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Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary January 2003
[Summaries and Track Data] [Prepared by Gary Padgett]

                               JANUARY, 2003

  (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.)


                            JANUARY HIGHLIGHTS
  --> Tropical storm strikes Madagascar
  --> South Pacific continues active with two intense cyclones
  --> Fiji experiences devastating cyclone strike
  --> Monsoon depression surprises Australian forecasters
  --> First Northwest Pacific tropical storm of year forms


               ***** Feature of the Month for January *****


     Beginning in 2000, tropical storms and typhoons forming in the North
  Pacific west of the Dateline have been assigned names by JMA taken from a
  new list of Asian names contributed by fourteen nations and territories
  from the western Pacific and eastern Asia.   Names are not allocated
  in alphabetical order and the majority are not personal names.  Instead,
  names of animals, plants, fictional characters, descriptive adjectives,
  places--even foods--are utilized.     The entire list consists of 140
  names, and all names will be used before any are repeated.    The last
  name assigned in 2002 was Pongsona in early December while one tropical
  cyclone has already been named in 2003.   The next storm to develop
  will be named Kujira--the Japanese word for 'whale'.

     The next 36 names on the list are (** indicates name has already
  been assigned in 2003):

       Yanyan **         Etau              Melor             Mindulle
       Kujira            Vamco             Nepartak          Tingting
       Chan-hom          Krovanh           Lupit             Kompasu
       Linfa             Dujuan            Sudal             Namtheun
       Nangka            Maemi             Nida              Malou
       Soudelor          Choi-wan          Omais             Meranti
       Imbudo            Koppu             Conson            Rananim
       Koni              Ketsana           Chanthu           Malakas
       Morakot           Parma             Dianmu            Megi

     Since 1963 PAGASA has independently named tropical cyclones forming
  in the Philippines' AOR--from 115E to 135E and from 5N to 25N (except
  for a portion of the northwestern corner of the above region).  Even
  though the Philippines contributed ten names to the international list
  of typhoon names, PAGASA still continues to assign their own names for
  local use within the Philippines.  It is felt that familiar names are
  more easily remembered in the rural areas and that having a PAGASA-
  assigned name helps to underscore the fact that the cyclone is within
  PAGASA's AOR and potentially a threat to the Philippines.    Another
  consideration may be PAGASA's desire to assign a name when a system is
  first classified as a tropical depression.    Since tropical and/or
  monsoon depressions can bring very heavy rainfall to the nation which
  often results in disastrous flooding, the weather service feels that
  assigning a name helps to enhance public attention given to a system.

     Beginning with 2001 PAGASA began using new sets of cyclone names.  
  These do not all end in "ng" as did the older names.  Four sets of 25
  names will be rotated annually; thus, the set for 2003 will be re-used
  in 2007.   In case more than 25 systems are named in one season, an
  auxiliary set will be used.   PAGASA names for 2003 are (** indicates 
  name has already been assigned in 2003):

           Amang               Juaning             Roskas
           Batibot             Kabayan             Sikat
           Chedeng             Lakay               Tisoy
           Dodong              Manang              Ursula
           Egay                Nina                Viring
           Falcon              Onyok               Wang-wang
           Gilas               Pogi                Yoyoy
           Harurot             Quiel               Zigzag
     In the unlikely event that the list is exhausted, the following
  names would be allocated as needed:  Abe, Berto, Charing, Danggit,
  Estoy, Fuego, Gening, Hantik, Irog, Joker.

        **** Index to Feature of the Month Articles for 2002 ****

        (also Index to Feature of the Month Articles for 2001)



        (also NOT QUITE "MED-CANES")




  Aug -              A CYCLONE PHASE SPACE

                   2002 - 2003 SEASON



                             ACTIVITY BY BASINS

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

  Activity for January:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for January:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for January:  1 tropical storm

                         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
  Philippines' Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services
  Administration (PAGASA).  Also, Huang Chunliang of Fuzhou City, China,
  sends me each month tracks obtained from warnings issued by the
  National Meteorological Center of China (NMCC), the Central Weather
  Bureau of Taiwan (CWBT) and the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO).  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 January

     As was the case with 2002, the first Northwest Pacific tropical
  cyclone of 2003 appeared early, around the middle of January.  Tropical
  Storm Yanyan began intensifying in the Pohnpei/Chuuk region, following a
  west-northwesterly track ominously similar to that of the destructive
  Super Typhoon Pongsona in December.     Yanyan, however, remained a
  tropical storm and sharply recurved around 100 nm east-northeast of Guam.

     The summary for Tropical Storm Yanyan was written by Kevin Boyle of
  Stoke-on-Trent, UK.  A special thanks to Kevin for his assistance.

                         TROPICAL STORM YANYAN
                          (TC-01W / TS 0301)
                            13 - 21 January

  Yanyan: contributed by Hong Kong, China, is a fairly common pet name
          for young girls

  A. Storm Origins

     Even though tropical cyclones that form in January are labeled as the
  first of the year, climatologically speaking they are late-season storms.
  Since 1990, seven years have produced a cyclone during January, five of
  which (1990, 1992, 1997, 1999 and 2002) became named tropical storms.
  However, the last January typhoon was Axel (1992) which affected the
  Caroline Islands.  The last major typhoon (>=100 kts) to occur in January
  was Roy (1988), which rampaged across much of the Northwest Pacific.

     JTWC began monitoring the pre-Yanyan disturbance at 0600 UTC on
  11 January, assessing the development potential as poor.  The 12/0600 UTC
  STWO noted that animated satellite imagery was indicating an exposed 
  LLCC, located near 2.0N, 178.2E, associated with an area of weak 
  convection.   Upper-level analysis showed weak vertical wind shear and
  fair outflow aloft over the area.  The MSW and MSLP were estimated at
  10-15 kts and 1008 mb, respectively.  Development potential was upgraded
  to fair at 13/0600 UTC.    At the same time JMA began classifying the
  system as a 30-kt (10-min avg) tropical depression (near 2.4N, 173.8E).
  Synoptic observations from Ebon and Jaluit Atolls at 14/0600 UTC
  suggested there was at least a weak LLCC associated with this
  disturbance, but SSM/I imagery was inconclusive.   Fair development
  potential continued through the 14th and was finally upgraded to good
  at 15/1630 UTC.

     The first warning soon followed at 15/1800 UTC on Tropical Depres-
  sion 01W, located near 7.2N, 160.9E, or 160 nm east of Pohnpei with the
  initial MSW set at 30 kts.  Animated water vapor and enhanced infrared
  satellite imagery indicated cycling but organizing deep convection,
  although the LLCC was still difficult to locate in infrared satellite
  imagery.  Movement was toward the west-northwest at 15 kts under the 
  influence of a low to mid-level ridge to the north.    By 1200 UTC,
  16 January, animated multi-spectral satellite imagery showed the deep
  convection diminishing markedly.  The LLCC was fully-exposed at this time
  and difficult to locate.   In fact, synoptic and QuikScat data did not
  indicate any obvious LLCC.

