and Eastern North Pacific cyclones are now available, as well as
  track charts and reports on storms from earlier years. 

     The URL is:>

     A special thanks to Michael Bath of McLeans Ridges, New South Wales,
  Australia, for assisting me with proofreading the summaries.


  Gary Padgett
  E-mail:  [email protected]
  Phone:  334-222-5327

  Kevin Boyle  (Eastern Atlantic, Western Northwest Pacific, South
                China Sea)
  E-mail:  [email protected]

  John Wallace (Assistance with Eastern North Pacific)
  E-mail:  [email protected]

  Huang Chunliang  (Assistance with Western Northwest Pacific, South
                    China Sea)
  E-mail:  [email protected]

  Simon Clarke  (Northeast Australia/Coral Sea, South Pacific)
  E-mail:  [email protected]


Document: summ0503.htm
Updated: 17th May, 2005

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