Tropical Cyclones
Main Index Home Page Stock Weather Photos Australian Severe Weather Forum Storm News and Storm Chasing Reports Tropical Cyclones / Hurricanes / Typhoons Weather Data and Links Wild Fires / Bushfires Weather Observation Techniques Weather Picture Catalogue Tornado Pictures and Reports Stock Video Footage and DVDs for sale
Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary January 2008
[Summaries and Track Data] [Prepared by Gary Padgett]


                                JANUARY, 2008

  (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.)


     I know everyone is wondering where the summaries for October,
  November, and December are.   I plan to get them out, but since they
  are so late already, I decided it would be better to go ahead and write
  summaries for the more recent months and try to get them sent out in a
  timely fashion, beginning with January, 2008.    The past two months 
  have been very difficult for me personally and emotionally, and I have 
  seriously considered dropping the summaries altogether, just continuing 
  to produce the cyclone tracks file.

     If the summaries are to continue, they are going to have to be
  scaled back significantly from the length and amount of detail they
  have contained at times in the past.  I do not have the time to scan
  through dozens of Tropical Weather Outlooks and warnings/discussions 
  looking for details of such things as:

  (1) pre-warning history of cyclones
  (2) all the minor ups and downs in intensity
  (3) all the atmospheric weather systems affecting the steering of

  Without attempting to elaborate more here, the summaries I have written
  for the January Southwest Indian and South Pacific cyclones exemplify
  the level of detail I shall be including in future summaries.  

     Also, the summaries will concentrate on supplementing information
  already available online.  For instance, BoM already has an adequate
  and fairly detailed summary of Tropical Cyclone Helen available, so I
  have written a very brief synopsis of the storm and referred readers to
  the BoM report.

     Over the past six months or so, Derrick Herndon has been sending me
  increasing numbers of observations associated with tropical cyclones 
  along with occasional analyses of intensity.  I plan to include all the
  information Derrick sends essentially verbatim.

     For some cyclones (especially in the Atlantic), the Wikipedia tropical
  cyclone writers have produced very detailed reports, and I will not try
  to cover those storms in much detail.  But many of the Wikipedia reports
  are currently rather sketchy (e.g., for all the January cyclones), so 
  those systems I will attempt to cover more fully.

     Kevin Boyle will continue to help me write summaries for the Northwest
  Pacific basin, but Simon Clarke has had to "resign" due to increased
  demands made upon his time by his job.  (Simon has written reports for 
  most of the South Pacific and Coral Sea cyclones for the past five 
  years.)  Due to the fact that so much information on Atlantic and
  Northeast Pacific tropical cyclones is readily available in the form of 
  NHC's and CPHC's monthly summaries, archives of all the advisory text and
  graphic products, and the usually quite detailed Wikipedia reports, I 
  will in general not be covering those basins in much detail, thus giving 
  me more time to help Kevin with Northwest Pacific storms.  Hopefully this
  will keep us from falling so many months behind during the Northern 
  Hemisphere rush.

                              JANUARY HIGHLIGHTS

   --> South Pacific cyclones affect Vanuatu and Fiji
   --> Tropical cyclone strikes Madagascar
   --> Australia's Northern Territory affected by tropical cyclone



     Short reports with satellite pictures and small-scale maps for all 
  tropical cyclones may be found at the following links:>>>>>

  For some storms more detailed reports have been prepared.  In those cases
  I will include the specific links in the reports for the applicable
  tropical cyclones.

                            ACTIVITY BY BASINS

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

  Activity for January:  No tropical cyclones

                          Sources of Information

     Most of the information presented below was obtained from the
  various tropical cyclone products issued by the Tropical Prediction
  Center/National Hurricane Center (TPC/NHC) in Miami, Florida:
  discussions, public advisories, forecast/advisories, tropical weather
  outlooks, special tropical disturbance statements, etc.    Some
  additional information may have been gleaned from the monthly
  summaries prepared by the hurricane specialists and available on
  TPC/NHC's website.     All references to sustained winds imply a
  1-minute averaging period unless otherwise noted.

                  Atlantic Tropical Activity for January

     A non-tropical LOW formed on 26 December in the mid-Atlantic near
  27N/42W.  Over the next few days the system drifted eastward and
  gradually acquired some subtropical characteristics.  At 1800 UTC on
  29 December the LOW was centered near 28N/38W, or roughly 1000 nm
  southwest of the Azores.  A Special Tropical Disturbance Statement was
  issued by NHC on the afternoon of the 29th, indicating that subtropical
  storm development was a possibility.  The LOW appeared to be quite well-
  organized, and was likely on the verge of being officially classified
  as a subtropical storm (which would have been named Pablo), but during
  the next couple of days the convection became less organized and no
  name was ever assigned.  Several of the FSU Cyclone Phase Space runs
  depicted the system as shallow warm-core, and one model had it as
  moderate warm-core.