     After a brief westward push, TD-01W returned to its original west-
  northwestward heading at a faster pace of 18-19 kts, reaching a position
  (at 17/0000 UTC) near 10.0N, 152.9E, or 170 nm north-northeast of Chuuk.
  (The JMA position at the same time was 11.9N, 151.0E.)  During this time,
  deep convection was on the increase, although the LLCC remained
  partially-exposed.  TD-01W was upgraded to a 35-kt tropical storm at
  17/0000 UTC.

  B. Track and Intensity History

     By 1200 UTC, 17 January, deep convective activity had waned again and
  there was only a single thunderstorm noted over the weak LLCC on micro-
  wave imagery.  In addition, synoptic and QuikScat data showed maximum
  winds of 25 kts along the northern edge of the system.  This led to the
  subsequent downgrading of TS-01W to a tropical depression.  However, this
  weakening proved to be temporary.  A 17/1631 UTC TRMM pass and enhanced
  infrared imagery showed increasing deep convection over a well-defined
  LLCC, and shortly afterward, at 17/1800 UTC, TD-01W was upgraded back to
  tropical storm status.   At 18/0000 UTC, TS-01W was located approximately
  130 nm east of Guam moving on a northwesterly track with a MSW of 40 kts.
  Six hours later, JMA upgraded the system to a minimal tropical storm
  and dubbed it Yanyan.   At the same time, NMCC began monitoring the  
  storm in their bulletins (10-min avg MSW of 35 kts). 
     Tropical Storm Yanyan began its forecast northward heading and slowed
  to a speed of 2 kts, much to the relief of residents of the Mariana
  Islands who were ravaged by Super Typhoon Pongsona a month earlier.
  Radar and a SSM/I pass indicated an exposed system with deep convection
  located in the western and poleward quadrants.  However, an 18/1534 UTC
  TRMM pass and animated satellite imagery depicted redevelopment of deep
  convection over the LLCC.      Tropical Storm Yanyan reached its peak
  intensity of 50 kts at 0000 UTC on 19 January, based on 50-kt winds near
  the circulation centre as noted in QuikScat imagery at 18/2223 UTC.
  (NMCC and JMA held the peak intensity to 45 kts and 35 kts,
  respectively.)  At this time Yanyan was located near 14.4N, 148.1E, or
  approximately 140 nm east-southeast of Saipan.   (JMA's 19/0000 UTC
  position was 15.2N, 147.7E.)

     Yanyan had recurved sharply onto an east-northeasterly track by late
  on the 18th, being influenced by a low to mid-level ridge to the east.
  This heading was expected to continue for the rest of Yanyan's career,
  although the storm was moving northeastward at around 12 kts late on the
  19th and early 20th.  Weakening had already begun with an exposed LLCC
  (southwest of the sheared-off deep convection) at 20/0000 UTC and the
  MSW dropping below 35 kts at 20/1200 UTC.  (Note:  NMCC issued the last
  bulletin on Yanyan at 20/0600 UTC).   However, despite deep convection
  redeveloping for a time, the system remained in a poorly-organised state
  until the final advisory was issued by JTWC at 21/0000 UTC.  This warning
  located the centre near 18.3N, 156.5E, or 600 nm west of Wake Island.
  The decoupled small LLCC drifted toward the east-northeast at a slower
  speed of 6 kts, controlled by the lower-level surface flow.    JMA
  continued issuing advisories until 21/1800 UTC with the final position
  relocated to 19.0N, 158.0E.

  C. Damage and Casualties

     There have been no reports of damage or casualties associated with
  Tropical Storm Yanyan.

  (Report written by Kevin Boyle)


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

  Activity for January:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for January:  1 tropical disturbance
                         2 severe tropical storms

                        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 warning centres on Mauritius and Madagascar with
  longitude 55E being the demarcation line between their respective
  areas of warning 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

     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 January

     As was the case with December, two tropical systems were named in the
  Southwest Indian Ocean.  However, neither reached cyclone (hurricane)
  intensity.   Severe Tropical Storm Ebula formed early in the month well
  south of Diego Garcia and followed an almost straight south trajectory
  which took the system into higher latitudes.  Late in the month a weak
  but tenacious disturbance moved west-southwestward from the Central
  Indian Ocean and intensified quickly into Severe Tropical Storm Fari as
  it approached southeastern Madagascar.

     MFR issued warnings on an additional tropical disturbance concurrently
  with Tropical Storm Ebula.  This system, designated as Tropical Disturb-
  ance 07, developed in the Mozambique Channel, most likely from the
  remnants of Tropical Storm Delfina which had moved eastward from the
  African mainland back out over the Channel.   The center was located
  about 300 nm west-southwest of Majunga, Madagascar, at 06/0000 UTC.
  During the following days the disturbance drifted generally southward,
  being located about 300 nm west of Tulear, Madagascar, at 08/1200 UTC.
  Winds near the center of the system were likely never higher than 25 kts,
  but stronger winds were forecast for the eastern and southern periphery
  of the LOW.  MFR dropped warnings after 10/0600 UTC, but resumed them
  12 hours later when storm-force winds to 50 kts were reported well south
  of the center.  The system by then was extratropical and continued to
  drift southward for another couple of days as it slowly weakened.  JTWC
  assigned a fair development potential to the LOW on the 6th and 7th, but
  no warnings were issued.

                          TROPICAL STORM EBULA
                            (MFR-08 / TC-09S)
                             7 - 13 January

  Ebula: submitted by Swaziland

  A. Storm Origins

     An area of convection developed and persisted on 6 January roughly
  175 nm south-southwest of Diego Garcia.  Animated infrared and multi-
  spectral imagery indicated a developing LLCC.  The system was moving
  west-southwestward out of the equatorial trough, and an upper-level
  analysis indicated favorable diffluence aloft with weak to moderate
  vertical shear.  The potential for development was assessed as fair.
  MFR issued their first bulletin on Tropical Disturbance 08 at 1200 UTC
  on the 7th with maximum winds estimated at 20 kts near the center and
  up to 25 kts in the southern semicircle well away from the LLCC.  JTWC
  upgraded the development potential to good at 1800 UTC--cycling deep
  convection had increased and was beginning to wrap into the LLCC in
  the southwestern quadrant.  The disturbance at this time was located
  approximately 250 nm south-southwest of Diego Garcia.

     JTWC issued their first warning at 0000 UTC on 8 January, estimating
  the MSW (1-min avg) at 35 kts.  By 1200 UTC the center of TC-09S was
  located about 335 nm south of Diego Garcia, moving south at 15 kts.
  MFR upgraded the system to tropical depression status with 30-kt winds
  at 1800 UTC.  JTWC upped their 1-min avg MSW estimate to 50 kts at
  09/0000 UTC, based on CI estimates of 45 and 50 kts.  Deep convection
  had continued to increase and wrap into the LLCC, and satellite imagery
  revealed a well-developed poleward outflow channel.   At 09/0600 UTC
  the Mauritius Meteorological Service named the system Tropical Storm
  Ebula, then located about 550 nm south-southwest of Diego Garcia.  MFR
  concurrently upped the MSW (10-min avg) to 45 kts.

