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Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary January 1998
[Summaries and Track Data] [Prepared by Gary Padgett]


                              JANUARY, 1998

  (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.)


  --> Two extremely intense cyclones roam Southwest Pacific
  --> Long-lived cyclone roams Coral Sea for over three weeks
  --> Cyclone brings severe flooding to northern Australia


                           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:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for January:  No tropical cyclones


  SOUTH INDIAN OCEAN (SIO) - South Indian Ocean West of Longitude 90E

  Activity for January:  1 tropical cyclone of gale intensity **

      ** - based on warnings from Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Guam

                   Tropical Cyclone 13-S   18-23 January

     Information on this system is based solely on warnings issued by
  the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) on Guam.  The author is unaware
  of any warnings issued by the Meteorological Service of Madagascar, who
  has official WMO warning responsibility for the South Indian Ocean west
  of longitude 55E.  Based on the 1-min average wind values reported by
  JTWC, this system was at best a minimal tropical storm.  All other
  factors being equal, the 10-min average wind utilized by the Southern
  Hemisphere centers would have been reported as less than gale force.

     When the first warning by JTWC was issued at 0000 UTC on 18 Jan,
  the center of the cyclone was inland over the Zambezia Province of
  Mozambique, about 30 nm from the coast.    Some ships were reporting
  gales within about 120 nm of the center.  The system was initially
  forecast to move south-southwestward along the Mozambique coastline
  and slowly intensify, but it drifted farther inland on 18 Jan.  By
  18/1200 UTC winds had decreased to 30 kts.  At 0900 UTC on 18 Jan
  Quelimane, on the coast of Mozambique and about 60 nm from the center
  of the system, reported peak gusts of only 24 kts.

     On 19 Jan the LOW turned more to the south, bringing the center
  nearer the coast and allowing some very slight strengthening.  Winds
  were reported back at 35 kts by 0000 UTC.   Some synoptic observations
  from inland stations of winds in the 20-25 kt range indicated the
  likely presence of 30-35 kt winds offshore.  The cyclone skirted the
  Mozambique coastline until 20/1200 UTC, when it turned to an east-
  southeasterly course and moved into the Mozambique Channel.  Although
  the center was over the open water, the system did not intensify
  significantly due to increasing vertical shear.  At 0000 UTC on 23 Jan
  the final warning by JTWC was issued, downgrading the system to a
  depression just south of the southern tip of Madagascar.

     The only information located by the author regarding any effects
  of this storm was on Earthweek's website (>).
  Torrential rains in Mozambique and Malawi reportedly destroyed crops
  and swamped many villages.    No figures regarding any loss of life
  were available.


  AUSTRALIAN REGION (AUS) - From Longitude 90E Eastward to Longitude 160E

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

  NOTE:  Some of the information presented below was obtained from the
  January Tropical Diagnostic Statement, prepared by the RSMC Darwin.
  A special thanks to Sam Cleland for sending it to me, as well as for
  providing some details of the disastrous flooding around the town of
  Katherine.  Also, some of the information about the Katherine flood
  was forwarded to me by a personal pen-pal, Graham Lees of Perth.

        Tropical Depression (formerly TC Sid - 08S)   3-11 January

     Tropical Cyclone Sid had made landfall along the southern coast of
  the Gulf of Carpentaria in late December.  The remnants meandered
  around the eastern portion of the Northern Territory for several days.
  By 0600 UTC on 3 Jan the LOW center had emerged back over the western
  Gulf near the southeastern end of Groote Eylandt about 45 nm east-
  southeast of Alyangula.  The Darwin TCWC commenced issuing advices
  on the LOW which was forecast to possibly regain cyclone strength
  within the next day or two.  The depression drifted eastward over the
  next couple of days but did not strengthen significantly.  The last
  advice was issued at 04/0600 UTC placing the LOW's center about 150
  nm north of Mornington Island.  Scatterometer data at 04/1330 UTC
  indicated the presence of 25-30 kt winds over the water.  A report
  from Mornington Island at 0300 UTC on 5 Jan indicated sustained winds
  of only 13 kts with gusts to 22 kts.  The LOW center was located
  generally to the northeast of the island at this time.