     Drifting buoy 62901 reported a pressure of 1004.6 mb at 31/0000 UTC
  very near the low-level center.  Also, an ASCAT pass around the same
  time revealed a few 45-kt wind vectors near the swath edge in the
  northwestern semicircle, where the pressure gradient would be tightest
  due to high pressure centered to the northwest.   The weakening LOW
  drifted southward during the first two days of January before
  dissipating.  (Note:  This was primarily a December system, but since
  the summary for that month has not yet been issued, I decided to cover
  it here.)


  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 depression **
                         1 tropical storm ++
  ** - classified as a tropical depression by JMA only

  ++ - classified as a tropical storm by JTWC only

                          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).  A very special thanks to Michael for the
  assistance he so reliably provides.
      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

     The development of a January tropical storm in the Northwest Pacific
  basin is not an uncommon event, having occurred four times within the
  past ten years, the last one being Tropical Storm Kulap in January, 2005.
  In January, 2008, a tropical depression formed in the South China Sea on
  13 January and was upgraded to a minimal tropical storm for about
  18 hours on the 14th by JTWC.  No other warning agency regarded this
  system as a tropical storm.  A short report on Tropical Storm 01W,
  written by Kevin Boyle, follows.

     On 22 January another LOW was elevated to weak tropical depression
  status by JMA in the same general area.  The system drifted slowly
  westward, and was reported as a 30-kt tropical depression by JMA at
  23/0000 UTC near 10.0N/113.2E, but in the next warning it was downgraded
  to a low-pressure area.  The system continued to drift westward and was
  last referenced at 23/1800 UTC near 10N/110E.  No track for this system
  was included in the January cyclone tracks file.

                               TROPICAL STORM
                               13 - 18 January

     The first tropical cyclone of 2008 in the Northwest Pacific originated
  from a near-equatorial trough situated over southern Micronesia.  It was
  first identified as a LOW on BoM charts on 7 January.  The disturbance
  drifted on a west-northwesterly course for several days while slowly 
  organizing.  JTWC issued the first STWO at 0600 UTC 11 January prior to 
  the system's passage across the Philippines on 12 January.  The first 
  warning on Tropical Depression 01W was issued at 13/0600 UTC after the 
  centre emerged over the South China Sea.  Initially moving towards the 
  west-northwest, TD-01W turned onto a southwesterly heading in response 
  to a surge in the northeast monsoon.  It reached its maximum intensity of
  35 kts at 14/0000 UTC.   However, the system soon began to weaken and was
  downgraded back to a tropical depression at 14/1800 UTC.   TD-01W 
  continued southwestwards, and as it appeared to be dissipating in a 
  region of moderate shear and over cooler SSTs, JTWC released the final 
  warning at 15/0600 UTC.  Warnings were resumed at 15/1800 UTC based on a 
  surface report of 25 kts and redevelopment of convection west of the 
  LLCC.   However, TD-01W soon lost all convection and organization, and 
  the final warning was issued at 16/1200 UTC.  JMA never classified this
  system as a tropical storm, therefore, no name was assigned.  The highest
  10-min MSW estimated by this agency was 30 kts with a minimum CP of 
  1004 mb.  The remnant circulation of TS-01W meandered slowly west to 
  west-southwestwards before dissipating close to the Malaysian coastline 
  on 18 January. 

     There were no reports of damages or casualties associated with 
  Tropical Storm 01W.

  (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
                         1 moderate tropical storm
                         2 tropical cyclones

                           Sources of Information

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

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

           Southwest Indian Ocean Tropical Activity for January

     Three named tropical storms roamed waters of the Southwest Indian
  Ocean during January, 2008--Tropical Storm Elnus and Tropical Cyclones
  Fame and Gula.  Elnus and Fame formed in the Mozambique Channel with
  Fame striking northwestern Madagascar as a tropical cyclone (hurricane).
  Tropical Cyclone Gula was a more intense storm which formed farther east
  and passed southward east of Mauritius and La Reunion.  Reports on the
  three named systems follow.

     Another system was tracked briefly on 8 January and numbered as
  Tropical Disturbance 07 by MFR.  This disturbance was followed, beginning
  on the 7th, from east of Tromelin southward to a point west of Mauritius.
  Central sustained winds were never estimated higher than 20 kts, and no
  track was included for this system in the companion tracks file.  A
  track may be found on MFR's website:>

  By clicking on the link "Saison cyclonique en cours", links to the
  individual disturbances may be found.

                           TROPICAL STORM ELNUS
                             (MFR-06 / TC-09S)
                          30 December - 5 January

  Elnus: contributed by the Seychelles

     Tropical Storm Elnus was a minimal tropical storm which formed in
  the central Mozambique Channel at the end of December and drifted south-
  southeastward through the southern Channel without affecting any land
  areas.  MFR issued the first bulletin on Tropical Disturbance 06 at
  1200 UTC on 30 December, placing the 25-kt system approximately 375 nm
  east-northeast of Beira, Mozambique.   The disturbance gradually became
  better organized and was upgraded to tropical depression status (30 kts)
  at 0600 UTC 31 December.   JTWC issued their first warning on TC-09S six
  hours later, estimating the 1-min avg MSW at 35 kts.  MFR upgraded
  Tropical Depression 06 to moderate tropical storm status at 0000 UTC on
  1 January, 2008, with the center located about 350 nm east of Beira.
  The Sub-regional Tropical Cyclone Advisory Centre in Madagascar assigned
  the name Elnus to the storm.  Based on the MFR warnings, Elnus was a
  small tropical storm with gale-force winds confined to a 20-nm radius
  from the center, extending out to 70 nm in the southeastern quadrant.
  The estimated minimum CP was 994 hPa.