  B.  Track and Intensity History

     Throughout its entire history Tropical Storm Ebula followed a very
  meridional trajectory, never deviating more than one degree of longi-
  tude from 70E except as it was becoming extratropical late in its life.
  By 0000 UTC on 10 January Ebula was centered about 600 nm south of Diego
  Garcia.  JTWC upped the intensity to 65 kts--minimal hurricane intensity
  --but MFR's peak MSW for Ebula was 60 kts.   The storm reached its peak
  intensity (per MFR) at 10/0600 UTC when located approximately 725 nm
  south of Diego Garcia.   The severe tropical storm maintained a MSW of
  60 kts for 18 hours before beginning to slowly weaken.  The minimum
  central pressure estimated by MFR was 975 mb.  By 1200 UTC on the 10th,
  CI estimates had reached 65 and 77 kts, but the system was beginning to
  experience northwesterly shearing.  Ebula was forecast to turn south-
  eastward after 24 hours as the mid-level ridge to its south propagated

     By 0000 UTC on 11 January Tropical Storm Ebula was almost 1000 nm
  south of Diego Garcia and moving south-southeastward at 15 kts.  MFR and
  JTWC lowered their respective intensity estimates to 55 and 60 kts.
  Animated water vapor imagery indicated dry air entraining into the system
  from the west with shearing apparent in the northern semicircle.   By
  1200 UTC the intensity was down to 50 kts from both warning centers with
  the deep convection sheared to the south of the LLCC.  JTWC issued their
  final warning at 12/0000 UTC with the MSW (1-min avg) placed at 40 kts,
  based on a CI estimate of 45 kts and a recent QuikScat pass.  The LLCC
  was partially-exposed with all the deep convection in the southern semi-
  circle.  JTWC forecast Ebula to complete extratropical transition within
  12 hours, and MFR declared the system extratropical at 1200 UTC.  Winds
  had weakened to below gale force by the time the final MFR bulletin was
  issued at 1200 UTC on the 13th.

  C. Damage and Casualties

     No damage or casualties are known to have resulted from Severe
  Tropical Storm Ebula.

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)

                           TROPICAL STORM FARI
                            (MFR-09 / TC-11S)
                         23 January - 1 February

  Fari: contributed by Zimbabwe

  A. Storm Origins

     An area of convection developed on 20 January, and by 1800 UTC on the
  21st was located roughly 600 nm east-southeast of Diego Garcia.  Animated
  multi-spectral satellite imagery and a recent SSM/I pass revealed a
  partially-exposed LLCC with associated weak deep convection to the south-
  east of the center.  An upper-level analysis indicated good outflow
  poleward of the system with weak vertical shear over the center,
  increasing to moderate in the southeastern quadrant.  At 0500 UTC on the
  22nd the development potential was upgraded to fair based on persistence
  and improved organization.   By 1800 UTC the disturbance was located
  about 525 nm east-southeast of Diego Garcia.  A 22/0639 UTC TRMM pass had
  depicted a well-defined LLCC north of the deepest convection.

     MFR initiated bulletins on the system at 0600 UTC on 23 January,
  numbering it as Tropical Disturbance 09.   At 1200 UTC JTWC issued a
  TCFA for the LOW which was moving west-southwestward at 11 kts.  Deep
  convection had continued to increase as the LLCC's organization gradually
  improved.  A 200-mb analysis showed that the system was near the upper-
  level ridge axis with weak vertical shear and improving poleward outflow.
  Two things happened at 1800 UTC:  MFR upgraded the disturbance to a
  30-kt tropical depression, and JTWC issued their first warning,
  estimating the MSW (1-min avg) at 35 kts based on CI estimates of 30 and
  35 kts and a 35-kt ship report.  The center of TC-11S was located some
  460 nm south-southeast of Diego Garcia, moving west-southwestward at
  11 kts.  The fortunes of the fledgling tropical system, however, reversed
  quite rapidly.  At 0600 UTC on the 24th, MFR downgraded the system back
  to tropical disturbance status with 25-kt winds, and JTWC dropped their
  1-min avg MSW to 20 kts and wrote the final warning.  Animated satellite
  imagery and a recent SSM/I pass indicated that the mid-level circulation
  and associated deep convection had become decoupled from the LLCC and
  moved approximately 5 degrees to the west.  The remnant LOW was then
  located about 500 nm south of Diego Garcia, and MFR continued to issue
  bulletins on the weak system as it tracked west-southwestward across the
  Southwest Indian Ocean.

     At 25/1800 UTC the LOW was located approximately 765 nm southeast of
  the Seychelles.  Animated multi-spectral imagery indicated that the
  disturbance consisted of an elongated trough with two LLCCs about
  3 degrees apart.  A 200-mb analysis indicated favorable diffluence aloft
  as the system approached a col in the upper-levels.  JTWC assessed the
  potential for redevelopment as fair.   MFR maintained the MSW near the
  center at only 20 kts for a couple of days, but bumped this up to 25 kts
  at 0600 UTC on 27 January and to 30 kts (tropical depression status) at
  1800 UTC.  A STWO issued by JTWC at 27/2100 UTC located the disturbance
  about 225 nm east of the Madagascar coastline and noted that animated
  imagery indicated deep convection continuing to cycle in intensity.  A
  CDO had formed, and recent SSM/I data depicted the LLCC partially-exposed
  to the southeast of the deep convection.   Further development was
  anticipated as a 200-mb analysis indicated the depression was situated
  in a region of weak vertical shear near the ridge axis with favorable
  upper-level diffluence.

  B. Track and Intensity History

     JTWC resumed issuing warnings on TC-11S at 0000 UTC on 28 January with
  an initial intensity of 35 kts.  The center was located approximately
  270 nm east of Antananarivo, Madagascar, moving west-southwestward at
  13 kts.  Deep convection had consolidated over the LLCC during the
  previous 12 hours, and the system was forecast to continue tracking
  southwestward toward a weakness in the low and mid-level ridge.   At
  1200 UTC the Meteorological Services of Madagascar upgraded the system
  to tropical storm status and assigned the name Fari.  Tropical Storm Fari
  was then located about 185 nm east of Antananarivo.  JTWC had upped the
  MSW (1-min avg) to 40 kts, although animated satellite imagery indicated
  some weakening in the convection as the system approached land.

     MFR increased the intensity to 40 kts at 1800 UTC, and to the peak of
  50 kts at 29/0000 UTC with Fari's center on the coast about 30 nm south
  of Mahanoro, moving westward and inland at 10 kts.  (JTWC's peak 1-min
  avg MSW at 29/0000 UTC was 55 kts--in good agreement with MFR.)   The
  minimum central pressure estimated by MFR was 984 mb.   MFR lowered the
  intensity to 25 kts at 0600 UTC, although the warning noted that stronger
  winds to 30 kts were occurring over water east of the center.  By 1200
  UTC Fari's center was located over land approximately 310 km south-
  southwest of Antananarivo, moving southwestward at 17 kts.  With this
  fairly quick forward motion, the center of Fari had reached the south-
  west coast of Madagascar by 30/0000 UTC and was moving out into the
  Mozambique Channel.

