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2017–18 Australian region cyclone season

The 2017–18 Australian region cyclone season was a near average period of tropical cyclone formation in the Southern Indian Ocean and Pacific Oceans, between 90°E and 160°E, with 11 named storms, which 2 intensified into severe tropical cyclones. The season officially began 1 November 2017 and ended on 30 April 2018; however, tropical cyclones can form at any time of the year, as demonstrated by the first tropical low of the season in early August. Any tropical system that forms between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018 will count towards the season total. During the season, tropical cyclones will be officially monitored by one of the five tropical cyclone warning centres (TCWCs) that operate in this region. Three of the five centres are operated by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) in Perth, Darwin and Brisbane, while the other two are operated by the National Weather Service of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby and the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics in Jakarta. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) of the United States and other national meteorological services, including Météo-France at Réunion, also monitored the basin during the season.

2017–18 Australian region cyclone season
2017-2018 Australian region cyclone season summary.png
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formed 8 August 2017
Last system dissipated 28 April 2018
Strongest storm
Name Marcus
 • Maximum winds 230 km/h (145 mph)
(10-minute sustained)
 • Lowest pressure 912 hPa (mbar)
Seasonal statistics
Tropical lows 23
Tropical cyclones 11
Severe tropical cyclones 2
Total fatalities 41 total
Total damage $165 million (2017 USD)
Related articles
Australian region tropical cyclone seasons
2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20

Contents

Seasonal summaryEdit

Cyclone MarcusCyclone KelvinTropical cyclone scales#Comparisons across basins 

SystemsEdit

Tropical Cyclone CempakaEdit

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Duration 22 November – 1 December
Peak intensity 65 km/h (40 mph) (10-min)  998 hPa (mbar)

On 22 November, TCWC Perth and TCWC Jakarta started to monitor a weak tropical low that had developed about 332 km (206 mi) south of the city of Surabaya.[1] By 06:00 UTC of 26 November, TCWC Jakarta began issuing advisories and was classified as a tropical depression.[2] The JTWC, however, issued a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert early on 27 November, stating that satellite imagery depicted flaring convection near its center.[3] Several hours later, TCWC Jakarta upgraded the system to a tropical cyclone, giving the name Cempaka.[4] Winds from the cyclone also blew ash from nearby Mount Agung on Bali westwards to its popular beaches and far eastern Java.[5] On 30 November, Cempaka weakened into a tropical low, while turning to the southwest.[6] TCWC Perth last mentioned Cempaka on 1 December.[7]

Although Cempaka never made landfall, the rainfall from the storm caused severe flooding and landslides across the southern half of Java and Bali, killing at least 41 people and destroying many homes and businesses.[8]

Tropical Cyclone DahliaEdit

Category 2 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration 24 November – 5 December
Peak intensity 95 km/h (60 mph) (10-min)  985 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Low 03U was first noted as a tropical depression by TCWC Jakarta on 24 November, while it was located about 1,500 km (930 mi) to the west of Jakarta, Indonesia.[9] By 29 November, TCWC Jakarta upgraded the system to a tropical cyclone, receiving the name Dahlia, making it the first time where at least two cyclones were formed and named by TCWC Jakarta in a single season.[10] The JTWC followed suit the next day, designating the system as 01S.[11] By 1 December, Dahlia intensified into a Category 2 tropical cyclone,[12] and reached its peak intensity six hours later with a minimum barometric pressure of 985 hPa.[13] Dahlia maintained its intensity for several hours until the storm moved southeastwards and began to weaken.[14] The BoM later issued its final bulletin on Dahlia early on 4 December.[15] TCWC Perth last monitored on Dahlia on 5 December.[16]

Tropical Cyclone HildaEdit

Category 2 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration 26 December – 30 December
Peak intensity 95 km/h (60 mph) (10-min)  980 hPa (mbar)