     By 0000 UTC on 7 Jan the system was showing some organization once
  more, so Darwin resumed issuing advices.  At 07/0000 UTC the depression
  was located about 50 nm northeast of Mornington Island.  Over the next
  18 hrs the center drifted generally in a southeasterly direction but
  did not re-intensify as forecast.  The last warning, issued at 1800
  UTC, located the center of the LOW about 70 nm east of Mornington
  Island.  The remnant circulation subsequently drifted eastward onto
  the Queensland coast along the southeastern Gulf of Carpentaria, and
  thence southeastward across Queensland to near the eastern coast.

     Bulletins were issued by the Brisbane office on 10 and 11 Jan for
  the remnants of Sid which were located just inland from the coast.
  The LOW remained quasi-stationary for a couple of days in the region
  just north of Townsville.    The warnings called for the possibility
  of 35-45 kt winds within 100 nm of the coast between Lucinda and Bowen,
  mainly in the southern semi-circle.      An active monsoon trough
  extending north-northeastward from the LOW brought very heavy rainfall
  to the region.  Flooding was reported along the Tully, Herbert, Upper
  Burdekin, and Haughton Rivers.  Townsville recorded 549 mm of rain in
  the 24-hr period ending at 9 AM on the 11th,  with another 245 mm
  falling during the next two days.

     Since the center of the LOW remained inland and moved very little
  during the two-day period, no track is given for this portion of Sid's
  life in the accompanying track file.  The LOW was quasi-stationary in
  the vicinity of 18.7S, 146.5E with the lowest central pressure during
  this period reported at 998 mb.

             Tropical Cyclone Katrina (TC-12P)   1-25 January

     Tropical Cyclone Katrina, while not as intense as the two concurrent
  cyclones Ron and Susan farther east, certainly became the longest-lived
  cyclone of the Southern Hemisphere season so far, wandering along on a
  contorted track for over three weeks across the Coral Sea and South
  Pacific.  Cyclones of this duration, however, are not all that rare in
  the South Pacific area.  Just last March Tropical Cyclone Justin was
  in existence from 3-25 March, generally meandering in the same area as
  Katrina.  Even slightly longer was Tropical Cyclone Rewa which lasted
  from 28 Dec, 1993, until 22 Jan, 1994.  Rewa became an intense cyclone
  with winds well in excess of 100 kts, weakened and all but dissipated,
  then staged a comeback and regained its former intensity.  (For the
  record, this information on Rewa was obtained from the former Weekly
  Tropical Cyclone Summaries authored by Jack Beven.)

     The first depression advisory was issued at 1800 UTC on New Year's
  Day, locating the developing system about 340 nm east-northeast of
  Cairns and 425 nm southeast of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.  Katrina
  was named at 03/0000 UTC while moving slowly on an east-northeasterly
  course.   A wind report of 31 kts from Lihou Reef at 02/2330 prompted
  JTWC to begin issuing warnings on the system at this time.  Katrina's
  maximum 10-min average sustained winds had reached 45 kts by 4 Jan,
  as reported in the warnings issued by the Brisbane TCWC.    Further
  intensification was halted for several days due to the low-level inflow
  being dominated by the extremely intense Susan located about 1000 nm
  to the east.

     By the 7th Susan was moving farther south and Katrina began to
  intensify steadily.  At 1800 UTC on 6 Jan the storm passed 325 nm to
  the north of the Chesterfield Islands.   Around 07/0000 UTC Katrina
  crossed longitude 160E into the Fiji area of warning responsibility.
  Ever since its inception Katrina had been moving on a slow east-
  northeasterly course.  At 0600 UTC on 7 Jan the cyclone was centered
  about 50 nm southeast of Rennel Island, the southernmost of the Solomon
  Islands.  This proved to be the northernmost point of Katrina's track.
  The storm turned initially to the east-southeast, then more to the
  southeast as it slowly increased to hurricane strength.