     Some slight re-intensification was forecast, but this never
  materialized.  JTWC issued their final warning at 0000 UTC on 31 January
  with the 25-kt LOW located about 100 nm west of the southwestern coast
  of Madagascar.  The system was moving southward at 11 kts and this
  general motion continued.  MFR declared the remnants of Fari extra-
  tropical at 31/1800 UTC when the system was located about 350 nm south-
  southeast of Tulear, Madagascar.  The extratropical depression continued
  moving southward with the final MFR bulletin placing it almost 700 nm
  south of Madagascar at 1200 UTC on 1 February.

  C. Damage and Casualties

     A wetter-than-normal summer season had contributed to significant
  flooding over many sections of Madagascar, including in and around the
  capital of Antananarivo.   Tropical Storm Fari only served to aggravate
  the situation.   The community of Marolambo was isolated due to land-
  slides on the main national road, while the communes of Masomeloka,
  Nosy Varika and Mananjary suffered serious damage to their infra-
  structures (from 12 to 35%).   Fari left over 3400 persons homeless
  with major outbreaks of conjunctivitis and diarrhea reported.  The
  storm flooded 70% of the rice fields in the area where it made land-
  fall and damaged 99% of banana and other fruit trees.

     More information can be found at the following website:>

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)



  Activity for January:  1 tropical LOW **

  ** - system formed east of 135E and moved westward into Perth's AOR

                        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 January

     The only tropical system for which warnings were issued between
  longitudes 135E and 90E during January was a tropical LOW in the Timor
  Sea on the 23rd and 24th.  This system was a reincarnation of a long-
  lived, interesting system which had formed in the Arafura Sea very early
  in the month.   The system was not classified operationally as a tropical
  cyclone, but a post-event analysis concluded that early in its history
  the LOW had reached tropical cyclone intensity as it moved inland into
  the Northern Territory across Elcho Island.  For the most part the system
  exhibited monsoon depression characteristics and spent the middle two
  weeks of January meandering around the Northern Territory.  A post-event
  study by the Perth TCWC has concluded that the LOW became a tropical
  cyclone for a second time as it made landfall in Western Australia
  between Port Hedland and Pardoo on the 24th.  A report on this system is
  included in the next section of this summary covering the Northeast
  Australia/Coral Sea region.



  Activity for January:  1 tropical LOW (monsoon depression) **

  ** - system was ajudged in post-analysis to have reached tropical cyclone
       intensity at one point

                        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 January

     No tropical cyclones were declared operationally east of longitude
  135E during January.   The main highlight of the month was a very long-
  lived monsoon depression which formed in the Arafura Sea very early in
  the month and lasted for almost three weeks.  A damage survey and
  examination of AWS data from Elcho Island indicated that the system had
  developed into a small tropical cyclone of storm intensity on the 4th
  and 5th as it moved across the island.   The system later parked itself
  over or near the western Gulf of Carpentaria for several days where it
  spawned very heavy rainfall which led to major flooding in some areas.
  After spending several days moving slowly westward across Arnhem Land,
  the LOW eventually emerged into the Timor Sea and underwent some
  strengthening once more, reaching tropical cyclone intensity a second
  time as it came ashore in Western Australia.   A report on this system

                       Long-lived Monsoon Depression
                       Elcho Island Tropical Cyclone

  A. System History

     A long-lived monsoon LOW formed in the Arafura Sea on 4 January.
  The system moved southward and inland along the Top End of the Northern
  Territory on the 5th.   Some non-tropical cyclone-style gale warnings
  were issued by Darwin, but the system was not considered a tropical
  cyclone by Darwin nor by JTWC.  The LOW hung around for several days
  and by 10 January was near the coastline in the southwestern Gulf of
  Carpentaria region.   Darwin issued tropical cyclone advices on the 11th
  and 12th in the anticipation that the LOW might develop into a tropical
  cyclone in the Gulf.   By around 1300 UTC on the 11th the center was out
  over the Gulf south-southeast of Groote Eylandt, but further development
  did not take place and the LOW subsequently began moving westward.  By
  early on the 14th the system was well inland over the Northern Territory.

     The weak system spent roughly the next week moving very slowly
  westward across northern Australia, being more of a diffuse trough of
  low pressure than a closed LOW.  By the 21st a tropical LOW had formed
  in the Timor Sea north of the Western Australian coast.  Perth began
  issuing gale warnings for this LOW on 23 January in the anticipation that
  it would develop into a tropical cyclone.  The LOW drifted westward,
  thence recurving southwestward and southward, finally moving inland just
  west of Pardoo around 1900 UTC on the 24th.   There was initially some
  uncertainty if the Timor Sea tropical LOW was a redevelopment of the
  earlier Arafura Sea/Gulf of Carpentaria system.   Mark Kersemakers of
  the Darwin TCWC indicated that they were separate system, and therefore
  I treated them as separate systems in the January tracks file.  However,
  Mark later informed me that after reviewing the data later, the
  consensus of opinion was that the two were one and the same system.
  Although the surface circulation had been very difficult to keep tabs
  on, it appeared that the mid-level circulation was the same.

  B. Tropical Cyclone #1

     During the time the system was initially developing north of the Top
  End coastline, forecasters at the Darwin TCWC analyzed it as a very
  broad circulation with bands of gales at wide radii from the center (out
  to 180 nm to the north and east).  The LOW was expected to move over land
  early on 5 January, but remained over water longer than expected, coming
  inland near Elcho Island around 0900 UTC (1830 local time--Australian
  Central Standard Time).  Gales began on Elcho Island at 1850 CST and
  lasted until 2000 CST.  A secondary maximum with near gale-force winds
  of 32 kts occurred at 2230 CST.   At 1920 CST sustained winds reached
  50 kts with peak gusts of 62 kts, accompanied by a MSLP of 991.7 mb.  The
  minimum MSLP reading of 989.8 mb occurred at 2010 CST.

     A damage survey was conducted on Elcho Island several days later.
  Extensive tree damage was noted, mainly from southerly or westerly winds.
  There was also some damage to buildings and vehicles, largely due to
  falling trees.   An extensive post-event analysis has concluded that the
  system reached tropical cyclone strength around 04/2100 UTC, and with the
  benefit of hindsight, a Dvorak CI of around 3.0 to 3.5 can be assigned
  at the time of landfall.  Images from the Gove radar showed a C-shaped
  structure with a radius of around 10 nm which persisted for many hours,
  and can be associated with the band of maximum winds.  It is estimated
  that the radius of gales in the core region was around 15 nm.
  Fortunately, there were no injuries.  The main human impact on Elcho
  Island was panic and confusion with people running or driving around in
  dangerous conditions.   The inhabitants of the island were not expecting
  a tropical cyclone since no warnings had been issued, and apparently
  the people there had not heard nor understood the gale warnings that were
  in force for Arnhem Land.