During 26 December, the BoM reported that a tropical low had developed just off the Kimberley coast, about 330 km (205 mi) to the north of Derby.[17] The system subsequently moved south-southwest parallel to the coast, as it developed further before it moved overland to the southwest of Cape Leveque.[17] The system was subsequently classified as a Category 1 tropical cyclone and named Hilda by the BoM, while it was located inland near Broome based on reports of persistent gale-force winds from Broome Airport.[17] After moving back over water, the system was classified as a Category 2 tropical cyclone with 10-minute peak windspeeds of 95 km/h (60 mph).[17] Hilda made landfall close to Anna Plains on 28 December, as a Category 2 tropical cyclone. Wind and flooding damage was reported along the coast in Broome.[citation needed]

Tropical Cyclone IrvingEdit

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration 3 January – 6 January (Exited basin)
Peak intensity 75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min)  993 hPa (mbar)

On 3 January, a tropical low had developed to the southwest of Sumatra.[18] On 06:00 UTC of 5 January, TCWC Perth began issuing advisories on the system, using the identifier 08U.[19] TCWC Perth had recorded winds of 75 km/h (45 mph), despite the system did not have the structure of a tropical cyclone.[19] By the next day, 08U then strengthened into a Category 1 tropical cyclone, with the BoM receiving the name Irving, the fourth named storm of the season.[20] Three hours later, the JTWC followed suit and gave the designation 04S.[21] TCWC Perth, however, issued its final advisory as Irving exited the basin on 12:00 UTC of the same day.[22]

Tropical Cyclone JoyceEdit

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration 7 January – 16 January
Peak intensity 85 km/h (50 mph) (10-min)  978 hPa (mbar)

Joyce made landfall in the Pilbara Coast on 12 January.[citation needed] The remnants of Cyclone Joyce bought heavy rain to the Perth Metro Area on January 15; a total of 96 mm (3.77 in) of rain in 24 hours fell in Perth, while Rottnest Island recorded the highest amount of rain in the metro, which was a total of 142mm (5.59 in).[23]

Tropical Low 11UEdit

Tropical low (Australian scale)
Duration 20 January – 1 February
Peak intensity 75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min)  985 hPa (mbar)

The slow-moving system brought copious rains to a broad swath of coastal Australia. In Kimberley, Western Australia, near-record rainfall accumulations of 639 mm (25.2 in) in four days caused extensive flooding. In a 24-hour span, 439 mm (17.3 in) of rain fell across Broome, Western Australia, with flood waters in some areas reaching depths of 1.2 to 1.5 m (4 to 5 ft). Portions of the Great Northern Highway and Cape Leveque road were closed. Coastal areas experienced powerful winds reaching 100 km/h (65 mph) with gusts to 125 km/h (78 mph); these winds downed many trees and power lines.[citation needed] The effects of the low were considered substantially worse than Hilda and Joyce, tropical cyclones that affected the same region earlier in the season.[24]

Tropical Cyclone KelvinEdit

Category 2 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Duration 12 February – 20 February
Peak intensity 110 km/h (70 mph) (10-min)  974 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Cyclone Kelvin formed on 12 February and rapidly intensified into a Category 2 Storm (Australian Scale) and a Category 1 Storm (Saffir-Simpson) Kelvin made landfall, but unusually formed an eye over land. Kelvin sustained cyclone or hurricane intensity until dissipating on 20 February. Tropical Cyclone Kelvin brought widespread heavy rainfall to the Kimberley region which had already been saturated by other tropical cyclone systems. As a result, significant flooding occurred in parts of the Kimberley, including in the towns of Broome and Bidyadanga. Property damage was sustained at Broome and Anna Plains Station, where the cyclone made landfall, as well as infrastructural damage to the Great Northern Highway as a result of the heavy rainfall and flooding.[citation needed]

Tropical Cyclone LindaEdit

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration 11 March – 16 March
Peak intensity 75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min)  993 hPa (mbar)

