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Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary January 1999
[Summaries and Track Data] [Prepared by Gary Padgett]


                              JANUARY, 1999

  (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.)

  NOTE:  I have been informed of another website where past editions of
  the summaries and track files are archived.  The owner of the site is
  Michael Pitt, and the URL is:


  Thanks to Michael for archiving the summaries and for making me aware
  of it.



     Two lists of tropical cyclone names are used for the Northwest
  Pacific basin, which is normally the most active of all the tropical
  cyclone basins.    The names most familiar to the international
  community are the names assigned by JTWC (formerly located on the
  island of Guam but now re-located to Pearl Harbor on the island of
  Oahu in Hawaii).  The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (joint between
  the U. S. Air Force and Navy) was founded in 1959, but U. S. Navy
  typhoon forecasters had been naming tropical cyclones in the Western
  Pacific since at least 1945.   For the most part, English feminine
  names were used until 1979, when men's names were introduced and
  alternated with women's names.

     The other set of names are Filipino women's names, all ending with
  the letters "ng", which are assigned by PAGASA for depressions and
  storms which either form in or move into PAGASA's area of warning
  responsibility.   This practice dates back to 1963, and the names are
  intended only for internal use within the Republic of the Philippines.
  They are not attached to any international high seas warnings.

     However, the winds of change are blowing.   The year 1999 will be
  the last year either of these lists of names are used.  Beginning in
  2000 a new truly international list of names will be introduced for
  naming of tropical cyclones in this basin.    Fourteen nations or
  territories contributed 10 names each, and these will be allotted
  to tropical cyclones as they reach tropical storm intensity by the
  Japanese Meteorological Agency's Typhoon Warning Centre, which is the
  WMO Regional Specialty Meteorological Centre (RSMC) for the region.

     Names for 1999 are (an asterisk indicates name has already been
  assigned since 1 Jan):

  JTWC Names - Hilda *, Iris *, Jacob, Kate, Leo, Maggie, Neil, Olga,
       Paul, Rachel, Sam, Tanya, Virgil, Wendy, York, Zia, Ann, Bart,
       Cam, Dan, Eve, Frankie, Gloria, Herb, Ian, Joy, Kirk, Lisa, Marty,
       Niki, Orson, Piper, Rick, Sally, Tom, Violet, Willie, Yates, Zane

  PAGASA Names - Auring *, Bebeng *, Karing, Diding, Etang, Gening,
       Helming, Ising, Luding, Mameng, Neneng, Oniang, Pepang, Rening,
       Sendang, Trining, Ulding, Warling, Yayang, Ading, Barang, Krising,
       Dadang, Erling, Goying


                            JANUARY HIGHLIGHTS

  --> Vanuatu struck by damaging South Pacific cyclone
  --> Southwest Indian Ocean season gets underway


                           ACTIVITY BY BASINS

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

  Activity for January:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for January:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for January:  1 tropical storm **

  ** - This based upon JTWC's classification--JMA and PAGASA did not
       classify Hilda/Auring as a tropical storm.

  NOTE: Most of the information on each cyclone's history presented in
  the narrative will be based upon JTWC's advisories, and references to
  winds should be understood as a 1-min avg MSW unless otherwise noted.
  However, in the accompanying tracking document I have made comparisons
  of coordinates with JMA (Japan) and the Philippines (PAGASA) when their
  positions differed from JTWC's by usually 40-50 nm or more.  Also, as
  announced earlier in a separate posting, a column of 10-min avg MSW
  is included--the values being obtained from either PAGASA's or JMA's
  advisories.  A special thanks to Michael V. Padua, owner of the Typhoon
  '99 webpage, for sending me the PAGASA tracks.

     In the title line for each storm I plan to reference all the cyclone
  names/numbers I have available:  JTWC's depression number and name (if
  any), JMA's tropical storm numeric designator, and PAGASA's name for
  systems forming in or passing through their area of responsibility.

                 Tropical Storm Hilda/Auring  (TD-01W)
                            3 - 8 January

     The first Northwest Pacific basin tropical cyclone of 1999 wasted
  no time in making its appearance.   As early as 1 Jan the Significant
  Tropical Weather Outlooks issued by JTWC were mentioning a disturbance
  in the extreme southern portion of the South China Sea west of Borneo.
  JMA classified the LOW as a tropical depression at 1800 UTC on 3 Jan,
  locating the ill-defined center about 350 nm southeast of Ho Chi Minh
  City, Vietnam.  The next bulletin, however, re-located the center
  about 125 nm to the east.   JTWC issued a Formation Alert for the
  area at 0200 UTC on the 4th.  The system was quite near the northwest
  coast of Borneo and some mid-level dry air entrainment helped to
  retard development of the depression.  The first JTWC warning, issued
  at 04/0600 UTC, estimated the center to be about 500 nm east-southeast
  of Ho Chi Minh City.  The initial intensity was set at 25 kts based
  upon visible and infrared satellite imagery estimates and rawinsonde
  data indicating 30 to 35-kt winds in the area from 600 to 1800 m.