     The asymmetry of the winds around the system are particularly inter-
  esting.  Winds were much stronger in southerly (offshore) flow on the
  west side of the center--the same side as the C-shaped structure on
  radar--than in the northerly flow east of the center.  On the eastern
  side the wind field consisted of a more broad area of gales which
  persisted for another twelve hours while the system rapidly moved
  off to the west-southwest--a feature more consistent with the monsoon
  LOW structure analyzed in real time.   It's possible that the system 
  was a hybrid, with a small tropical cyclone developing within a broader,
  annular system.

  C. Best Track

     Following is the post-event analysis best track for the Elcho Island
  portion of the system's history.  This was sent to me by Peter Otto--a
  special thanks to Peter for forwarding it to me.   I will include this
  track in the March tropical cyclone tracks file as an addendum.

     Date   Time   Lat      Lon    Cent  MSW   MSW        Remarks
            (GMT)                 Press 1-min 10-min
                                   (mb) (kts) (kts)

  03 JAN 04 0000  10.0 S  135.5 E  1004         15
  03 JAN 04 0300  10.2 S  136.0 E  1002         15
  03 JAN 04 0600  10.4 S  136.3 E  1000         20
  03 JAN 04 0900  10.7 S  136.4 E   999         20
  03 JAN 04 1200  11.2 S  136.3 E   998         25
  03 JAN 04 1500  11.3 S  135.9 E   996         30
  03 JAN 04 1800  11.4 S  135.7 E   994         30
  03 JAN 04 2100  11.4 S  135.6 E   992         35
  03 JAN 05 0000  11.4 S  135.4 E   991         35
  03 JAN 05 0300  11.5 S  135.5 E   990         40
  03 JAN 05 0600  11.6 S  135.8 E   989         45
  03 JAN 05 0900  11.9 S  135.8 E   988         50
  03 JAN 05 1200  12.1 S  135.5 E   988         50
  03 JAN 05 1500  12.3 S  135.0 E   990         40
  03 JAN 05 1800  12.4 S  134.9 E   993         35
  03 JAN 06 0000  12.6 S  134.7 E   997         30

  D. Meteorological Observations

     The folks at the Darwin TCWC prepared a summary of observations in
  and around the Gulf of Carpentaria during the time the monsoon LOW was
  affecting that region.  I'm not sure just who sent it to me (I saved
  only the attachment and not the e-mail message), but I'd like to thank
  whomever it was.   The maximum wind gust recorded was 52 kts at Sweers
  Island (17.1S, 139.6E) on 16 January.  Centre Island (15.7S, 136.8E)
  recorded a peak gust of 47 kts on the 14th while the Mornington Island
  AWS (16.7S, 139.2E) recorded a peak gust of 37 kts at 0900 UTC on the
  16th.  (This last observation is thought to be closer to a 10-minute
  average value due to the AWS being surrounded by large trees and close
  to a building.)

     Some of the more significant 24-hour rainfall totals include:

      Location           Period Ending             Amount (mm)

  Sweers Island         10 Jan/2300 UTC                138
        "               11 Jan/2300 UTC                162
  Mornington Island     10 Jan/2300 UTC                172
         "              11 Jan/2300 UTC                298
         "              16 Jan/2300 UTC                210
  Centre Island         14 Jan/2300 UTC                159
  Boroloola             07 Jan/2300 UTC                164
      "                 08 Jan/2300 UTC                102
      "                 09 Jan/2300 UTC                179
      "                 13 Jan/2300 UTC                103
  Groote Eylandt        05 Jan/2300 UTC                140
  Gove                  14 Jan/2300 UTC                100

     Several localities had 24-hour rainfall totals in the 80-100 mm range.
  Moderate to major flooding occurred in the Nicholson River catchment.
  Rainfall accumulations in or near the catchment over the period
  07 Jan/2300 UTC to 22 Jan/2300 UTC include:

     Redbank Mine      1103 mm
     Woologorang        880 mm
     Westmorland        889 mm

  E. Possible Tropical Cyclone #2

     As mentioned earlier, the remnants of the monsoon LOW/tropical cyclone
  eventually emerged into the Timor Sea off Western Australia and developed
  into a tropical depression.   The system was forecast to intensify into
  a tropical cyclone and precautionary gale warnings were issued by the
  Perth TCWC, but the system did not strengthen.   Or so was thought.
  According to an e-mail from Barry Hanstrum of the Perth TCWC, off the
  Western Australian coast the LOW's structure was monsoonal and multi-
  centered as it had been in the Arafura Sea.  However, during the period
  around landfall just to the east of Port Hedland, a region of strong
  gales was observed in the offshore flow immediately to the west of and
  north of the LOW--very similar to the situation at Elcho Island.  The
  Perth office will be performing a careful analysis of the system and
  there is a possibility it may be later upgraded to tropical cyclone
  status a second time. 

  UPDATE:  I have learned from Mark Kersemakers that a post-analysis
  study of this system has determined that it did reach tropical cyclone
  intensity shortly before moving ashore in Western Australia.  If and
  when I receive a tabular "best track" for this portion of the system,
  I will include it in a future summary.

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)


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

  Activity for January:  1 tropical cyclone of gale intensity
                         2 tropical cyclones of hurricane 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 January

     Three tropical cyclones formed in the South Pacific Ocean east of 160E
  during January.   One of these systems, Cilla, was of minimal tropical
  cyclone intensity and of little consequence.   The other two, however,
  became quite intense and one was very destructive to Fiji.   Tropical
  Cyclone Ami cut a destructive swath across the Northern and Eastern
  Divisions of Fiji, resulting in total losses possibly exceeding
  $100 million in Fijian dollars and claiming 14 lives.   Later, Tropical
  Cyclone Beni became even more intense and caused some damage in the
  Solomons and Vanuatu as it passed near those island groups, but
  fortunately no loss of life is known to have resulted.  Beni weakened to
  a tropical depression southwest of New Caledonia, but the remnant LOW
  moved westward and briefly regained tropical cyclone status off the
  Queensland coast in early February.

     The reports on Tropical Cyclones Ami and Beni were written by Simon
  Clarke of Cleveland, Queensland, and these were based in part on storm
  reports received from Alipate Waqaicelua, Chief Forecaster at the Nadi
  TCWC.   A special thanks to Simon and Alipate for their assistance.

                         TROPICAL CYCLONE AMI
                           (TD-05F / TC-10P)
                            9 - 15 January

  A. Storm Origins

    Ami was the third tropical cyclone to form in the RSMC Nadi's area of 
  responsibility during the 2002-2003 South Pacific Tropical Cyclone 

     A tropical depression (TD-05F) was first identified as an embedded 
  system in an active monsoon trough to the east of Tuvalu, or about 
  240 nautical miles east of Funafuti at around 09/2100 UTC.  The system
  steadily moved southwestward to lie close to Niulakita early on the
  12th, with development greatly affected by diurnal variations and 
  relatively strong vertical wind shear. 

     Overnight on 11 January, the central convection increased and 
  became much better organised over the LLCC.   Under favourable 
  diffluent air conditions aloft and with low to moderate vertical wind 
  shear, TD-05F underwent steady development and subsequently was named
  Tropical Cyclone Ami around 0000 UTC on 12 January.  Ami was located
  just east of Niulakita at the time and moving steadily southwestward
  with maximum 10-minute mean winds estimated at 40 knots.