     Katrina was becoming more of a threat to Vanuatu on 9 Jan when it
  abruptly halted about 200 nm west-northwest of Vila at 1200 UTC and
  reversed its direction to a westerly course due to the development of
  a high pressure area directly to its south.   Around this time the
  storm reached its first peak intensity of 80 kts (10-min avg). During
  its initial hurricane phase Katrina was a rather compact system.  A
  slow weakening trend set in as Katrina began to move slowly to the
  west-northwest.  The storm passed about 150 nm south of Rennel Island
  at 1200 UTC on 11 Jan, and crossed back into the Brisbane area six hrs
  later at a point about 55 nm south of the point where it crossed 160E
  on its eastbound journey.  Katrina was moving to the northwest at this
  time, but then turned to a westerly course which it maintained until
  the 15th.

     At 1800 UTC on 14 Jan Katrina was a minimal hurricane located about
  325 nm east-northeast of Cooktown on the Queensland coast.  On the 15th
  the storm began to move on a general south-southwesterly course toward
  Australia.    Peak intensity of 90 kts, with an estimated central
  pressure of 940 mb, was attained around 1800 UTC about 250 nm east-
  northeast of Cooktown.  After this Katrina began to weaken rather
  rapidly and its forward motion slowed.  The storm described a tight
  loop on 17-18 Jan about 175-200 nm east-southeast of Cooktown.  Holmes
  Reef reported 50-kt sustained winds at 18/0300 UTC, and it was noted
  that convection and organization had increased once more.   After
  completing the loop Katrina moved east for about 12 hrs, then set out
  on an east-southeasterly course for the next three days.  During this
  time Katrina briefly reached hurricane strength once more.

     The southeastward motion came to a halt at 21/1800 UTC about 275 nm
  east-northeast of Rockhampton.  By this time Katrina was experiencing
  considerable vertical shear and had weakened to well below hurricane
  force.  The storm began to move on a northerly course, turning to more
  of a northwesterly course on 23 Jan.   Winds had dropped below gale
  force by 24/1200 UTC, and the last advice at 0600 UTC on 25 Jan located
  the weak system about 250 nm east of Townsville.  This location was
  also about 250 nm south of Katrina's point of origin.  The remnant LOW
  drifted slowly northwestward over the next several days with convection
  occasionally flaring up.    Satellite classifications were issued
  sporadically on into the first week of February, with the last one
  noted by the author placing the weak system in the vicinity of the Cape
  York Peninsula.

     One fatality was reported in Vanuatu when a man fishing from a reef
  was swept away by the rough seas.  In the Solomon Islands, 200 homes
  were destroyed on southern Guadalcanal and 450 homes destroyed on the
  islands of Rennel and Bellona to the south as Katrina brushed by.

                  Tropical Cyclone Les (TC-14P)   23 Jan-->

     A weak tropical LOW had moved westward over the Cape York Peninsula
  in late January and showed signs of development after emerging into the
  Gulf of Carpentaria.  The system was assisted in its development by a
  brief surge in the northwest monsoon and a tightening pressure gradient
  due to a high pressure area forming in the Great Australian Bight.

     The first warning issued by the Darwin TCWC at 1200 UTC on 23 Jan
  placed the LOW about 175 nm northeast of Mornington Island with 25-kt
  sustained winds.     The depression moved steadily westward and
  intensified, becoming Tropical Cyclone Les at 0000 UTC on 24 Jan in
  the central Gulf.   By 1630 UTC the cyclone was centered about 50 nm
  east-southeast of Alyangula with central sustained winds estimated at
  55 kts (10-min avg).  Gusts to hurricane force were being experienced
  along the east coast of Groote Eylandt.    Les continued westward,
  crossing the southern portion of Groote Eylandt, and making landfall
  around 25/0000 UTC on the eastern Gulf coast of the Northern Territory.
  Peak gusts were estimated near 75 kts as Les made landfall.