     For the next few days the tropical storm moved rather slowly on a
  south-southeastward course down the Mozambique Channel.  MFR never
  assigned an intensity higher than 35 kts.  JTWC's peak 1-min avg MSW
  was 40 kts at 01/1200 UTC and again 24 hours later with a slight
  weakening indicated in between.   SAB rendered a Dvorak rating of
  T3.5/3.5 at 01/2030 UTC, which suggests that Elnus could have been
  slightly stronger.  The system began weakening on 2 January and was
  downgraded back to tropical depression status at 02/0600 UTC, and further
  to a 25-kt tropical disturbance at 1200 UTC 3 January.  JTWC issued their
  final warning on TC-09S at 04/0000 UTC, and MFR deemed ex-Elnus to be
  extratropical at 04/0600 UTC.  The LOW continued to drift toward the
  south-southeast and MFR issued the final bulletin at 1200 UTC 5 January,
  placing the center about 200 nm south of Toliara, Madagascar.

     The following information was sent by Derrick Herndon:

     "Elnus passed about 40 nm east of Ile Europa on 3 January.  The 
  station reported winds of [email protected] kts on the 2nd at 1800 UTC.  I have no 
  further obs from this site until 0000 UTC on the 3rd about the time of 
  closest approach when the station reported 997 mb and winds [email protected] kts.
  So MSLP at this time was about 994 mb."

     No reports have been received of any damage or casualties resulting
  from Tropical Storm Elnus.

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)

                           TROPICAL CYCLONE FAME
                             (MFR-08 / TC-13S)
                          24 January - 1 February

  Fame: contributed by South Africa

  A. Synoptic History

     MFR initiated warnings on Tropical Disturbance 08 at 0600 UTC on
  24 January, placing a weak 25-kt center in the northern Mozambique
  Channel about 225 nm west-southwest of the northern tip of Madagascar.
  The system drifted slowly southward for about 24 hours with little in
  the way of significant development.  On the 25th organization increased
  and the disturbance was classified as a 30-kt tropical depression at
  25/1200 UTC.  Six hours later the depression was upgraded to tropical
  storm status with the Meteorological Service of Madagascar assigning
  the name Fame.  At the same time JTWC issued their first warning on
  TC-13S with the center located about 325 nm north-northwest of
  Antananarivo, Madagascar.  At the time Tropical Storm Fame was
  essentially stationary, and remained so for much of the 26th as it
  steadily strengthened, reaching 55 kts by 26/1200 UTC (65 kts 1-min avg
  per JTWC).

     Late on the 26th Fame commenced a steady southward march toward the
  western Madagascar coastline.  MFR upped the intensity to 60 kts at
  0600 UTC 27 January, but JTWC estimated 80 kts (1-min avg) at the same
  time.  (SAB rendered a Dvorak rating of T5.0/5.0 at 0830 UTC.)  The
  severe tropical storm bent slightly to the south-southeast and made
  landfall around 27/1300 UTC near Besalampy.  The 27/1800 UTC warning
  from MFR indicated that Fame briefly reached the tropical cyclone stage
  (65 kts 10-min avg) just before landfall in Madagascar.  Shortly before
  landfall, gales extended outward from the center about 40 nm, based
  on MFR's warning.  However, JTWC reported the gale radius at 75 nm.
  The minimum estimated CP was 972 hPa.

     Once inland, Fame quickly weakened as it accelerated to the southeast
  across the big island.  By 0600 UTC 29 January the center had reached
  the Indian Ocean and was re-upgraded to tropical depression status by
  MFR at 1200 UTC while located approximately 200 nm west-northwest of
  Reunion Island.  At the same time JTWC, which had dropped the system
  early on the 28th, re-initiated warnings, classifying Fame as a 35-kt
  tropical storm (1-min avg).  Over the next four days Fame moved rather
  erratically in the same general area, describing a small clockwise
  loop before moving off to the southeast and weakening.  MFR never
  re-upgraded the system to tropical storm status, maintaining the MSW
  at 30 kts, but JTWC peaked the system at 45 kts (1-min avg) at 0000 UTC
  on 31 January, and SAB's Dvorak rating at 30/2030 UTC reached T3.5/3.5,
  or 55 kts.  JTWC issued their final warning at 1200 UTC on 1 February,
  and six hours later MFR followed suit, placing the depression's center
  about 275 nm south of Mauritius.  One factor which worked to prevent
  significant re-intensification of Fame was outflow from Tropical Cyclone
  Gula located to the east.