  B. Track and Intensity History

     Initially, Ami moved toward the southwest at approximately 6 knots 
  and intensified rapidly with banding wrapping into the southern semi-
  circle of the low-level circulation.    Ami slowly turned toward the
  south and reached storm intensity (50 knots) around 12/1200 UTC. 
     Around 13/0600 UTC, Ami attained hurricane intensity whilst 
  accelerating toward the south at 12 knots.  Ami exhibited good outflow 
  in all quadrants as a deepening upper-level trough southwest of the
  cyclone increased the outflow above the system.    A ragged eye had
  become visible in satellite imagery, and the storm's centre was then
  located (by radar) about 140 nautical miles north-northeast of Labasa
  or about 130 nautical miles north-northwest of Udu Point. 

     The centre of the cyclone made landfall near Dogotuki, Vanua Levu, 
  slightly after 13/1500 UTC.  At this time, Ami had a MSW of 75 knots
  (or 90 knots MSW 1-minute average per JTWC) close to the centre and a
  central pressure estimated at 960 hPa.

     The centre of the cyclone passed over the western tip of Taveuni
  after 13/1700 UTC before accelerating through the Lau Group, curving
  southeastward as it did so.    At 14/0600 UTC Ami reached its peak
  intensity of 80 knots (or 110 knots 1-minute average per JTWC) with an
  estimated central pressure of 950 hPa.  The centre was located about
  60 nautical miles south-southwest of Lakeba, or about 100 nautical miles
  north-northwest of Ono-i-Lau.  (Editor's Note:  JTWC based its estimated
  peak 1-minute average MSW of 110 kts on CI estimates of 102 and 115 kts,
  or T5.5 and T6.0.  Fiji's analysis yielded a final T-number of 5.5, but
  the CI was held to 5.0--90 kts 1-minute or 80 kts 10-minute average.  So
  whether or not Ami became an intense tropical cyclone (100 kts 1-minute/
  90 kts 10-minute) isn't quite such a clear-cut issue as with the other
  intense South Pacific cyclones this season.)

     Ami maintained its southeasterly track and accelerated further to
  between 30 and 35 knots as it moved out of RSMC Nadi's area of warning
  responsibility.  By this time Ami was tracking poleward of the upper-
  level ridge axis and encountering increasing vertical wind sheer and
  cooler sea surface temperatures.   Ami began to interact with a frontal
  boundary to its immediate southwest and underwent complete extratropical
  transition by 15/1200 UTC whilst inside the RSMC Wellington's area of
  responsibility.  The remains of Ami were last seen tracking toward the
  east about 600 nautical miles south-southeast of Rarotonga.

  C. Damage and Casualties

     Ami was a relatively intense tropical cyclone with maximum (10-
  minute average) winds of about 80 knots and momentary gusts of 110 
  knots at its peak intensity.  The cyclone caused destructive to very 
  destructive storm and hurricane-force winds over Fiji's Northern and 
  Central Divisions, and damaging gale-force winds over Tonga and 
  Tuvalu.  Damage was extensive and severe, especially to roads, 
  infrastructure, buildings, houses, crops (particularly hard-hit being 
  the sugar industry) and vegetation over Macuata, Cakaudrove and Lau 
  Provinces in Fiji's Northern and Eastern Divisions. 

     Fiji's Disaster Management Centre declared the northern island of 
  Vanua Levu a natural disaster zone.  Communication to and within the 
  Northern and Eastern Divisions was severed for several days after the 
  passage of Ami.  Severe flooding in Labasa from its river took a heavy 
  toll on the township's residents and caused serious health and 
  environmental risks.  Water supplies in the Northern Division were
  severely disrupted, leaving residents without clean drinking water 
  for several days and forcing the Government to cart fresh water from 
  mainland Viti Levu to the affected areas.  Torrential rains also caused 
  landslides.  High waves and a heavy surge generated by Ami caused 
  coastal and inland inundation in many areas along its path, some 
  quite severe.

     The following figures from the Government of Fiji show the extent of
  the damage:


  -> In Lau and Lomaiviti, but mostly in Lau - 237 houses were 
     partially damaged and 158 completely destroyed; the total 
     estimated cost was $2.2 million.

  -> In Macuata, Cakaudrove and Bua, and mostly in Macuata and 
     Cakaudrove - 5300 houses were partially damaged and 2287 
     completely destroyed; total estimated cost was $11.6 million.

  Health Facilities:

  -> The Visoqo Nursing Station was completely destroyed, with 
     structural damage sustained to the Labasa and Savusavu 
     hospitals and various health centres and nursing stations.

  -> Damage to roads, bridges and jetties estimated at $2.7 million
  -> Damage to water and sewerage systems of $79,300
  -> Damage to rural water supply systems of $1 million
  -> Damage to Government buildings of $101,000
  -> Damage to electricity infrastructure of $3.4 million


  -> Damage assessment by the Ministry estimates the cost of 
     rehabilitation at $1 million for the non-sugar sector.

  -> For the cane and sugar sector, the 2003 cane is estimated to 
     suffer a reduction of 15% on the 2003 forecast of 800,000 
     tonnes.  This means an estimated loss of $8 million with 
     $6 million required for the heavy damage sustained to the Labasa 

  -> Widespread damage sustained to coconut plantations with an 
     estimated three to five year period required for the trees to be 
     productive again.

     The extent of damage requiring immediate Government attention has 
  been valued at $F60 million.  However, the socio-economic loss is 
  likely to exceed $F100 million.

     Fiji's National Emergency Operational Centre confirmed the total 
  number of fatalities to be fourteen.

     Preliminary information provided by the Tonga Meteorological Service 
  reveals that damage suffered in Tonga was mainly to fruit bearing trees.
  The inter-island ferry MV Olovaha was left stranded on a reef in 
  Tongatapu.  Nuku'alofa reported a maximum sustained wind of 40 knots 
  with gusts to 60 knots.

     Some pictures of Tropical Cyclone Ami's brush with Tonga may be
  found on Geoff Mackley's website:>

     Additional articles on the effects of Tropical Cyclone Ami in Fiji
  can be found at the following URL:>

  (Report written by Simon Clarke with contributions by Alipate
  Waqaicelua, Chief Forecaster at the Nadi TCWC)

                        TROPICAL CYCLONE BENI
                          (TD-06F / TC-12P)
                    19 January - 5 February 2003

  A. Storm Origins

     Beni was the fourth tropical cyclone of the 2002-2003 South Pacific 
  Tropical Cyclone Season, and the first of the season to cross over 
  into the Queensland Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre's area of warning

     Beni was first identified at 19/1800 UTC as a broad circulation 
  embedded in the monsoon trough to the northeast of the Santa Cruz
  Islands and moving towards the west-southwest at about 5 knots.  At the
  time, the disturbance was located in a favourable outflow environment
  with minimal shear and a SST of approximately 30 C.  The system was
  upgraded to Tropical Depression 06F after 24 hours while steadily
  travelling towards the west, being located at 20/2100 UTC about 200 nm
  northeast of Rennell Island in the Solomons.  However, from 22 January
  through 23 January, further development was suppressed by strengthening
  vertical wind shear which exposed the LLCC to the east of the deepest

     After 23/2100 UTC, TD-06F returned to a favourable environment for 
  development consisting of high SSTs, decreasing vertical wind shear, 
  and a position beneath an upper-level ridge axis with fair and improving 
  outflow in all quadrants.  Accordingly, convection erupted over the LLCC
  during the night whilst cooling significantly.