On 11 March, the Fiji Meteorological Service reported that Tropical Disturbance 10F had developed about 85 km (55 mi) to the southwest of Rennell and Bellona Province of the Solomon Islands.[25] The system was poorly organised, with atmospheric convection displaced to the east of the low-level circulation centre. On the morning of 12 March, following some mild strengthening, the JTWC upgraded the disturbance to a tropical depression,[26] and the Bureau of Meteorology assigned the system the tropical low designation 21U.[27] Late the same day, the JTWC assessed the system to be producing gale-force winds, and upgraded it to tropical storm status on the Saffir-Simpson scale.[26] The storm moved generally southwards and entered the Australian region at 10:00 AEST on 13 March.[28] Despite being exposed to generally unfavourable atmospheric conditions for tropical cyclone development, the tropical low strengthened into a category 1 tropical cyclone on the Australian scale six hours later.[28] The storm was named 'Linda', and was the first tropical cyclone in the Eastern Region for the 2017-18 season.[28] Tropical Cyclone Linda attained its peak intensity at 22:00 AEST 13 March, with 75 km/h (45 mph) ten-minute sustained winds, 95 km/h (60 mph) one-minute sustained winds, and a minimum atmospheric pressure of 993 hPa (29.32 inHg).[26][28]

A few hours later, the storm assumed a more southwesterly course towards the southern Queensland coast.[28] As a result of the further deteriorating atmospheric conditions and cooling sea surface temperatures due to movement away from warm equatorial waters, Linda weakened to a subtropical low during mid-morning on 14 March, having spent fewer than 24 hours as a cyclone.[28] The JTWC proceeded to downgrade the system below tropical storm intensity at 04:00 AEST on 25 March.[26] The remnant low transitioned to a south-southeasterly track and continued to decay while travelling roughly parallel to the coastline, finally dissipating on 16 March.[28]

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Linda passed within about 300 km (185 mi) of Fraser Island at its closest approach to Australia, and produced large waves and swell which were experienced on exposed southern Queensland beaches.[28] Due to the dangerous surf conditions, many beaches south of Fraser Island were closed on 14 and 15 March for the safety of the public.[28] Areas off parts of the Sunshine Coast experienced waves of up to 8 metres (26 feet), and 1 metre (3 feet) of beach erosion occurred at the Gold Coast.[29] Sustained gale-force winds were recorded on the Australian mainland at Double Island Point on 14 March, with gusts up to 85 km/h (55 mph).[30]

Severe Tropical Cyclone MarcusEdit

Category 5 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 5 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Duration 14 March – 24 March
Peak intensity 230 km/h (145 mph) (10-min)  912 hPa (mbar)

On 14 March, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued cyclone warnings for Darwin, the Tiwi Islands and parts of the northwest Top End.

Marcus formed north of the Tiwi Islands as a Category 1 tropical cyclone on the Australian scale, and was upgraded to Category 2 in the hours before it hit the Northern Territory coastline on 17 March. Major events and flights in and out of Darwin were cancelled. Upon moving away from the coast, Marcus intensified markedly, and on 21 March, Cyclone Marcus reached Category 5 status on both cyclone scales. From then on, Marcus began a weakening phase, brushing by Western Australia and becoming a remnant low on 24 March.[citation needed]

Severe Tropical Cyclone NoraEdit

Category 3 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 2 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Duration 19 March – 27 March
Peak intensity 155 km/h (100 mph) (10-min)  958 hPa (mbar)