  B. Meteorological Observations

     The following information was sent by Derrick Herndon:

     "Fame developed just south of Dzaoudzi (FMCZ), an island in the 
  northern portion of the Mozambique Channel.  The lowest pressure at the 
  station was 1002 mb at 0200 UTC on the 26th (down from 1008 mb 20 hours 
  earlier).  A few hours later at 0600 UTC the station reported winds
  [email protected] gusting to 45 kts.   Fame exhibited a small eye in the microwave 
  with the center 80 nm southwest of the island.

     "The tiny eye of Fame appeared to pass very close to or over Besalampy
  on Madagascar.  The station reported a pressure of 982.4 mb at 1200 UTC 
  on the 27th.  The station did not report any wind information.   CPA 
  occurred about 1400 UTC and the station sent an observation at 1500 UTC; 
  however, it did not give any pressure or wind information.   By 1800 UTC
  the pressure had risen to 993.5 mb.  Based on the observation of 982 mb 
  with the center still two hours west of Besalampy and the small eye of 
  about 10-15 km, the MSLP prior to landfall was almost certainly lower 
  than 965 mb but perhaps not lower than 950 mb based on the IR 

  C. Damage and Casualties

     Press reports indicate that Tropical Cyclone Fame was responsible for
  at least 13 deaths in Madagascar.

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)

                          TROPICAL CYCLONE GULA
                            (MFR-09 / TC-14S)
                         26 January - 3 February

  Gula: contributed by Swaziland

     The first bulletin from MFR on a developing tropical disturbance was
  issued at 1200 UTC 26 January.  The system was numbered Tropical
  Disturbance 09 and was then located about 350 nm east-southeast of
  Agalega.   The disturbance subsequently moved southward as it slowly
  strengthened.  JTWC's first warning on TC-14S was issued at 27/0000 UTC
  and estimated the 1-min avg MSW at 35 kts.  MFR upgraded the disturbance
  to a 30-kt tropical depression at 27/0600 UTC, and six hours later the
  system was upgraded to a 35-kt tropical storm located approximately
  400 nm east-southeast of Agalega.  The Meteorological Service of
  Mauritius named the system Tropical Storm Gula.  The initial south to
  southeasterly motion came to a halt around 0600 UTC 28 January with
  Gula turning to a very slow west-northwesterly course.  The storm
  continued to strengthen and had become a 75-kt tropical cyclone by
  0600 UTC on 29 January.  (JTWC had upgraded Gula to 65-kts 1-min avg
  at 28/1200 UTC.)

     Gula's peak intensity based on MFR's warnings came at 29/1200 UTC
  when the estimated MSW reached 85 kts.  JTWC's peak MSW (1-min avg) was
  also 85 kts, but this wasn't until 30/0000 UTC, at which time MFR had
  reduced the intensity to 75 kts.  However, Karl Hoarau pointed out that
  in JTWC's JMV file (a sort of working "best track" file), the peak MSW
  had been set to 100 kts at 29/0600 UTC.  At the time of its peak
  intensity Tropical Cyclone Gula was located about 375 nm southeast of
  Agalega, or about 135 nm north-northeast of the island of St. Brandon.
  The estimated minimum CP from MFR was 960 hPa.      MFR's warnings 
  indicated that gales extended outward only 40 nm from the center, 
  except 80 nm in the southeastern quadrant.  (JTWC's warnings reported 
  gales extending outward 90-100 nm in all quadrants.)

     Tropical Cyclone Gula gradually turned to a west-southwesterly and
  then southerly track as it began to steadily weaken.   The storm passed
  a short distance east of St. Brandon on the 30th after it had weakened
  to tropical storm status.   After passing St. Brandon, Gula accelerated
  to the south-southwest, passing a little over 100 nm east of Mauritius
  on 31 January.  MFR had lowered the intensity to 35 kts at 31/1200 UTC, 
  but the storm underwent a modest re-intensification back to 50 kts six 
  hours later.     (JTWC's 1-min avg MSW history does not show this 
  re-intensification, but rather a gradual weakening on the 30th and 31st.)
  Gula was declared extratropical at 1800 UTC on 1 February when located 
  about 480 nm south-southwest of Mauritius.   The ex-Gula extratropical 
  gale continued to race toward higher latitudes and was nearing 40S by 
  early on 3 February.

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

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)



  Activity for January:  1 tropical cyclone

                           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

     As the month of January opened, two systems were being following by
  BoM Perth.  Tropical Cyclone Melanie was weakening off the coast of
  Western Australia, while gale warnings were being issued for another
  tropical LOW further west.  The gales occurring with this system were
  monsoon gales in the northern quadrants and the system never acquired
  the structure of a tropical cyclone.  A report and track graphic on
  TC Melanie prepared by BoM may be found at the following link:>

  Tracking information for these two systems may be found in the global
  cyclone tracks file for December, 2007.

     The only tropical cyclone to form between 90E and 135E during the
  month was Tropical Cyclone Helen, which formed in the Joseph Bonaparte
  Gulf and moved eastward, making landfall to the southwest of Darwin.
  A short report on TC Helen follows.

