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


                             FEBRUARY, 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.)


  --> A fairly active month but storms generally remain at sea
  --> South Indian Ocean comes alive


                           ACTIVITY BY BASINS

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

  Activity for February:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for February:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for February:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for February:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for February:  4 tropical cyclones of gale intensity **
                          1 tropical cyclone of hurricane intensity

      ** - two of these classified only by JTWC, Guam

  NOTE:  The only sources of information on South Indian cyclones I have
  available for the time being are the warnings issued by JTWC.   All the
  winds reported in the narrative are 1-min average maximum sustained

           Tropical Cyclone Anacelle (TC-20S)   8-14 February

     Although JTWC had previously classified two tropical cyclones in
  the South Indian Ocean basin (01-S in July and 13-S in January),
  Anacelle was the first actual named cyclone in the basin this season.
  The first JTWC warning on the cyclone was issued at 0600 UTC on 8 Feb
  with the center about 275 nm northeast of St. Brandon Island.  The 
  storm intensified slowly for a couple of days as it drifted generally
  in a westerly direction.  On the 9th Anacelle turned to a southerly
  course, and its forward motion increased as it steadily strengthened.

     At 10/1200 UTC Anacelle passed very near St. Brandon with maximum
  sustained winds estimated at 90 kts.   Continuing to move to the south,
  Anacelle reached a peak intensity of 115 kts at 1200 UTC on 11 Feb
  when centered about 100 nm east-southeast of Mauritius.     After
  passing Mauritius the cyclone turned to the southeast and began to
  accelerate toward mid-latitudes.   Winds had dropped below hurricane
  force by 13/1200 UTC, and the cyclone had become extratropical 24 hrs
  later near 41S, 84E.

     I have been unsuccessful in obtaining any reports from any of the
  islands in the South Indian Ocean that may have been affected by
  Anacelle, especially St. Brandon and Mauritius.  If anyone has any
  information about the effects of this cyclone, including damage and
  casualty figures as well as meteorological reports, I would be very
  grateful if they would send the information to me so that I can
  include it in a future summary.

                   Tropical Cyclone 21-S   9-10 February

     A tropical disturbance drifted from near the coast of Mozambique to
  near the southern tip of Madagascar in early February.  Early on 9 Feb
  scatterometer data indicated an area of 35-kt winds within 60 nm of the
  low-level circulation center.   Therefore, JTWC initiated warnings on
  Tropical Cyclone 21-S at 0600 UTC on 9 Feb.   The system was located
  at this time about 225 nm south of Tulear on the southwest coast of
  Madagascar.    TC-21S formed in a high vertical shear environment and
  did not strengthen any further.   The weak cyclone moved off to the
  south-southeast and had weakened to a depression by 0000 UTC, 10 Feb.

              Tropical Cyclone Beltane (TC-23S)   17-18 February

     The active pattern in the Mozambique Channel continued into mid-
  February as another tropical disturbance began to strengthen on the
  16th.   Convection began to organize very rapidly, transforming the
  system from a relatively weak disturbance into a significant tropical
  cyclone.   By 0600 UTC the developing cyclone was located about 150 nm
  northwest of Tulear, Madagascar, with 35-kt winds.     Beltane moved
  south-southeast to near the southern tip of Madagascar by 17/1800 UTC
  with winds reaching a peak intensity of 40 kts late on the 16th.  By
  early on 18 Feb all the deep convection had been sheared from near the
  center and the weakening low-level circulation began to move back
  toward the northwest.   The last JTWC warning, issued at 18/1800 UTC,
  placed the weakening cyclone in the Mozambique Channel about 100 nm
  west-southwest of its point of origin.

          Tropical Cyclone Victor/Cindy (TC-22S)   10-19 February

     The weakening Tropical Cyclone Victor crossed 90E into the Mauritius
  area of warning responsibility shortly after 0000 UTC on 16 Feb.  In
  accordance with a long-standing practice the system was re-named Cindy.
  (See the portion of this summary covering the Australian Region for
  information on the earlier portion of this cyclone's history.   Victor
  was actually a re-development of the extremely long-lived Tropical
  Cyclone Katrina, which roamed the Coral Sea for over three weeks in

     Tropical Cyclone Cindy was a minimal tropical cyclone with winds of
  only 35 kts when it was re-named about 1800 nm east of Mauritius.  The
  system continued on a general westerly track for a couple of days, and
  then turned to a southerly course and accelerated.   The storm had
  merged with a front and lost tropical characteristics by 19/0000 UTC
  about 1150 nm east-southeast of La Reunion, more than 50 days after
  the pre-Katrina tropical LOW was first analyzed.