On the afternoon of 19 March, the Bureau of Meteorology reported on the development of a weak tropical low in the Torres Strait, north of Thursday Island.[31][32] Two days later, on the afternoon of 21 March, tropical cyclone advice bulletins were initiated as the tropical low began to develop, and a cyclone watch was issued for the far northeastern coastal region of the Top End.[33] At this stage, the system was forecast to coalesce into a tropical cyclone by 4:00 a.m. on 23 March (ACST), and then reach severe tropical cyclone strength by 4:00 p.m. the next day.[34] On the afternoon of 22 March, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center upgraded the strengthening system to a tropical storm.[35] Later on the same day, the Bureau of Meteorology identified that sustained gale-force winds had developed on the northern semicircle of the system;[36] however, the system was still classified as a tropical low as these winds did not extend more than halfway around the circulation centre. On 23 March, the system organized sufficiently into a tropical cyclone, and was named Nora by the BoM. Within the next couple of days, Nora intensified into a Category 3 Severe Tropical Cyclone, before making landfall on the Top End at that intensity. Afterward, Nora gradually began to weaken, degenerating into a tropical low soon afterward. On 26 March, Nora's remnant low stalled, and began to slowly meander counterclockwise over the Top End. On March 27, Nora's remnant moved westward across the Gulf of Carpentaria. On the next day, Nora's remnant made landfall on the Australian coast once again and dissipated.[citation needed]

Tropical Cyclone IrisEdit

Category 2 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration 24 March (Entered basin) – 13 April
Peak intensity 100 km/h (65 mph) (10-min)  987 hPa (mbar)

Iris entered the responsible area of TCWC Brisbane as a minimal category 1 tropical cyclone shortly before 16:00 AEST (06:00 UTC) on 24 March,[37] and it was quickly downgraded to a tropical low at 21:00 AEST (11:00 UTC).[38] Conversely, the JTWC reported that Iris had developed into a tropical cyclone at around 04:00 AEST on 25 March (18:00 UTC on 24 March), when there were good divergence aloft and a formative poleward outflow channel, although high vertical wind shear kept impacting the system.[39] Tracking generally southwards along the western periphery of a near-equatoral ridge,[40] Iris remained weak with an exposed low-level circulation centre, which resulted in the final warning from the JTWC being issued at 09:00 UTC on 27 March, as colder sea surface temperatures further eroded the fully sheared system.[41] On 28 March, Iris slowed down and started to exhibit subtropical characteristics,[42] although it never reached the Tropic of Capricorn throughout its lifetime. The subtropical low began to drift northwestwards parallel to the coast of Queensland on 29 March.[43] The JTWC issued a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert for Iris again on 1 April, due to the increasing amounts of persistent convection and improving low-level banding. These factors indicated that Iris had transitioned back to a tropical low on the same day, as it turned towards the south-southeast.[44][45]

Both of BOM and the JTWC reported that Iris had redeveloped into a tropical cyclone at around 10:00 AEST (00:00 UTC) on 2 April, supported by the Dvorak technique estimates as well as sustained gales recorded by the automatic weather station at Flinders Reef.[46][47] A half of day later, the station further recorded maximum sustained winds at 58 knots (107 km/h; 67 mph). Thanks to weak vertical wind shear, warm SSTs at 28 °C, and excellent poleward outflow, BOM indicated that Iris had further intensified into a category 2 tropical cyclone at around 04:00 AEST on 3 April (18:00 UTC on 2 April), with estimated 10-minute maximum sustained winds at 100 km/h (65 mph).[48][49] Iris became almost stationary on the same day, due to the competing steering influences from a near-equatorial ridge located to the northeast and a subtropical ridge anchored over Australia.[50] Early on 3 April, Iris resumed its south-southeastward track and turned eastward;[51] at the same time, the low-level circulation centre became partially exposed, with deep convection only persisting over the southern periphery of the storm, showing that the intensification had stopped.[52]

At 04:07 AEST on 4 April (18:07 UTC on 3 April), microwave imagery revealed that Iris briefly had formed a shallow eyewall,[53][54] prompting the JTWC to indicate that Iris reached the peak intensity at 10:00 AEST (00:00 UTC), with the same estimate to BOM's 30 hours earlier.[55] However, BOM downgraded Iris to a category 1 tropical cyclone at 16:00 AEST (06:00 UTC), as the unfavourable environment with moderate northwesterly wind shear, weak upper-level outflow, penetrating dry air, and marginal supportive SSTs at about 26 °C, had begun to impact the sheared system.[56]

Tropical Cyclone FlamboyanEdit

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration 26 April – 28 April (Exited basin)
Peak intensity 65 km/h (40 mph) (10-min)  996 hPa (mbar)

Flamboyan formed on April 26, before moving into the South-West Indian Ocean basin on April 28. Afterward, the system began intensifying.