                          TROPICAL CYCLONE HELEN
                              3 - 6 January

     Tropical Cyclone Helen began as a slow-moving tropical LOW which
  formed over the Northern Territory's Top End during the closing days
  of December.  The system spent several days inland before moving west-
  ward into the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf in early January.  By 4 January the
  system had strengthened to Tropical Cyclone Helen, and abruptly turned
  eastward, moving inland southwest of Darwin as a Category 2 cyclone on
  the Australian Cyclone Severity Scale.  Helen moved eastward, quickly
  weakening back into a tropical LOW which eventually moved out over
  the Gulf of Carpentaria.   Redevelopment over the Gulf was considered
  a possibility, but this did not happen.  

     A fairly detailed report prepared by BoM for Tropical Cyclone Helen
  is already available online and may be accessed at the following link:>

  According to the BoM report, TC Helen was the first system to bring
  winds of Category 1 strength or higher to the city of Darwin since
  TC Gretel in April, 1985.

     Following is some additional information sent to the author by
  Derrick Herndon:

     "Charles Point AWS about 24 km WNW of Darwin reported gales for 
  several hours prior to the landfall of Helen.  The strongest winds 
  occurred at 16:00 UTC on Jan 4th from the [email protected] gusting to 65 kts.  A 
  nearby pressure of 992 mb put the MSLP at landfall around 988 mb.  The 
  environmental pressure in this region is low at about 1002 mb.  The 
  system appeared to be getting better organized just prior to landfall 
  with the development of an eye feature in both microwave and radar 
  imagery.  Here is the radar image from BOM's page just after landfall:">

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)



  Activity for January:  No tropical cyclones

                           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 formed within the area from 135E to 160E during
  January, but a rather vigorous LOW formed during the latter days of
  December and continued into the first week of January.  This system was
  initially baroclinic but later appeared to be sustaining itself by
  convection.  However, strong upper-level winds prevented it from making
  a complete transformation to a tropical cyclone, so it appears best
  described as a hybrid LOW during most of its life.    BoM Brisbane
  initiated gale warnings on a developing LOW at 0000 UTC 27 December with
  the center estimated to be about 250 nm northeast of Rockhampton, Queens-
  land.  The system moved slowly and erratically, remaining in the same
  general area for several days.   Forecast winds had reached 50 kts by
  28/1200 UTC when the LOW was centered about 325 nm east-northeast of
  Rockhampton.   The system maintained this strength for a couple of days
  and then weakened to 40 kts.  (Note that the strong winds were not
  concentrated near the center as in the manner of a tropical cyclone.)

     The gale-center meandered slowly northward as it weakened while a
  new LOW formed well to the east, about 575 nm east-northeast of Brisbane.
  This new center became the dominant one and moved slowly southwestward,
  briefly strengthening to 45 kts on 3 January and then weakening.  The
  final gale warning placed a 30-kt LOW center about 165 nm east-northeast
  of Brisbane at 0400 UTC 4 January.

     This hybrid storm system had a big impact on Queensland and New South
  Wales.  At Fraser Island significant wave heights of 6 metres were
  measured, but according to Jeff Callaghan were likely close to 8 metres.
  Thousands of campers on the island were camped on the beach during the
  holiday break and had to be evacuated.  Michael Bath, near Lismore, New
  South Wales, reports that in his area the storm produced rainfall over
  several days exceeding 1000 mm.  On Friday, 4 January, some areas
  received 300 mm in three hours on top of streams and rivers which were
  already in moderate flood stage.  Major flooding was experienced along
  the Tweed and Richmond Rivers.  Michael has placed some pictures of the
  flooding at the following link:>

  Click on any link dated January 4th to 9th for pictures of the flooding.

  (A special thanks to Michael Bath and Jeff Callaghan for the information
  they provided.)


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

  Activity for January:  3 tropical depressions
                         1 tropical storm
                         2 severe tropical cyclones

                           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

     Six systems were numbered as tropical depressions by RSMC Nadi during
  January.  Three of these became named cyclones--Elisa, Funa and Gene--
  with Funa and Gene becoming fairly strong hurricanes.  Reports on the
  three cyclones follow.   Of the remaining tropical depressions, JTWC
  issued no warnings on these systems.   Tropical Depression 08F formed
  on 9 January about 165 nm north-northeast of Port Vila, Vanuatu.  The
  system drifted slowly eastward over the next couple of days, but Nadi
  significantly relocated the center over 200 nm to the east at 2100 UTC
  on 11 January to a point about 225 nm north-northeast of Viti Levu,
  Fiji, suggesting that a new, more dominant center had developed.
  Following this relocation, TD-08F drifted generally in a southerly
  direction just east of the Dateline, being last referenced at 14/0600 UTC
  a little over 200 nm east-northeast of Fiji.

     Tropical Depression 09F was very short-lived, lasting only about
  24 hours.  Nadi first referenced this system at 2100 UTC on 12 January,
  placing the center approximately 400 nm southwest of Pago Pago, American
  Samoa.  The system moved slowly southward and was dropped from the
  Tropical Disturbance Summaries after 13/2100 UTC.  The peak winds
  reported in the Fiji bulletins for these depressions were only 25 kts.
  Tracks for TD-08F and TD-09F can be found in the companion cyclone tracks
  file.   (Since I could not locate any agency which assigned a Dvorak
  rating of T2.0 for either system, I normally would not have included
  them in the tracks file.  But as I anticipated each system to strengthen,
  I created the tracking files, and since I had them, I did not want to
  discard them.)