     The depression moved very slowly and erratically, generally drifting
  very slowly northward and away from Borneo.  The center was ill-defined
  and difficult to track--a plot of the center positions from JTWC and
  JMA look like randomly scattered dots.     The tracking was made more
  difficult by the presence of numerous weak low-level vortices embedded
  within a broader circulation over the South China Sea.   JTWC increased
  the MSW to 30 kts at 0600 UTC on 5 Jan based upon a 0000 UTC ship
  report of 30 kts northwest of the center.

     A 06/0000 UTC report of 30-kt winds southwest of the center from
  ship VSBZ as well as satellite intensity estimates of 30-35 kts were
  the basis for upgrading the depression to Tropical Storm Hilda at
  0600 UTC on the 6th.   Hilda was at that time centered about 600 nm
  southwest of Manila.    The weak storm drifted slowly northward but
  did not strengthen further.    By 0000 UTC on 7 Jan the low-level
  circulation had broadened considerably and resembled an elongated
  trough.      The deep convection was well northeast of the low-level
  center and synoptic data from ships indicated winds of only 25 kts,
  so Hilda was downgraded to a tropical depression and JTWC wrote the
  final warning.  JMA continued to track the residual depression on
  through 08/0600 UTC as the weak system turned to a general easterly
  direction toward the Philippine island of Palawan.

     As would be expected with such an ill-defined system, there were
  often significant discrepancies between JTWC's and JMA's positions.
  PAGASA issued only three advisories on this system, naming it Auring.
  Neither PAGASA nor JMA classified the depression as a tropical storm.


  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 disturbance
                         2 moderate tropical storms
                         1 severe tropical storm

     The primary sources of information upon which the narrative is based
  are the warnings issued by the TCWC on La Reunion Island, associated
  with Meteo France, and which is the RSMC for the South Indian Ocean
  basin.  However, cyclones in this region are named by the sub-regional
  centres on Mauritius and Madagascar with longitude 55E as the dividing
  line between their respective areas.  La Reunion only advises these
  centres regarding the intensity of tropical systems.   References to
  sustained winds should be understood as meaning a 10-min averaging
  period unless otherwise stated.   In the accompanying track file
  some position comparisons have been made with JTWC's positions, and
  warnings from JTWC were used as a source of 1-min avg MSW estimates.
  (A special thanks to Philippe Caroff of the La Reunion TCWC for
  sending me an analyzed Best Track File for Alda, Birenda, and Chikita.
  This information forms the basis for the tracking information given
  for Alda and Birenda in the accompanying track file.)

                        Tropical Disturbance "A4"
                              4 - 6 January

     A Tropical Weather Outlook issued by JTWC on 1 Jan mentioned an
  area of convection near the coast of Mozambique.  A large cyclonic
  circulation was located near Zimbabwe and Mozambique with an upper-
  level anticyclone over the area.   The low-level circulation was
  over land but drifting eastward toward the Mozambique Channel.
  During subsequent days the area moved out over the warm waters of
  the Channel, and the La Reunion TCWC initiated tropical disturbance
  bulletins at 04/1200 UTC, placing the center about 225 nm northwest
  of Tulear on the southeast coast of Madagascar.      The bulletin
  indicated that squally weather existed up to 250 nm from the center
  in the northern and eastern sectors.  Outflow was good over the eastern
  half of the system but restricted on the western side where vertical
  shear was inhibiting development.

     The LOW moved generally in a south-southeasterly direction, passing
  about 100 nm west of Tulear at 0000 UTC on 5 Jan.  Maximum winds in
  this disturbance as reported by La Reunion were 30 kts, but these
  were mainly well away from the center in the eastern semi-circle and
  associated with a strengthening gradient between the LOW and a ridge
  to the southeast.   The system passed a short distance southwest of
  the southern portion of Madagascar early on the 5th.    La Reunion
  classified the disturbance as a subtropical cyclone at 1200 UTC and
  as an extratropical depression six hours later as it began to
  accelerate south-southeastwards into the South Indian Ocean.