     Winds diminished to below gale force after the center had moved
  inland, and the weakened Les spent the next three-and-a-half days
  moving slowly westward over Arnhem Land.  Around 0000 UTC on 26 Jan the
  LOW passed near the town of Katherine where very severe flooding was
  experienced.   By 27/2100 UTC the center was nearing the coast about
  175 nm south of Darwin and showing some signs of rejuvenation.  The
  center moved offshore into the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf around 1800 UTC
  on 28 Jan and organization began to slowly improve.    Les moved
  westward across the gulf and winds had increased to 40 kts just as the
  center moved back inland again around 1200 UTC on 29 Jan.   Some of
  the gale force winds reported during this period were monsoon gales
  well away from the center of the circulation.

     The cyclone turned to a west-southwesterly course for the next
  couple of days and skirted the coast with the center remaining just
  inland from the Timor Sea.  Even though the center of Les was overland,
  the proximity to the ocean allowed the system to maintain good
  organization and to strengthen some.  Outflow was good and a large area
  of convection accompanied the storm.  With the center inland the area
  of gale force winds was mostly confined to the northern semicircle.
  A ship near 13.6S, 127.6E on 29 Jan (exact time unknown) reported winds
  to 40 kts, and on 30 Jan gales with gusts to 55 kts were being reported
  along the North Kimberley coast between Wyndham and Kuri Bay.

     By 31/0600 UTC the center of Les was located about 100 nm northeast
  of Broome.  At this point the cyclone turned to a more southwesterly
  course which took it farther inland.   At 0000 UTC on 1 Feb winds had
  dropped to 30 kts and the weakening cyclone was then about 50 nm south-
  southwest of Broome.  (This based upon official warnings from Perth--
  JTWC kept the overland system at minimal gale force for another day
  or so.)

     Before being named as a cyclone the pre-Les system dropped 50-100 mm
  of rain on the Cape York Peninsula, and after Les had moved inland over
  Arnhem Land, rainfalls of from 100 to 385 mm were recorded.  The main
  guage at Katherine recorded 220.8 mm for the 24 hrs ending at 9AM on
  the 26th, and 159.8 mm during the next 24 hrs.  The total rainfall at
  Katherine for the month of January was 913.8 mm, making it the wettest
  January in 124 years of record.  The annual average is 969 mm, while
  the January average is 235.5 mm.

     Flooding in and around the town of Katherine, often called the
  "Jewel of the Northern Territory", was particularly severe.    Many
  houses were completely under water and the water rose to the rooflines
  in the downtown area. The Katherine River rose to its highest level
  on record of 20.4 metres---about 17 metres higher than normal.  The
  Australian government declared Katherine a disaster area, and the
  entire town will have to be rebuilt.      At least one death was
  reported, and there could have been others.   Quite a number of the
  semi-homeless aborigines had their camps washed away.

             Tropical Cyclone Tiffany (TC-15S)   24-31 January

     Advisories were begun on a new tropical LOW by the Perth TCWC at
  0000 UTC on 24 Jan placing the center about 100 nm northeast of Broome.
  This system was of land origin and had drifted westward over the ocean.
  A brief surge of southeasterly flow aided in the intensification of the
  system, and Tiffany was christened at 25/0600 UTC about 100 nm west-
  northwest of Broome.      Tiffany was a small system and intensified
  rapidly on the 26th with satellite estimates increasing 35 kts in a
  12-hr period.   Hurricane force was reached at 1200 UTC about 125 nm
  north of Port Hedland.    Peak intensity of 100 kts and 930 mb central
  pressure was reached around 27/0000 UTC when Tiffany was centered about
  100 nm north of Roebourne.  (JTWC reported the maximum sustained 1-min
  wind at 120 kts.    Adjusting this to its equivalent 10-min avg yields
  105 kts, which is in very good agreement with Perth's intensity.)

     Tiffany maintained 100-kt winds for 18-24 hrs before beginning to
  weaken.   The cyclone continued on a general west-southwesterly course
  which took it farther away from the Australian coastline.  By 29/0600
  UTC winds had dropped below hurricane force.   Perth issued the last
  warning at 0600 UTC on 30 Jan locating the weakening cyclone about
  500 nm west-northwest of Onslow.    JTWC issued another couple of
  warnings with the system being downgraded to a depression at 0000 UTC
  on 31 Jan.