                 Tropical Cyclone 24-S   16-19 February

     The first warning on Tropical Cyclone 24-S was issued by JTWC at
  1200 UTC on 16 Feb, locating the center about 500 nm east of La
  Reunion with 35-kt winds.   The system initially moved to the south-
  southwest, turning to the southeast after 1200 UTC on the 17th, and
  finally accelerating eastward on 18 Feb.  Vertical shear and cooler sea
  surface temperatures prevented this system from intensifying further 
  as a tropical cyclone.   Winds were increased to 45 kts in the warning
  issued at 18/1200 UTC to account for the tendency of systems undergoing
  extratropical transition to intensify due to faster forward motion.  
  The final warning at 0000 UTC on 19 Feb, which located the center 
  about 1000 nm east-southeast of La Reunion, indicated that the cyclone 
  was expected to merge with a cold front during the forecast period.


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

  Activity for February:  1 weakening tropical depression
                          1 tropical cyclone of gale intensity
                          1 tropical cyclone of hurricane intensity

     Much of the information presented below on Tropical Cyclones Victor
  and May was taken directly from the Darwin Tropical Diagnostic State-
  ment for February.   A special thanks to Sam Cleland for sending it
  to me.   Unless otherwise noted, references to sustained winds imply
  a 10-minute average wind.

          Tropical Cyclone Les (TC-14P)   23 January-2 February

     As the month of February opened, former Tropical Cyclone Les was a
  weakening depression overland in Western Australia about 65 nm south-
  southeast of Broome.  The Perth TCWC issued the last advice at 0000
  UTC on 1 Feb but JTWC kept the system at minimal gale intensity for
  another day, primarily because of a very well-organized cloud pattern
  which, over water at least, would have suggested 35-kt winds (1-min
  avg). However, by 02/0000 UTC Guam issued the last warning, downgrading
  the system to a weakening depression over the Great Sandy Desert about
  200 nm south-southeast of Broome.
     Back in January extremely heavy rainfall related to Tropical Cyclone
  Les had led to disastrous flooding in the Northern Territory near the
  town of Katherine.   For more information on this, see the summary for
  January, 1998.

           Tropical Cyclone Victor (TC-22S)   10-16 February

     Tropical Cyclone Victor was a re-development of the residual LOW
  which had been former Tropical Cyclone Katrina in January.  The low-
  pressure area that developed into Katrina was first analyzed on Darwin
  RSMC charts in the southwest Pacific on 31 Dec.  It was named Katrina
  on 2 Jan and remained at tropical cyclone intensity for more than three
  weeks, wandering along on a complicated, looping track.     For a
  description of Katrina's life, see the summary for January, 1998.

     After weakening below tropical cyclone intensity, the residual LOW
  remained identifiable as it passed over the northern Cape York
  Peninsula and across the northern extremity of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
  It crossed the Top End of the Northern Territory, then moved into the
  northern Kimberley region of Western Australia, and finally into the
  Indian Ocean.   On 8 Feb a surface observation from Troughton Island
  reported winds of 20-27 kts with gusts to 35 kts and a pressure of
  1009-1010 mb.  Once the system had cleared the coast and was over the
  open waters its convection and vertical structure as well as its upper
  outflow improved, and it was named Victor by the Perth TCWC on 10 Feb
  at 1200 UTC.   The center was then located about 300 nm north of Port
  Hedland, Western Australia.   Also on the 10th a warning from JTWC
  alluded to a ship report of 40-kt winds, but the time and location
  weren't given.

     Victor continued to strengthen for a couple of days, reaching a peak
  intensity of 70 kts by 13/0600 UTC.   This is a 10-min average wind,
  and Guam's maximum 1-min average wind of 90 kts is in reasonable
  agreement--slightly on the high side.   After this the cyclone was
  approached by an upper mid-latitude trough.  Outflow diminished and
  the system weakened quickly.  By 0000 UTC on the 15th most of the
  deep convection had dissipated, revealing an extremely well-wrapped
  low-level cloud center.   Victor maintained an almost straight-line
  west-southwest track from the Gulf of Carpentaria into the central
  South Indian Ocean.   Shortly after 0000 UTC on 16 Feb the weakening
  minimal cyclone crossed 90E into the Mauritius/La Reunion area of
  warning responsibility and was renamed Cindy.   See the portion of
  this summary covering the South Indian Ocean basin for the final 
  chapter in the life of what can be referred to as Tropical Cyclone