                  Severe Tropical Storm Alda  (TC-12S)
                           14 - 19 January

     The second disturbance to form in the Mozambique Channel in less
  than two weeks was first mentioned by JTWC on 12 Jan.  Deep convection
  near the coast of Mozambique was forming near a shear line associated
  with an extratropical LOW to the south.  Synoptic data suggested that
  a low-level circulation center was located farther inland with
  convergence contributing to the deep convection.  MSW at this time
  were estimated to be only 15-20 kts.

     By 14 Jan the area of deepest convection was out over the Channel
  and La Reunion initiated warnings on the system, classifying it as
  a subtropical cyclone due to the lack of persistent central convection.
  Squally weather extended out from 200-300 nm to the south and east
  of the center which was located about 450 nm west-northwest of Tulear.
  The disturbance remained quasi-stationary for a day or so before
  commencing a very slow eastward drift.  Moderate vertical windshear
  across the region initially kept the convection from organizing near
  the center.   By 16/0600 UTC the disturbance had reached the central
  portion of the Mozambique Channel and had become slightly better
  organized to the extent that La Reunion classified it as a tropical

     The system turned slowly to the south and began to intensify,
  becoming Tropical Storm Alda at 1800 UTC on the 16th.   Neither JTWC
  nor La Reunion expected the storm to intensify further, and JTWC
  dropped warnings after 17/1500 UTC.  Alda continued moving slowly
  to the south, passing about 200 nm west of Tulear at 0000 UTC on
  17 Jan.   The JTWC warning for 17/1500 UTC noted that the satellite
  current intensity was 25 kts but that there were reports from ships
  of winds to 40 kts.   Convection became much better organized on
  the 17th, and satellite imagery at 18/0600 UTC showed an eye-pattern
  in spite of the northwesterly shearing.

     Alda reached its peak intensity of 50 kts at 1200 UTC on 18 Jan
  when it was centered about 375 nm southwest of Tulear.  After this,
  however, the storm began to accelerate to the southeast and started
  to lose its tropical characteristics.  La Reunion declared Alda to
  be extratropical and wrote the last warning at 0600 UTC on 19 Jan
  with the center estimated to be about 700 nm east of Durban, South
  Africa.  (After dropping warnings on the storm at 17/1500 UTC, JTWC
  issued one more warning at the time Alda reached its peak intensity.
  JTWC's 1-min MSW estimate was 55 kts--in excellent agreement with
  La Reunion's reported 10-min MSW of 50 kts.)

               Severe Tropical Cyclone Damien/Birenda  (TC-15S)
                          20 January - 7 February

     Weakening Tropical Cyclone Damien entered the South Indian Ocean
  basin around 0600 UTC on 28 Jan at a point about 475 nm southwest of
  Cocos Island and was renamed Birenda by the Mauritius Meteorological
  Service.  The early portion of this cyclone's history is discussed in
  the section of this summary covering the Australian Region.

     When it entered the basin Damien/Birenda was moving on a west-
  southwesterly track which eventually turned into a more-or-less
  westerly heading.    By the 29th animated infrared and water vapor
  imagery revealed that the upper-level cirrus from the convection was
  being advected to the southeast in front of an approaching upper-level
  trough.   Birenda was downgraded to a tropical depression by 1200 UTC,
  though JTWC still carried the system as a tropical storm through
  1800 UTC on 30 Jan.   By then the low-level circulation was completely
  exposed and the nearest convection was in a convergent band 180 nm to
  the west.  The strongest winds were on the south side due to the
  translational movement and the pressure gradient between the storm and
  an anticyclone to the south.

     The best track from La Reunion shows the weak remnants drifting
  west-northwestward for a few days, finally being dropped at 03/0000
  UTC when located about 750 nm east-northeast of Mauritius.  JTWC
  continued to mention the renmants for a few days in their daily
  Tropical Weather Outlooks through 7 Feb when the system had merged
  with a monsoon trough near 13S, 49E.

                      Tropical Storm Chikita  (TC-17S)
                          29 January - 5 February

     A tropical disturbance following in the tracks of Damien/Birenda
  moved from the western portion of the Australian Region across 90E
  in late January.  It began to intensify quite rapidly on 31 Jan and
  was named Tropical Storm Chikita by Mauritius at 1200 UTC.  Since
  most of Chikita's lifespan occurred in February, it will be covered
  in the February summary.