     The third depression, TD-11F, was a much more significant system.
  A developing tropical disturbance was located about 215 nm east of Pago
  Pago at 0600 UTC 19 January.  Over the next several days the system
  moved slowly and erratically in the same general area--many of the
  apparent jogs in the track were no doubt relocations.  RSMC Nadi first
  classified the disturbance as Tropical Depression 11F at 20/2100 UTC.
  A warning for peripheral gales was included in the bulletins beginning
  at 21/1800 UTC, and a warning for storm-force winds of 50 kts for the
  eastern quadrants was included beginning at 23/0000 UTC.  These strong
  winds continued as the system moved southward into Wellington's AOR
  on the 24th and gradually turned toward the southwest.  The final
  warning obtained by the author placed the still-strong extratropical
  LOW about 350 nm south-southwest of Tonga'tapu at 24/1800 UTC.

     TD-11F was not a "classic" tropical depression.  Remarks in the
  satellite fix bulletins from Brisbane on the 21st indicated that the
  system was a large, monsoon gyre-type circulation with an extensive
  area of peripheral gales.  There were extensive areas of banding but
  they were not really focused around the poorly-defined center.  A 
  Brisbane bulletin on the 22nd noted that the system was similar to a 
  major June, 1994, LOW which almost destroyed a cruising fleet and was 
  the subject of a book, "Rescue in the Pacific".  Beginning on the 
  22nd, SAB classified the system as subtropical using the Hebert/Poteat
  technique, and beginning with the 22/1800 UTC warning, RSMC Nadi
  changed the classification from 'tropical depression' to 'depression',
  ostensibly signifying the less tropical and more hybrid nature of the

                         TROPICAL CYCLONE ELISA
                            (TD-07F / TC-11P)
                             7 - 12 January

     A tropical disturbance just east of the International Dateline began
  to show signs of organization on 6 January, and the next day RSMC Nadi
  classified the system as Tropical Depression 07F.  At 07/1800 UTC the
  partially-exposed center of TD-07F was located about 140 nm north of
  Tonga'tapu.  The system drifted slowly southward over the next few days,
  and JTWC issued a TCFA on the 9th, followed by their first warning on
  TC-11P (35 kts) at 10/0000 UTC.  At 0300 UTC on 10 January Nadi upgraded
  the depression to tropical cyclone status, assigning the name Elisa.
  The storm at that time was located only about 40 nm west-southwest of
  Tonga'tapu with the MSW estimated at 35 kts.  Elisa began to curve toward
  the southeast as it slowly strengthened.  The cyclone reached its peak
  intensity of 50 kts at 10/1800 UTC when centered about 150 nm south-
  southeast of Tonga'tapu.

     Elisa began to quickly weaken on 11 January due to the effects of
  cooling SSTs and increasing vertical shear.  Fiji downgraded the system
  back to tropical depression status at 11/1200 UTC as it shifted to an
  increasingly eastward track.  Although the peak winds near the center
  had decreased to 25 kts by 11/2100 UTC, warnings for peripheral gales
  were issued through 12/1800 UTC.  By this time the former tropical
  cyclone had moved eastward to a point approximately 400 nm west-
  southwest of Rarotonga.  JTWC's peak 1-min avg MSW estimate for Elisa
  was 45 kts, and the minimum CP estimated by Nadi was 980 hPa.   At peak
  intensity RSMC Nadi reported that gales extended out 150 nm from the
  center in the southeastern semicircle and 50 nm elsewhere.  However,
  JTWC's gale radius in the southeastern semicircle was only 60 nm.

     Dvorak ratings from CPHC, JTWC, Brisbane and SAB all reached T3.5/3.5
  (55 kts over 1-min), supporting Nadi's peak 10-min avg MSW of 50 kts.
  JTWC's only rating of T3.5/3.5 came at 10/1130 UTC when no warning was
  issued, and the numbers were coming down by 10/1730 UTC, which is likely
  the reason that agency did not go above 45 kts for a warning intensity.

     The following information was sent by Derrick Herndon:

     "Elisa brushed Fua'amotu in Tonga on January 10th with winds from 
  [email protected] gusting to 38 kts at 0400 UTC.  The lowest pressure of 995 mb at 
  the station occurred at 0100 UTC on the 10th.  The sheared, weakening 
  center passed directly over buoy 54930 located at 23.4S/170.0W at 1200 
  UTC on the 11th with the buoy reporting a pressure of 986.5 mb."

     No reports of damage or casualties resulting from Tropical Cyclone
  Elisa have been received.