    The first international marine warning on TD-06F was then issued at 
  24/2155 UTC, mentioning winds reaching gale force within 60 nautical 
  miles of the centre in the next 12 to 24 hours.  TD-06F was 
  subsequently upgraded and named Tropical Cyclone Beni at 25/0000 UTC.

  B. Track and Intensity History

     At the time of naming, the slow-moving Beni was located about
  90 nautical miles southeast of Rennell Island in the Solomon Island
  chain.  For the ensuing 24 to 48 hours, Beni underwent a slow clockwise
  loop while remaining to the southeast of Rennell Island.   This motion
  was partly a consequence of a strong surface ridge to the south of
  the LLCC.  Again, under fluctuating environmental conditions primarily
  as a consequence of its position north of the strongly diffluent flow
  on the northern side of the upper-level ridge axis, Beni exhibited a
  partially-exposed LLCC and broken feeder bands with the best areal
  coverage of convection on its western flank. 

     By 26/0600 UTC, Beni began to adopt a more definite but slow path 
  towards the south-southwest and was set to embark into a region of 
  increasingly favourable conditions for development.  Steady 
  intensification was the result.

     By 28/0600 UTC Beni was beginning to recurve towards the southeast
  under the increasing influence of a low to mid-level equatorial ridge
  to the east-northeast of the system and as the ridge anchored to the
  southwest weakened due to a passing mid-latitude trough.  At this time
  Beni attained hurricane intensity (> 63 knots), and by 28/1800 UTC, 
  the cyclone was estimated to have 10-minute average winds of 90 knots
  close to the centre.    A ragged eye appeared on infrared satellite
  imagery and became increasingly well-defined while shrinking in size.
  Beni slowly accelerated towards the southeast while intensifying.

     Beni reached its peak intensity around 29/0600 UTC with the MSW
  estimated at 110 knots (or approximately 125 knots 1-minute average)
  close to the centre.  At its peak Beni possessed an estimated central
  pressure of 920 hPa and was located at 17.0S, 163.7E, or approximately
  120 nautical miles to the north of the northwestern tip of New
  Caledonia.  This position was also roughly 275 nautical miles west of
  Port Vila, Vanuatu.  Gales extended outward from the centre 120 nm in
  all quadrants, and the radius of 50-kt winds was estimated to be on
  the order of 50 nm.
     Warm air intrusion, increasing wind shear and anomalously cool SSTs 
  caused Beni to weaken from 29/1200 UTC onward.  Within 24 hours after
  its peak, Beni, with winds of 85 knots was causing gales and storm-force
  winds in parts of central Vanuatu as it passed between that nation and
  New Caledonia.

     By 30/2000 UTC, a strengthening ridge to the south of Beni had turned
  the system to a southerly and eventually southwesterly path around the 
  southeastern tip of New Caledonia.  By this time increasing vertical 
  wind shear of 30 to 40 knots had blown away Beni's CDO, exposing the 
  LLCC.  At 30/1800 UTC, Beni was downgraded to a 55-knot storm, and 
  24 hours later Beni was downgraded to a tropical depression while 
  located roughly 240 nautical miles west-southwest of the southern tip
  of New Caledonia, moving towards the west. 

    The remains of Beni progressed at approximately 10 to 15 knots 
  firstly westward, then in a west-northwesterly, and finally a north-
  westerly path across the southern Coral Sea.  Periodic peripheral 
  gales persisted between the remnant depression and the low-level ridge 
  to the south.   By 2 February 2003, these peripheral gales had begun
  to affect the southeastern Queensland Coast between Sandy Cape and
  Coolangatta, and gale warnings were issued by the Bureau of Meteorology,

     With increasing sea surface temperatures, Beni managed to regain
  deep convection to the southeast of the LLCC and the storm reformed
  into a tropical cyclone at 0100 UTC on 4 February 2003 approximately
  135 nautical miles east of Mackay at 20.9S, 151.6E.   Beni was moving
  towards the west at 8 knots at the time with the central pressure 
  estimated at 995 hPa.

     Re-classification as a cyclone was to be brief, however, and Beni was 
  downgraded to a tropical depression within 12 hours.  By the early hours
  of 5 February 2003 the depression had drifted ashore near Mackay.

  C. Meteorological Observations and Analysis

     In post-analysis, Jeff Callaghan of the Queensland Bureau of 
  Meteorology provided this insight into ex-Tropical Cyclone Beni 
  following its initial demise south of New Caledonia: 

     "From 1200 UTC, 29 January 2003 to 31 January 2003, a 500 hPa to
  200 hPa LOW developed just to the west of New Caledonia and Beni was
  moving beneath 40-knot vertical wind shear (CIMSS data) to the east
  of this system at 1200 UTC, 30 January 2003.   Beni was consequently
  weakening rapidly.  The LOW was part of an anticyclonic involution,
  and ridging developed south of Beni, steering it westward.  The ridging
  developed first at low levels while ridging was delayed at 500 hPa
  south of Beni as a weakening trough system passed to the south at
  1200 UTC, 1 February 2003.   This had the effect of displacing the
  500 hPa centre of Beni to the southeast of the low-level circulation.

     "By 1200 UTC, 2 February 2003, a new anticyclonic involution had
  developed over eastern Australia, culminating in a new 500 hPa LOW
  southwest of Beni.

    "This southwest slope of the circulation resulted in a large area of 
  warm air advection on the eastern flank of the system.  We diagnosed 
  the warm air advection from the EC 850 hPa, 700 hPa and 500 hPa winds 
  which of course were backing with height in the warm air advection 
  region.  The convective blow up around 1200 UTC, 3 February 2003 
  happened when the warm air advection area reached the strong low-level
  circulation of Beni.  There were 40 to 50-knot northwest winds at
  200 hPa over the top of Beni, which kept the convection away from the
    "Gannet Cay AWS (WMO 94379) was in the convective region and recorded
  gales from 1300 UTC, 3 February 2003 to 0600 UTC, 4 February 2003 with
  a maximum 10-minute mean wind of 41 knots.            

     "By 1200 UTC, 4 February 2003 there were 70-knot northwest winds at
  200 hPa over the system and the low-level centre got further displaced
  from the warm air advection and gales. A QuikScat image shows a low-level
  centre at 0711 UTC, 4 February 2003 near 19S, 151E, while a band of gales
  to 50 knots were located between 21S and 23S to the south and southeast
  of the centre.  (This gale area was also in the area of strongest warm
  air advection based on the 1200 UTC, 4 February 2003 EC winds).
     "The isolated low-level circulation then weakened; however, the warm
  air advection region came on to the coast and produced very heavy rain."