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

  Activity for January:  1 tropical LOW (depression)
                         2 tropical cyclones of storm intensity
                         1 severe tropical cyclone

     The primary sources of information for Australian Region tropical
  cyclones are the warnings and bulletins issued by the three TCWC's
  at Perth, Darwin, and Brisbane.   Information gleaned from JTWC's
  warnings is used as a supplement for times when it was impossible to
  obtain Australian bulletins and for comparison purposes.  Additionally,
  some information came from the Monthly Report of the RSMC at Darwin,
  Northern Territory.     References to sustained winds should be
  understood as being based on a 10-min averaging period unless
  otherwise noted.

     Mr. Matthew Saxby, a tropical cyclone enthusiast from Queanbeyan,
  New South Wales, Australia, is going to assist me with collecting
  information and preparing tracks for tropical cyclones in the
  Australian Region.  Some of the information contained in the narratives
  is based upon information forwarded to me by Matthew.    A special
  thanks to Matthew for his assistance.

                   Tropical Cyclone Olinda  (TC-13P)
                           19 - 24 January

     A Significant Tropical Weather Outlook from JTWC at 0600 UTC on
  19 Jan mentioned an area of disturbed weather south of the Solomon
  Islands.   Maximum winds at the time were estimated to be only around
  25 kts (1-min avg).  The system moved to the southeast and by 20 Jan
  had gotten better organized.   Brisbane located the center of the LOW
  to be about 700 nm east of Cairns, or about 550 nm west-northwest of
  Noumea, New Caledonia, at 1200 UTC.     At the same time JTWC issued
  the first warning on the system based on surrounding synoptic reports
  of 25-kt winds (10-min avg).  The depression had developed impressive
  outflow with some spiral banding features.  It still at this stage
  had some monsoon depression characteristics in that maximum winds
  were located along the outer periphery of the circulation.

     The LOW drifted south-southeastward and slowly became better
  organized.  Later on 21 Jan the system began to organize rapidly into
  a more consolidated system.   Brisbane named the LOW Tropical Cyclone
  Olinda at 1800 UTC when it was centered approximately 425 nm west-
  northwest of Noumea.  This position was just west of 160E and Olinda
  had soon moved into Fiji's AOR and into the Southwest Pacific basin.
  For a discussion of the remainder of Olinda's history, see the section
  of this summary covering the Southwest Pacific basin.

                     Tropical Cyclone Pete  (TC-14P)
                             20 - 27 January

     While the pre-Olinda system was getting organized on 20 Jan several
  hundred miles east of the Australian coast, another area of disturbed
  weather moved from northeastern Queensland out into the Coral Sea.
  This LOW began to develop in tandem with the other disturbance farther
  east and was named Tropical Cyclone Pete only 18 hours after Olinda
  was christened.  The LOW was centered about 200 nm east-northeast of
  Cooktown at 0000 UTC on 21 Jan.  According to the Monthly Summary from
  Fiji, the depression executed an anti-clockwise loop late on the 21st.
  A plot of the six-hourly coordinates does not definitively describe a
  loop, so it must have been a very tight one.  Following this wobble
  the LOW began to move on a general southeasterly track very similar
  to that taken by Olinda, lying southwest of and roughly parallel to
  the earlier cyclone's path.

     JTWC initiated warnings at 22/0600 UTC upon receipt of a ship report
  of 40-kt winds.  Brisbane named the system Tropical Cyclone Pete six
  hours later when it was centered about 400 nm east of Cairns.  Pete
  continued to intensify some and reached its peak intensity of 50 kts
  at 0600 UTC on the 23rd when it was located about 600 nm east of
  Townsville.  The cyclone continued on its southeastward course and had
  moved out of the Australian Region by 24/0000 UTC.  For a discussion of
  the remainder of Pete's history, see the section of this summary
  covering the Southwest Pacific basin.

               Severe Tropical Cyclone Damien/Birenda  (TC-15S)
                          20 January - 7 February

     A disturbance southwest of Sumatra associated with a monsoon
  trough lying across the central Indian Ocean was noted in a Tropical
  Weather Outlook from JTWC on 17 Jan.   During the following days the
  area of convection migrated slowly east-southeastward.  Synoptic data
  from ships indicated a weak, low-level circulation existed, and
  satellite imagery indicated that the disturbance had good outflow to
  the west.      JTWC continued to mention the system in their daily
  Outlooks, and Perth began issuing bulletins on the disturbance at
  2200 UTC on 21 Jan.  The LOW had drifted eastward south of Java and
  by this time had become quasi-stationary about 600 nm northwest of
  Onslow in Western Australia, or about 350 nm east-southeast of
  Christmas Island.