     Although Tiffany was quite intense and moved fairly close to the
  Western Australian coastline, it was a small, compact system and its
  effects on Australia were minimal.


  SOUTHWEST PACIFIC (SWP) - South Pacific Ocean East of Longitude 160E

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

  NOTE:  A special thanks as always to Mark Kersemakers of the Fiji
  Meteorological Service and to Steve Ready of the Meteorological Service
  of New Zealand for passing along information regarding damage and
  casualties caused by South Pacific cyclones.   Most of the information
  on the effects of Ron came from a report by Paea Havea, Chief Officer
  of the Tonga Meteorological Service.

              Tropical Cyclone Ron (TC-10P)   1-9 January

     Tropical Cyclone Ron, along with its twin, Susan, were the two most
  intense cyclones to form in the South Pacific in recent years.  Both
  generated estimated 10-min average maximum sustained winds of 125 kts
  (equivalent to 144 kts 1-min average) with attendant minimum central
  pressure estimated at 900 mb.  The last tropical cyclone to possibly
  reach this intensity was Tropical Cyclone Hina in March of 1985.

     The first depression bulletin on the pre-Ron system was issued at
  01/0600 UTC with the system centered about 450 nm northeast of Samoa.
  The depression drifted slowly on a west-southwesterly course for the
  next four days, reaching tropical cyclone intensity at 0000 UTC on
  2 Jan about 350 nm northeast of Samoa.  As a storm Ron passed very near
  Swains Island around 03/0000 UTC.    Intensification proceeded at a
  fairly rapid rate after that.  Peak intensity of 125 kts was reached
  at 0600 UTC on 5 Jan with Ron centered about 225 nm north-northwest of
  Apia in Western Samoa.  The cyclone maintained this strength for about
  36 hrs.  After 1200 UTC on the 5th Ron turned to a south-southwesterly
  course for about 18 hrs, then began to move in a south-southeasterly
  direction.   Around 06/1800 UTC the cyclone, with maximum winds still
  estimated to be near 110 kts, passed very close to the island of
  Niuafo'ou, where considerable destruction occurred.    At 1800 UTC
  Niuafo'ou reported sustained winds of 60 kts with a presure of 983.7
  mb.   The lowest pressure from the island during Ron's passage was
  972.4 mb with maximum winds from 65-80 kts, but these winds were
  estimated.  Ron was a very compact cyclone--at 05/0000 UTC Wallis
  Island, then located about 95 nm southeast of the center, reported
  10-min average winds of only 17 kts with gusts to 32 kts.  The Nadi
  discussion at 06/0800 UTC mentioned that based on winds reported by
  Niuafo'ou, Ron may have had an even smaller gale radius and stronger
  winds near the center than had been thought.

     After passing Niuafo'ou Ron began to weaken steadily as it started
  to accelerate to the southeast.  The storm passed over 400 nm south of
  Samoa around 0000 UTC on 8 Jan with maximum winds estimated at 85 kts.
  After this Ron began to move quickly to the southeast as it rapidly
  weakened, and the system had merged with Tropical Cyclone Susan by
  09/0000 UTC.

     The greatest damage from Tropical Cyclone Ron occurred on the Tongan
  island of Niuafo'ou (population 735).  About 67% of the buildings were
  either damaged or destroyed (many of these were Tongan fales--thatched
  houses).  Agricultural losses were also severe--from 80-90% of coconut
  and breadfruit trees were damaged, and losses for native food crops
  such as taro, kape, manioc, and bananas were estimated at 95%.  _The
  Tonga Chronicle_ reported that it would take about five years to bring
  crop production back to pre-cyclone levels.   The estimated cost for
  rehabilitation (houses, food, water, etc) is placed at approximately
  $1.1 million in Tongan dollars.  Fortunately no deaths were reported.

     Damage was also reported on the Tongan islands of Niuatoputapu,
  Tafahi, and Vava'u but was generally not as severe as on Niuafo'ou.
  No reports of damage have been received from Swains Island (which is
  part of American Samoa) or from Wallis Island (a French territory).