  D. Damage and Casualties

    Whilst Beni was stationary over the Rennell and Bellona group, the
  estimated 2,000 inhabitants were taking shelter in caves on the island
  in a similar fashion to the residents of the island of Tikopia
  (approximately 600 km to the east), which was severely battered by
  Tropical Cyclone Zoe late in December.   Winds gusted to between 50 and
  60 knots at the town of Bellona as the cyclone passed by, along with a
  48-hour period of heavy rains.  Contact with the islands was lost during
  the storm.   Beni was rather destructive to vegetation on the islands,
  knocking over extensive food-bearing plants including pawpaw (papaya),
  banana and coconut trees.  Salt-water inundation damaged some garden
  plots, and about 85 buildings constructed of semi-permanent materials
  were damaged.

     Preliminary reports from the Vanuatu Meteorological Service mentioned
  strong winds to marginal gales over central Vanuatu.  Over the southern
  parts, gale-force winds were experienced with gusts to 50 knots.

     Heavy swells and waves were reported from most islands in New 
  Caledonia and Vanuatu.  Inland sea inundation also occurred in some 
  areas during the passage of Beni between the two countries.

     In Australia, some of the best rains seen in many years affected
  regions primarily in the coastal zone and hinterland of south-central
  Queensland south from around Mackay in association with ex-Tropical 
  Cyclone Beni.  Some areas in and around Gladstone received in excess 
  of 500 mm of rain during the event.  However, much of this rain to the 
  south of Beni was induced in conjunction with an upper-level LOW over
  southeastern Queensland at the time. 

     There are no known official casualties as a direct result of Beni.

     Some pictures of Tropical Cyclone Beni's approach to New Caledonia
  may be found on Geoff Mackley's website:>

     Additional articles on the effects of Beni in the Solomons can be
  found at the following URL:>

  (Report written by Simon Clarke with contributions by Alipate
  Waqaicelua, Chief Forecaster of the Nadi TCWC, and Jeff Callaghan
  of the Brisbane TCWC)

                         TROPICAL CYCLONE CILLA
                            (TD-07F / TC-13P)
                             25 - 30 January

  A. Storm Origins

     An area of convection appeared early on 25 January approximately
  325 nm west-northwest of Fiji, and by 1900 UTC was located about 240 nm
  west-northwest of Suva.  Animated enhanced infrared imagery revealed
  increasing deep convection near a LLCC while a 200-mb analysis indicated
  favorable outflow aloft associated with the western quadrant of an upper-
  level ridge.  The system was embedded in the monsoon trough and was fore-
  cast to drift southeastward along the trough axis.  The Nadi TCWC gave
  the disturbance a moderate to high chance of developing into a tropical
  cyclone during the next 24-36 hours.  Nadi classified the system as
  Tropical Depression 07F at 2100 UTC, locating the center about 200 nm
  northwest of Fiji with 30-kt maximum winds.

     The depression was embedded in an active monsoon trough linking up
  with Tropical Cyclone Beni to the northwest.  Early on the 26th the LLCC
  was difficult to locate in satellite imagery.  Radar from Nadi showed
  some circulation, but the center was difficult to pinpoint since the
  system was on the edge of the radar's range.  There was a large area of
  convection with the deeper convection located mostly to the southeast
  and north of the depression's center.  CIMSS data showed low shear over
  the LLCC.   At 26/1300 UTC JTWC issued a TCFA for the system with deep
  convection cycling over a partially-exposed center.   Around 1800 UTC
  radar animation showed several small eddies with the main LLCC located
  about 150 nm east-northeast of Fiji.  Most of the deepest convection was
  confined to the northeastern quadrant of the system at this time.

  B. Track and Intensity History

     By 27/0000 UTC the LLCC had moved beneath a small convective cluster
  and Nadi upgraded the depression to Tropical Cyclone Cilla.  The newly-
  christened cyclone was located about 275 nm east of Fiji and moving
  east-southeastward.   The MSW was estimated at 35 kts.  Convection
  gradually became better established as the day progressed.  CIMSS data
  revealed 10-20 kts of shear to the south of Cilla, but the shear was
  forecast to decrease with time.   JTWC wrote their final warning on
  Cilla at 2100 UTC, stating that SSM/I data indicated the mid and upper-
  level circulations had begun to decouple from the LLCC and that water
  vapor imagery indicated the system was rapidly becoming extratropical.

     Nadi's warning at 28/0000 UTC, however, indicated that convective
  organization had continued to improve.  Cilla's intensity was bumped up
  to the peak of 40 kts at 0600 UTC with the center located approximately
  440 nm south-southeast of Pago Pago, still moving east-southeastward in
  excess of 20 kts.   The 1200 UTC advisory from Fiji indicated that the
  storm had begun to display some baroclinic characteristics; thus, Cilla
  may have become somewhat hybrid in nature by this juncture.    By 1800
  UTC the LLCC had become partially-exposed but was still under deep
  convection which appeared to be struggling against shearing conditions.
  The cyclone's forward motion had slowed considerably to 10 kts by this

     By 0000 UTC on 29 January the LLCC had once more slipped under the
  deep convection, and recent satellite images indicated a banding pattern.
  CIMSS data showed the system to be located in a region of light vertical
  shear, and Fiji's Dvorak analysis yielded a final T-number of 3.0.   The
  0600 UTC advisory, however, noted that deep convection had weakened once
  more, and the latest CIMSS analysis showed that Cilla was located in
  30 kts of shear.  (JTWC issued a STWO which assigned a fair potential
  for redevelopment to Cilla's "remnants".)   The storm began to weaken
  quickly thereafter and was downgraded to a tropical depression by Nadi
  at 29/1200 UTC when located about 360 nm west of Rarotonga.  Winds near
  the center were analyzed to be less than gale force, but gales to 35 kts
  were occurring within 100 nm of the center in the southern semicircle.
  The deep convection was sheared well to the southeast of the LLCC.  By
  1100 UTC on the 30th the depression had become extratropical about
  375 nm southwest of Rarotonga.

  C. Damage and Casualties

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

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)


                               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 July, 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, and
  Chris Landsea):>> OR>>>

     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 complete Annual Tropical 
  Cyclone Report (ATCR) for 2001 (2000-2001 season for the Southern 
  Hemisphere).  ATCRs for earlier years are available also.  Recently
  added was the report for the Southern Hemisphere 2001-2002 season.

     The URL is:>

     Also, TPC/NHC has available on its webpage nice "technicolor"
  tracking charts for the 2001 Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific
  tropical cyclones; also, preliminary storm reports for all the 2001
  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
  Phone:  334-222-5327

  John Wallace  (Eastern North Pacific, North Indian Ocean, Western
                 Gulf of Mexico)

  Kevin Boyle  (Eastern Atlantic, Western Northwest Pacific, South
                China Sea)

  Simon Clarke  (Northeast Australia/Coral Sea, South Pacific)


Document: summ0301.htm
Updated: 27th December 2006

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