     On 22 Jan the LOW began moving west-southwestward under the
  influence of a subtropical ridge to its south and slowly intensified
  in a moderate shear environment.  By 2200 UTC Tropical Cyclone Damien
  had been christened about 200 nm southeast of Christmas Island.  MSW
  at this time were estimated at 45 kts.  Damien continued on a west-
  southwesterly course for the next few days and reached a peak intensity
  of almost 80 kts around 24/2200 UTC when it was centered about 225 nm
  south-southeast of Cocos Island.   In satellite imagery the cyclone
  alternated between displaying a clearly visible eye and an embedded
  center pattern.   However, the cyclone's peak intensity did not last
  long.  On the 25th Damien weakened considerably as convection waned
  and vertical shear increased.  Satellite images indicated that a large
  field of cold-air stratocumulus had wrapped into the system, thereby
  acting to decrease the central convection.

     The cyclone turned to a temporary slow northwesterly course on
  25 Jan which continued until the 27th.  By 1600 UTC on that date Damien
  was beginning to move southwestward once more.  The weakening cyclone
  crossed 90E into the Mauritius/La Reunion area of responsibility around
  28/0600 UTC.   MSW by this time were down to 40 kts and the low-level
  center was fully exposed with the nearest convection about 70 nm to
  the southwest.  Synoptic data and a scatterometer pass indicated a
  fairly large and symmetric 35-kt wind radius.   Perth issued the last
  warning at 0400 UTC on 28 Jan with Damien's center estimated to be
  about 475 nm southwest of Cocos Island.

     Upon entering the South Indian Ocean basin, the cyclone was renamed
  Birenda by Mauritius.   The latter part of this system's history is
  discussed in the portion of this summary covering the South Indian
  Ocean cyclone basin.

                        Tropical LOW  (TC-16P)
                            22 - 27 January

     While Tropical Cyclones Olinda and Pete were racing southeastward
  across the South Pacific, another disturbance was slowly getting
  organized in the Gulf of Carpentaria.  JTWC began mentioning the area
  in their daily Tropical Weather Outlooks on 22 Jan.   The disturbance
  apparently drifted from north of Arnhem Land eastward into the
  northern Gulf.  The Darwin TCWC began issuing warnings on the LOW at
  0600 UTC on 24 Jan when the system was centered about 115 nm east-
  northeast of Nhulunbuy.  A cyclone watch was posted at 0730 UTC for
  portions of the southern Gulf Coast since it was anticipated that the
  LOW would develop into a tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours.
  JTWC issued a Formation Alert at 24/0930 UTC and began issuing warnings
  at 0600 UTC on 25 Jan when the center was about 110 nm east of
  Nhulunbuy or 175 nm northeast of Alyangula.  The depression was located
  within an elongated monsoon trough lying across northern Australia.

     Over the next couple of days the system drifted very slowly in a
  general southerly or south-southwesterly direction.  It appeared to
  get a little better organized on 25 Jan, but by the 26th had run into
  some vertical shear and was weakening.  The 26/2100 UTC warning from
  JTWC noted that a second circulation appeared to be east of the warning
  position and that dry air entrainment had led to decreased organization
  of the depression.

     The LOW was located 125 nm east of Alyangula at 0000 UTC on 26 Jan
  and Darwin issued the last gale warning at 1800 UTC, although they
  continued to issue Tropical Cyclone Advices for another 24 hours.
  The final Advice from Darwin, at 27/1930 UTC, placed the weakening
  center about 105 nm east-southeast of Alyangula or an equal distance
  northeast of Port McArthur, moving slowly southeastward.


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

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

  NOTE:  Most of the information presented below was taken from the
  operational warnings and advisories issued by the Fiji TCWC at Nadi
  and from the Monthly Summary for January prepared by Alipate
  Waqaicelua, Principal Scientific Officer and Chief of the forecasting
  group.  A special thanks to Alipate for sending the summary to me.

     References to sustained winds imply a 10-minute averaging period
  unless otherwise noted.  Also, the basic definition of a cyclone in
  WMO Region 5 (Australia and the South Pacific) has the unique
  requirement that a depression must have gale-force winds more-or-less
  completely surrounding the center before the system is named as a
  tropical cyclone.  Hence, often gales of 35-40 kts may be present in
  one or two quadrants but the system is not considered a tropical

     Fiji this season has initiated their own numbering scheme for
  tropical disturbances (01F, 02F, etc) that form in the Nadi AOR.
  Some of the numbered disturbances never warrant depression status.
  A description of some of these weaker disturbances can be found
  following the discussion of Tropical Cyclone Pete.