            Tropical Cyclone May (TC-25P)   25-26 February

     A low-pressure system was observed in the Arafura Sea near the Gulf
  of Carpentaria on 21 Feb.  A surge in the northwesterly monsoon flow
  into this system heralded the re-emergence of active monsoon conditions
  over northern Australia.  Initially, the system was not well organized
  and drifted into the Gulf of Carpentaria over the next few days.  A
  HIGH that persisted in the Tasman Sea from the 23rd to the 25th
  increased low-level southeasterly flow south of the system, thereby
  increasing its vorticity.   The first advice on the developing LOW was
  issued at 0300 UTC on 25 Feb, locating the center roughly 150 nm east-
  southeast of Groote Eylandt.

     Outflow became better established and May was named at 1800 UTC.
  Northwesterly flow increased and May followed a slow southward track,
  making landfall near Mornington Island on the 26th with maximum
  sustained winds of 40 kts and an estimated central pressure of 990
  mb. The mid-level circulation of May was slow-moving after this time  
  and did later move back over the Gulf but never became re-organized 
  sufficiently to regain tropical cyclone intensity.    Information 
  obtained by the author at website
  analysis_monitoring/GLOB_CLIM/current.html> indicated that Tropical 
  Cyclone May produced rainfall measuring from 100-350 mm on the Cape 
  York Peninsula, primarily in the western sections.


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

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

     A special thanks to Mark Kersemakers of the Fiji Tropical Cyclone
  Warning Centre at Nadi for sending along some information on this
  month's cyclones.     Unless otherwise stated, any references to
  sustained winds imply a 10-minute average wind.

         Tropical Cyclone Ursula (TC-17P)   29 January-2 February

     Tropical Cyclone Ursula had begun on 29 Jan to the north of Tahiti
  and had moved southeastward through the Tuamotu Archipelago on 30-31
  Jan.  On 31 Jan Ursula had reached a peak intensity of 55 kts and had
  accelerated to the southeast.   At 0000 UTC on 1 Feb the cyclone was
  located about 500 nm west-northwest of Pitcairn Island and was moving
  rapidly southeastward.  Warning responsibility was handed to the
  Wellington office after Ursula crossed the 25th parallel at 01/0600

     By 0000 UTC on 2 Feb Ursula was located about 300 nm south of
  Pitcairn and was beginning to lose tropical characteristics.  The storm
  was declared extratropical six hours later and the last warning was
  issued at 02/1200 UTC, locating the cyclone about 700 nm southeast of
  Pitcairn and roughly the same distance southwest of Easter Island.
  Very few tropical cyclones move as far east in the South Pacific as
  Tropical Cyclone Ursula.  To date I have received no reports of any
  damage or casualties caused by Ursula.  If any do become available
  I will include them in a future summary.

           Tropical Cyclone Veli (TC-18P)   31 January-3 February

     Tropical Cyclone Veli came right on the heels of Ursula and passed
  through the same area as the former cyclone.  A tropical depression
  had formed on 31 Jan about 250 nm east-southeast of Manihiki Atoll in
  the Northern Cooks.  The system began moving east-southeastward and
  the first warning on Veli was issued by the Nadi Warning Centre at
  0000 UTC on 1 Feb, placing the center about 300 nm northwest of Tahiti
  with 35-kt winds.   Veli continued moving in a general southeasterly
  direction, passing about 125 nm north-northeast of Tahiti around 1200
  UTC on 1 Feb.   Peak intensity of 55 kts was first attained at 0000
  UTC on 2 Feb when the cyclone was located about 200 nm east-southeast
  of Tahiti.   At 02/1200 UTC station WMO 91945 (19.8S, 145.0W) reported
  a wind of 20 kts and a pressure of 998 mb.  Veli at this time was
  centered about 40 nm to the west-northwest.    At 2100 UTC an NPMOC 
  warning mentioned that scatterometer data indicated an intensity of
  45 kts.

     Like Ursula, Tropical Cyclone Veli passed through the Tuamotus,
  keeping to the southwest of and parallel to the main chain of islands.
  However, unlike the earlier cyclone, Veli did not get caught up in the
  westerlies and race off to the southeast.     The system slowed its
  forward motion when located near 144W and drifted slowly southward
  while weakening.  The last warning at 03/1800 UTC, downgrading Veli to
  a depression, placed the center about 500 nm southeast of Tahiti.