               Tropical Cyclone Susan (TC-11P)   3-9 January

     Tropical Cyclone Susan developed from a disturbance which had
  actually been tracked since around 20 December.  The disturbance was
  first noted several hundred miles northeast of Samoa.  Over the next
  two weeks the system drifted very slowly west-southwestward.  Nadi had
  issued a couple of bulletins on the system on 20 and 21 Dec, and again
  from 24-26 Dec when the system became better organized; however, on
  both occasions convection decreased and the system weakened.  During
  this time neither NPMOC nor JTWC issued depression warnings, although
  Dvorak bulletins were issued sporadically on the LOW.

     Finally at 0000 UTC on 3 Jan, Nadi resumed issuing depression
  bulletins on the system which was then located west of Rotuma, and
  Susan was named just 6 hrs later with the center placed about 450 nm
  north of Fiji.  Susan intensified rapidly, and only 18 hrs after being
  named the storm had reached hurricane force.   Tropical Cyclone Susan
  initially moved slowly westward, then turned to a west-southwesterly
  course.   By 04/1200 UTC Susan was moving southwest, and after 1800 UTC
  on 5 Jan, made a turn to the south-southeast.   On the afternoon of
  the 5th the storm came within about 225 nm of Vila, Vanuatu.  Susan by
  this time had reached its peak itensity of 125 kts sustained winds and
  900 mb estimated central pressure.  The cyclone posed a severe threat
  to Vanuatu, but fortunately changed course in time to spare the islands
  a direct hit.

     After turning away from Vanuatu Susan began to track toward the
  southeast at a faster rate of speed.   Peak intensity was maintained
  for about 36 hrs--until after 1200 UTC on 6 Jan.  On 7 and 8 Jan Susan
  passed closed enough to Fiji to cause some gales in the westernmost
  islands of the group.   The center passed about 200 nm south-southwest
  of Nadi around 07/1800 UTC with winds still near 110 kts.  At 2100 UTC
  on the 7th a ship at 20.1S, 172.7E (about 250 nm west-northwest of the
  center) reported winds of 50 kts.  Susan appeared to have concentric
  eyes on at least a couple of occasions.

     After passing by Fiji Susan accelerated greatly on a southeasterly
  course across the South Pacific.   Cyclone Ron had merged with the
  system by 09/0000 UTC and Susan was becoming extratropical by 0600 UTC
  about 725 nm east-northeast of Auckland, New Zealand.   Winds remained
  well above hurricane force as Susan made the transition to a vigorous
  extratropical cyclone.

     Overall, damage from Tropical Cyclone Susan was minor.  High seas
  inundated Talaulia village on Kadavu, Fiji, and partly destroyed some
  beachfront buildings, roads, jetties, and bridges on the island.  On
  Beqa Island damage from high seas/swells was also experienced.   In
  the town of Lautoka, on Viti Levu, roofs were blown off some shops.
  This damage was believed to have been caused by a tornado which formed
  in one of the outer rain bands as it crossed the shoreline.  One death
  was reported on Ambrym Island, Vanuatu, when a woman was struck and
  killed by a falling coconut palm.

             Tropical Cyclone Katrina (TC-12P)   7-11 January

     Tropical Cyclone Katrina, a long-lived cyclone which roamed the
  Coral Sea and South Pacific for over three weeks, formed on 1 Jan west
  of 160E in the Brisbane TCWC's area of responsibility.   While Katrina
  spent most of its long life in the Australian Region, it did cross 160E
  and was in the Southwest Pacific Basin from 7 to 11 Jan, where it posed
  a threat to Vanuatu on 8 and 9 Jan.   The full report on this cyclone
  can be found in the portion of this summary covering the Australian

              Tropical Cyclone Tui (TC-16P)   25-27 January

     Tropical Cyclone Tui was a short-lived cyclone whose winds did not
  exceed gale intensity.   The system passed over the eastern part of
  the island of Savai'i in Western Samoa, causing relatively minor damage
  but unfortunately causing one death.  A young boy was electrocuted when
  he stepped into a puddle of water that contained a live downed power
  line.  Maximum sustained winds (10-min) in Savai'i were estimated near
  40 kts gusting to 60 kts.