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)

                        SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE FUNA
                             (TD-10F / TC-12P)
                              15 - 20 January

  A. Synoptic History

     Severe Tropical Cyclone Funa was the second intense tropical cyclone
  in the South Pacific basin during the 2007-2008 cyclone season, the
  first being Daman in early December.  Funa formed just west of northern
  Vanuatu and moved on a "reverse curvature" track, moving eastward through
  the northern Vanuatuan islands, thence curving southeastward and
  eventually southward, and in its weakening stages moving to the south-
  west.  A tropical disturbance had been located south of the Solomon
  Islands for several days, but began to organize rather quickly on
  15 January, resulting in RMSC Nadi classifying it as Tropical
  Depression 10F.  The system was then centered approximately 350 nm
  west-northwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu.  TD-10F moved eastward and
  quickly strengthened, becoming Tropical Cyclone Funa with 40-kt winds
  at 0600 UTC on 16 January.  At the same time JTWC issued their first
  warning on TC-12P.  Funa was then centered about 275 nm northwest of
  Port Vila.

     The cyclone moved eastward and intensified, crossing over the
  northern portion of Espiritu Santo Island around 16/1800 UTC with the
  MSW estimated at 50 kts.  Funa continued to strengthen and passed over
  or very near the northern tip of Aurora Island around 17/0000 UTC with
  an intensity of 55 kts.  After leaving Vanuatu, Funa began to curve
  toward the southeast as it slowly strengthened.   Nadi upgraded the
  cyclone to severe tropical cyclone (i.e., hurricane) status with 70-kt
  winds at 18/0000 UTC with the storm located a little over 300 nm west
  of Suva, Fiji.  The storm continued to curve toward the south and
  reached its peak intensity of 95 kts with an estimated CP of 930 hPa
  at 0000 UTC 19 January while centered about 250 nm southwest of Fiji.
  JTWC's peak 1-min avg MSW estimate was 105 kts, agreeing very well
  with Nadi's intensity.  This equates to a Dvorak CI number of 5.5, and
  all the agencies available to the author (JTWC, Nadi, Brisbane, SAB,
  and CPHC) rendered a Dvorak rating of T5.5/5.5 at some point on either
  the 18th or 19th.

     After peaking in intensity, Funa continued southward, entering
  Wellington's AOR by 19/1800 UTC.  The storm began to slowly weaken as it
  curved toward the southwest, and had become extratropical by 1800 UTC
  on 20 January about 325 nm northwest of New Zealand's North Cape.  The
  final Wellington warning available to the author (20/1800 UTC) reported
  the CP at 957 hPa and the maximum winds at 60 kts.  (I normally try to
  "grab" as many of the NZ warnings from their website and follow the
  extratropical stages of the storms for a few days at least.  I must admit
  that for some unknown reason, I was unable to obtain any additional
  warnings on ex-Funa.)

  B. Meteorological History

     The following information was sent by Derrick Herndon:

     "The center passed south of Sola (91551) at 2100 UTC on the 16th when
  the station estimated winds at [email protected] kts.  The lowest pressure at the
  station was 990.7 mb at 1700 UTC on the 17th.  Also, at 2100 UTC on the 
  16th, Pekoa Airport (91554) reported a pressure of 988 mb with winds 
  [email protected] kts.

     "Funa's convection had significantly weakened by 1200 UTC on the 19th;
  however, the system maintained a robust warm core for at least another 
  24 hours.  Norfolk Island, located 180 nautical miles west of the center,
  at 1100 UTC on the 20th reported winds 30G47 kts and a pressure of 
  989 mb.     At 2000 UTC on the 20th a ship well south of the center 
  reported winds [email protected] kts.  The system was still spinning down when it 
  passed over a buoy at 32.0S/167.5E which reported 982.5 mb at 2100 UTC 
  on the 20th."

     Here is the AMSU imagery depicting Funa's warm core:>

  C. Damage and Casualties

     Even though Funa passed over some of the islands of Vanuatu as a
  moderately strong tropical cyclone, I have been unable to located any
  reports of damage or casualties resulting from the storm.  If any become
  available later, they will included in a future summary.

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)

                        SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE GENE
                             (TD-12F / TC-15P)
                          26 January - 9 February

  A. Introduction

     Severe Tropical Cyclone Gene was an unusually long-lived tropical
  cyclone for the South Pacific basin, existing as a tropical depression
  or cyclone for 11 days.  The cyclone was notable for continuing as a
  tropical entity south of 25S in Wellington's AOR.   Most tropical
  cyclones entering Wellington's AOR are either weakening or already
  undergoing extratropical transition and are usually classified as
  extratropical within 24 hours.  Wellington maintained Gene as a tropical
  cyclone for 2.5 days before declaring the system extratropical.