Other systemsEdit

On 8 August, TCWC Perth started to monitor a tropical low located approximately 850 km (530 mi) to the west-northwest of the Cocos Islands, on the 90th meridian east—the western edge of the BOM's area of responsibility.[57][58] The tropical low moved in a west-southwesterly direction[57] and attained 35 km/h (25 mph) sustained winds south of the circulation center,[59] and a minimum barometric pressure of 1005 hPa (29.68 inHg).[60] The storm moved out of the Australian region on the same day.[60] On 24 November, TCWC Darwin started to monitor a weak tropical low that had developed in the Banda Sea.[61] The system moved in a slow direction, and attained a minimum pressure of 1005 hPa, until it was last mentioned on 29 November.[62] On 1 December, a tropical low formed to the south of Java.[63] The tropical low rapidly moved southwestward, before dissipating the next day.[64] On 1 January, TCWC Perth began to track a small, weak tropical low to the south of Bali.[65] The system was last mentioned the next day.[66]

On 14 January, a weak tropical low had developed about 750 km (466 mi) to the northwest of Exmouth.[67] The tropical low moved in a general westward direction for several days until it was last monitored by TCWC Perth on 19 January.[68] On 27 January, TCWC Brisbane began monitoring on a tropical low pressure system that was located to the south of the Solomon Islands.[69] The system had a moderate chance of becoming a tropical cyclone although the system had already crossed basins into the South Pacific and became Tropical Depression 06F very early on the next day.[69] The system subsequently became Tropical Cyclone Fehi by 29 January. On 1 February, a weak tropical low had briefly developed in the Coral Sea.[70] On 9 February, a slow-moving tropical low had developed located about 450 km (280 mi) to the northwest of Cooktown, Queensland.[71] The system moved westward and was last noticed three days later.[72] On 4 March, a tropical low persisted to the west of Queensland.[73] In the course of two days, the tropical low emerged towards the waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The tropical low rapidly dissipated, however, on 9 March.

A weak tropical low near the Solomon Islands was first identified by the Bureau of Meteorology on 17 March. Over the next couple of days, the tropical low meandered over the Solomon Sea.[74] The system was last noted by the Bureau of Meteorology on the afternoon of 19 March.[31]

Storm namesEdit

Bureau of MeteorologyEdit

Since the start of the 2008–09 season, there has only been one list from which the Bureau of Meteorology has assigned tropical cyclone names despite the fact that three different warning centres are operated (in Perth, Darwin and Brisbane).[75] These warning centres monitor all tropical cyclones that form within the Australian region, as well as any in the areas of responsibility of either TCWC Jakarta or TCWC Port Moresby. The next 12 names on the naming list are shown below.

Hilda Irving Joyce Kelvin Linda Marcus
Nora Owen (unused) Penny (unused) Riley (unused) Savannah (unused) Trevor (unused)

TCWC JakartaEdit

TCWC Jakarta monitors tropical cyclones from the equator to 11°S and from 90°E to 145°E. Should a tropical depression reach tropical cyclone strength within TCWC Jakarta's area of responsibility then it will be assigned the next name from the following list.[75]

Cempaka Dahlia Flamboyan Kenanga (unused) Lili (unused)
Mangga (unused) Seroja (unused) Teratai (unused) Anggrek (unused) Bakung (unused)

TCWC Port MoresbyEdit

Tropical cyclones that develop north of 11°S between 151°E and 160°E are assigned names by the TCWC Port Moresby. Tropical cyclone formation in this area is rare, with no cyclones being named in it since 2007.[76] As names are assigned in a random order, the whole list is shown below.