     As is the case with Ursula, to date I have received no reports of
  any damage of casualties resulting from Tropical Cyclone Veli.  If any
  do become available they will be included in a future summary.

           Tropical Cyclone Wes (TC-19P)   31 January-5 February

     The depression from which Tropical Cyclone Wes developed was first
  located about 125 nm northwest of Apia, Western Samoa, at 0600 UTC on
  31 Jan.  The depression drifted slowly eastward and strengthened,
  becoming Tropical Cyclone Wes at 0600 UTC on 1 Feb about 200 nm north-
  east of Pago Pago, American Samoa.  Wes initially continued moving on
  an easterly course, passing about 50 nm south of Nassau Island at
  01/1800 UTC.   At 0600 UTC on 2 Feb the cyclone was re-located to a
  position very near Suwarrow Atoll.   Maximum sustained winds had by
  this time increased to their peak value of 45 kts.

     After this point Wes began to move on a slow course generally in a
  southeasterly direction.  At 03/0600 UTC the system was centered about
  225 nm northeast of Palmerston Island.   By 0000 UTC on 4 Feb the
  weakening cyclone had become quasi-stationary near the Southern Cooks
  roughly 100 nm northeast of Aitutaki Atoll.  Wes was downgraded to a
  tropical depression at 1200 UTC on 4 Feb and the last warning was
  issued at 05/0000 UTC.

     Mark Kersemakers of the Fiji TCWC has informed me that there is a
  distinct possibility that Wes was a re-development of Tropical Cyclone
  Tui which passed over Samoa in late January.  After Tui had weakened,
  the remnants remained in the general region of Samoa.  Some other weak
  low-pressure areas developed and it became difficult to keep track
  of the Tui remnants.  Because of the uncertainty it was decided to
  treat Wes as a separate cyclone.

                  Tropical Depression   11-15 February

     A developing disturbance was classified as a tropical depression at
  0000 UTC on 11 Feb about 100 nm north-northwest of Suwarrow Atoll in
  the Northern Cooks.    Over the next couple of days this system drifted
  very, very slowly westward.   By 13/1200 UTC the depression was only
  190 nm southwest of its initial position.   At 1800 UTC the center was
  re-located about 70 nm to the east--about 100 nm south-southeast of
  Nassau Island.   The system drifted perhaps very slightly eastward but
  remained in the same general area for another two days.  The last
  disturbance advisory, at 0600 UTC on 15 Feb, placed the depression
  about 60 nm east of Suwarrow Atoll or about 125 nm southeast of its
  point of origin.

     From 1800 UTC on 3 Feb through 04/1800 UTC the advisories from Nadi
  indicated that some gales were occurring in the southern quadrant but
  the system was never classified as a tropical cyclone.  According to
  Mark Kersemakers, whether or not the gales were present is debatable.
  No warnings on this system were issued by NPMOC at Pearl Harbor so
  there is no cyclone number.

                    Tropical Depression   28 February--->

     Two tropical depressions formed in the South Pacific on the last day
  of February.  The westernmost system was located about 270 nm east-
  southeast of Honiara on Guadalcanal at 0600 UTC, or just west of Santa
  Cruz Island.  Initially, convective organization improved rapidly and
  the depression was given a good chance of developing into a tropical
  cyclone.   During the day the depression drifted very slowly to the 
  southeast but showed no further signs of strengthening.  As this system
  continued operating into the first 2 or 3 days of March, it will be
  mentioned again in next month's summary.  No warnings were issued by
  JTWC on this depression so there is no cyclone number.

                  Tropical Depression   28 February-1 March

     The other depression to form on 28 Feb was first located about 300
  nm north-northwest of Tahiti, or roughly 150 nm north of Bora Bora and
  Maupiti.  This weak depression drifted slowly westward and did not
  develop any further.  The last advisory, at 0000 UTC on 1 Mar, placed
  the system 150 nm west of its initial location near 13S, 154W.  As
  with the depression in mid-month, NPMOC did not issue any warnings on
  this system so there is no cyclone number.


  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
           February as an example:   feb98.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 February summary is the fifth 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.

    Back issues can also be obtained from the following website
  (courtesy of Michael Bath):>

    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: summ9802.htm
Updated: 18th March 2008

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