     The depression from which Tui developed was first sighted about
  225 nm northwest of Apia, Western Samoa around 0000 UTC on 25 Jan.  The
  system moved slowly on a south-southeasterly course for most of its
  life.  Tropical Cyclone Tui was christened at 25/2100 UTC about 50 nm
  northwest of Apia.   Tui passed over the eastern part of Savai'i early
  on 26 Jan (UTC).  At 26/0000 UTC the center was very near the AWS at
  Asau (13.4S, 172.3W).  A minimum pressure of 991 mb was reported but
  winds were light.

     After crossing Western Samoa Tui intensified slightly, reaching a
  peak intensity of 45 kts around 1800 UTC on 26 Jan when located about
  75 nm south-southwest of Pago Pago, American Samoa.  Thereafter, Tui
  remained quasi-stationary just to the south of the Samoan islands and
  weakened, being downgraded to a depression by 27/1200 UTC.

                Tropical Cyclone Ursula (TC-17P)   29 Jan-->

     An advisory was issued on a new, developing depression at 0600 UTC
  on 30 Jan, locating the system about 125 nm north-northwest of Tahiti.
  The system was moving slowly to the southeast.  By 30/1800 UTC gale
  intensity had been reached and the cyclone was named Ursula.  At the
  time it was named, Ursula was located about 150 nm northeast of Tahiti.
  Over the next few days Tropical Cyclone Ursula moved on a southeasterly
  course which took it through the middle of the Tuamotu Archipelago.
  The storm passed well east of Tahiti and seemed to move generally to
  the southwest of and parallel to the main chain of islands in the
  Tuamotu group.

     Ursula's forward motion increased considerably on 31 Jan, and by
  0000 UTC on 1 Feb the storm was located far to the southeast of Tahiti
  and about 500 nm west-northwest of Pitcairn Island.  Maximum 10-min avg
  winds had increased to an estimated 55 kts by this time.  Surprisingly,
  NPMOC at Pearl Harbor never issued any warnings on this system until
  0600 UTC on 1 Feb, when their first warning classifed Ursula as a

     Very few tropical cyclones move as far east in the South Pacific as
  did Ursula.  The greater than normal tropical cyclone activity in this
  area in recent months can likely be attributed to the warmer SSTs and
  especially lower atmospheric pressures in the region due to the current
  warm phase of ENSO.    The author at this point has not received any
  damage reports from the areas through which Ursula passed.  If any do
  become available they will be reported in the February summary.

                 Two Tropical Depressions   31 January-->

     Two new depressions formed on 31 January: the first one was about
  125 nm northwest of Apia, Western Samoa, at 0600 UTC; and the first
  bulletin on the second at 1200 UTC located it about 250 nm east-
  southeast of Manihiki Atoll in the Northern Cooks.   The second and
  easternmost depression was upgraded to Tropical Cyclone Veli at 0000
  UTC on 1 Feb, and the depression north of Samoa became Tropical Cyclone
  Wes six hours later.   The reports on these cyclones will be contained
  in the February summary.


  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
  in the following manner:

       (a) FTP to: []
       (b) Login as: anonymous
       (c) For a password use your e-mail address
       (d) The files will be named with an obvious nomenclature--using
           January as an example:   jan98.tracks

    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 January summary is the fourth cyclone summary in this series;
  the first one covering the month of October, 1997.  If anyone did
  not receive any of the previous summaries, they may be downloaded
  from the aforementioned FTP site at HRD.   The summary files are
  catalogued with the nomenclature:  oct97.sum, for example.

    The preliminary storm reports for all the 1997 Atlantic and Eastern
  North Pacific tropical cyclones are available on the Tropical
  Prediction Center's website:> .  These
  reports include the analyzed best-track for each cyclone.  The staff
  of JTWC is also working on an on-line version of their Annual Tropical
  Cyclone Report for 1997.  It is still under construction, but the
  best-track files are already available for 1997 Northwestern Pacific
  and North Indian Ocean cyclones.  The URL is:>

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


Document: summ9801.htm
Updated: 18th March 2008

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