Alu (unused) Buri (unused) Dodo (unused) Emau (unused) Fere (unused)
Hibu (unused) Ila (unused) Kama (unused) Lobu (unused) Maila (unused)

Season effectsEdit

Name Dates active Peak
classification
Sustained
wind speeds
Pressure Areas affected Damages
(AUD)
Damages
(USD)
Deaths Refs
01U 8 August Tropical low 35 km/h (25 mph) 1005 hPa (29.68 inHg) None None None None
Cempaka 22 November –
1 December
Category 1 tropical cyclone 65 km/h (40 mph) 998 hPa (29.47 inHg) Java Unknown Unknown 41 [8]
Dahlia 24 November –
5 December
Category 2 tropical cyclone 95 km/h (60 mph) 985 hPa (29.09 inHg) Sumatra, Java None None None
04U 24 – 29 November Tropical low Not specified 1005 hPa (29.68 inHg) Indonesia None None None
05U 1 – 2 December Tropical low Not specified Not specified None None None None
Hilda 26 – 30 December Category 2 tropical cyclone 95 km/h (60 mph) 980 hPa (28.94 inHg) Western Australia Minor Minor None
07U 1 – 2 January Tropical low Not specified 1006 hPa (29.71 inHg) None None None None
Irving 3 – 6 January Category 1 tropical cyclone 75 km/h (45 mph) 993 hPa (29.32 inHg) None None None None
Joyce 7 – 16 January Category 1 tropical cyclone 85 km/h (50 mph) 978 hPa (28.88 inHg) Western Australia None None None
10U 14 – 19 January Tropical low Not specified Not specified Christmas Island None None None
11U 20 January –
1 February
Tropical low 75 km/h (45 mph) 985 hPa (29.09 inHg) Top End, Western Australia None None None
12U 23 – 24 January Tropical low Not specified Not specified None None None None
Fehi 27 – 28 January Tropical low Not specified 990 hPa (29.23 inHg) Solomon Islands None None None
14U 1 February Tropical low Not specified Not specified None None None None
15U 9 – 12 February Tropical low Not specified Not specified None None None None
Kelvin 12 – 20 February Category 2 tropical cyclone 110 km/h (70 mph) 974 hPa (28.76 inHg) Top End, Western Australia,
South Australia
$33 million $25 million None [77][78]
18U 4 – 9 March Tropical low Not specified 1001 hPa (29.56 inHg) Northern Territory $53 million $40 million None [78]
Linda 13 – 16 March Category 1 tropical cyclone 75 km/h (45 mph) 993 hPa (29.32 inHg) Solomon Islands, New Caledonia,
South East Queensland
None None None
Marcus 14 – 24 March Category 5 severe tropical cyclone 230 km/h (145 mph) 912 hPa (26.93 inHg) Tanimbar Islands, Top End,
Kimberley
$100 million $75 million None [78]
Nora 19 – 27 March Category 3 severe tropical cyclone 155 km/h (100 mph) 958 hPa (28.29 inHg) Cape York Peninsula, New Guinea,
Top End
$33 million $25 million None [78]
23U 23 – 25 March Tropical low Not specified 1004 hPa (29.65 inHg) None None None None
Iris 24 March – 13 April Category 2 tropical cyclone 100 km/h (65 mph) 987 hPa (29.15 inHg) Solomon Islands, Queensland, Papua New Guinea None None None
Flamboyan 26 – 28 April Category 1 tropical cyclone 65 km/h (40 mph) 996 hPa (29.41 inHg) None None None None
Season Aggregates
23 systems 8 August –
28 April
230 km/h (145 mph) 912 hPa (26.93 inHg) $220 million $165 million 41


See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  23. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-16/perth-saturated-as-ex-cyclone-joyce-brings-four-months-of-rain/9332556
  24. ^ Emily Jane Smith, Vanessa Mills, Cecile O'Connor, and Oliver Gordon (30 January 2018). "'Worse than a cyclone': Tropical low devastates WA's north". ABC News. Retrieved 1 February 2018. 
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