  B. Synoptic History

     RSMC Fiji designated a developing tropical disturbance as Tropical
  Depression 12F on 26 January, placing a weak center about 365 nm north-
  northeast of Suva, Fiji.  At 27/0600 UTC TD-12F was relocated to the
  east to a position approximately 275 nm east of Suva.  The system began
  to intensify rather quickly and JTWC issued their first warning on
  TC-15P at 27/1800 UTC.  At 2100 UTC the depression's center was located
  near the southern end of the Fijian island of Vanua Levu, and three
  hours later was upgraded to Tropical Cyclone Gene with 40-kt winds.
  Gene was moving on a west-southwesterly trajectory and was crossing over
  Viti Levu around 0600 UTC on 28 January.  Thereafter, the cyclone
  continued to moved away from Fiji toward the southern islands of the
  Republic of Vanuatu.  The cyclone strengthened to 55 kts at 29/0000 UTC,
  but temporarily weakened back to 45 kts later on the 29th due to the
  effects of moderate vertical shear.  Environmental conditions soon
  improved and Gene began to re-intensify, reaching severe tropical cyclone
  (hurricane) status at 30/0600 UTC while located about 275 nm west of
  Viti Levu.
     The cyclone continued to slowly intensify as it continued on its west-
  southwesterly course, reaching a peak intensity of 85 kts (estimated CP
  945 hPa) at 1800 UTC 31 January while centered approximately 175 nm
  southeast of Port Vila, Vanuatu.  (JTWC's peak estimated 1-min avg MSW
  of 100 kts is equivalent to a 10-min avg MSW of 85 kts, so the two
  warning agencies were in close agreement.)   The cyclone at this time
  was located just east of the southeasternmost islands of Vanuatu, but
  shortly thereafter turned abruptly toward the south, relieving the
  threat to the islands.  Gene maintained its peak intensity for about
  24 hours, then began to slowly weaken.  Nadi downgraded the cyclone to
  below hurricane status at 02/1200 UTC, and the storm's intensity leveled
  off around 50-55 kts as it continued southward toward the 25th parallel
  and Wellington's AOR.

     Very interestingly, as Gene crossed 25S into New Zealand's area of
  warning responsibility, it appeared to significantly re-intensity.  In
  their very first warning, the Wellington office raised the peak winds
  near the center from 50 kts back to 65 kts.  The cyclone at this time
  was located about 425 nm east-southeast of Noumea, New Caledonia.  The
  resurge in strength, however, was short-lived, and the winds were dropped
  back to 60 kts after 12 hours.  After crossing 25S, Tropical Cyclone
  Gene gradually curved to a southeasterly and later east-southeasterly
  trajectory.  The system remained just under hurricane strength for a
  couple of days, then began to re-intensify as it underwent extratropical
  transition and regained an intensity of 65 kts at 0000 UTC on 6 February.
  Wellington classified Gene as fully extratropical at 06/0600 UTC and
  at the same time JTWC issued their final warning.   The ex-Gene storm
  continued to move steadily on a general east-southeasterly track as it
  slowly weakened.  The final Wellington warning available to the author
  at 1800 UTC 9 February placed a weakening 35-kt gale center approximately
  1300 nm south-southwest of Rarotonga.

     While JTWC's peak intensity of 100 kts (1-min avg) matched very well
  with RSMC Nadi's peak 10-min mean wind of 85 kts, in general throughout
  Gene's lifetime JTWC's estimated MSW values were less than Fiji's and/or
  Wellington's intensity estimates.  In numerous cases JTWC's 1-min avg
  MSW was actually less than Fiji's 10-min avg estimate.  The peak Dvorak
  classification noted by the author was a rating of T6.0/6.0 from SAB at
  0830 UTC on 31 January.  The peak Dvorak rating from JTWC and Nadi was
  T5.5/5.5, while the highest noted from CPHC and Brisbane was T5.0/5.0.

  C. Damage and Casualties

     Press reports indicated that seven deaths resulted from Tropical
  Cyclone Gene's passage across Fiji.  A total of 61 houses were destroyed
  completely, and there was significant damage to roads, schools, forestry,
  and agriculture.  Also there was considerable disruption to water and
  electrical services, and delivery of supplies to hospitals and health
  care facilities was also affected.   The estimated total cost of the
  storm was estimated to exceed $45 million.

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)



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

  (1) Aircraft Reconnaissance Information

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

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

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

  (2) Archived Advisories

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

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

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

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

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

  (3) Satellite Imagery

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

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

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

  (1) For the Eastern North Pacific:>

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

  (4) Cyclone Tracking Information

     There is a U. S. Navy site that tracks tropical cyclones at 6-hourly
  intervals which often includes pre and post-advisory positions.  The
  link to the site is:>

     Steve Young has compiled many of these tracks onto a single webpage
  which is very user-friendly:>

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


                                EXTRA FEATURE

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


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

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

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

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

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


     JTWC now has available on its website the Annual Tropical Cyclone
  Report (ATCR) for 2006 (2005-2006 season for the Southern Hemisphere).
  ATCRs for earlier years are available also.

     The URL is:>

     Also, TPC/NHC has available on its webpage nice "technicolor"
  tracking charts for the 2007 Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific
  tropical cyclones; also, storm reports for all the 2007 Atlantic
  and Eastern North Pacific cyclones are now available, as well as
  track charts and reports on storms from earlier years. 

     The URL is:>

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


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

  Kevin Boyle  (Northwest Pacific)
  E-mail:  [email protected]


Document: summ0801.htm
Updated: 29th March 2008

[Australian Severe Weather index] [Copyright Notice] [Email Contacts] [Search This Site]