                Tropical Cyclone Dani  (TC-07F / TC-11P)
                            13 - 24 January

     The first named South Pacific system of 1999 was a major cyclone.
  The TCWC at Nadi, Fiji, identified a weak disturbance embedded in a
  monsoon trough just south of the Solomon Islands on 13 Jan.  The
  disturbed area was drifting southeast.   By 0600 UTC on 14 Jan the
  system had become sufficiently organized that JTWC initiated warnings,
  locating the center about 300 nm northwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu, with
  35-kt MSW (1-min avg).      The system continued to move generally
  southwards off to the west of Espiritu Santo Island, the largest island
  in the Republic of Vanuatu.   By 15/0600 UTC convective organization
  had increased significantly with the low-level center being covered
  by deep convection which was cooling and expanding spatially.  Most
  TCWC's were by now giving the depression a Dvorak number of T=3.0,
  so Nadi named the system Tropical Cyclone Dani, locating it about
  200 nm west of Port Vila.

     About the time that Dani reached tropical cyclone intensity, a
  500-mb ridge to the south strengthened, thereby preventing any further
  poleward movement.  Dani drifted slowly to the west on the 16th as it
  rapidly strengthened.  Storm intensity (47 kts) was reached by 15/1800
  UTC, and hurricane intensity six hours later.  The cyclone had by this
  time drifted westward to a point about 250 nm west of Port Vila.  Dani
  then began a slow northward motion as it came under the influence of
  a mid-level anticyclone to its northwest.  The cyclone reached its
  peak intensity of 95 kts MSW (110 kts 1-min avg from JTWC) by 0000 UTC
  on 17 Jan when it was centered about 325 nm west-northwest of Port
  Vila or about 150 nm west of Espiritu Santo Island.  Dani was by now
  moving northward at a slightly faster pace and began to curve more to
  the northeast as the anticyclone to its northwest extended a ridge to
  the northeast.  The storm also weakened slightly (to 80 kts), likely
  due to interaction with a disturbance within the SPCZ.

     As the ridge to the north strengthened Dani turned more to the east,
  reaching the northernmost point of its track at 18/0000 UTC when it
  was located 150 nm northwest of the northern tip of Espiritu Santo
  Island.  After this point the cyclone began turning slowly to the
  south as the main steering influence shifted from the ridge to its
  north to the mid-level ridge to its east and southeast.  Dani moved
  on a southeasterly course through 0000 UTC on the 19th, then turned
  due south and struck the island of Espiritu Santo around 0300 UTC near
  Hog Harbour with winds of hurricane intensity.  Interaction with the
  rugged terrain weakened the storm slightly, but it re-intensified back
  to a MSW of 80 kts as it accelerated towards the south.   The cyclone
  brushed by the Vanuatuan islands of Malekula and Efate, passing about
  50 nm west of Port Vila at 20/0000 UTC.

     As Dani continued on to the south it approached the Loyalty Islands
  which lie east of New Caledonia, passing very near Mare Island around
  21/0000 UTC.   After passing New Caledonia the cyclone began to
  accelerate to the southeast and weaken as it came under increasing
  vertical shear.  Warning responsibility was passed to Wellington
  after 1800 UTC, but Dani was declared extratropical by 22/0500 UTC.
  JTWC issued its final warning about this time, noting that the
  center was completely exposed (although well-defined) with the deep
  convection located 70 nm to the northeast.  The extratropical remnants
  of Dani continued on to the southeast, passing about 425 nm east of
  Norfolk Island around 2300 UTC on 22 Jan; then turning more to the
  south, being last mentioned at 24/1100 UTC when located roughly
  300 nm east of New Zealand's North Cape.

     Steve Ready of the New Zealand Meteorological Service has passed
  along some preliminary damage and casualty information he'd received
  from Henry Taiki, the Director of the Vanuatu Meteorological Service.
  A special thanks to Steve for sending me the information.  There were
  two deaths reported due to Tropical Cyclone Dani:  one on Ambae Island
  and one on Malekula.  Bauefield Airport at Port Vila (on Efate Island)
  recorded 545 mm in 24 hrs, including 312.4 mm between 0000 UTC and
  0600 UTC on 20 Jan--the average January rainfall for Bauefield is
  457 mm.

     Hurricane force winds were experienced on Espiritu Santo and
  Malekula and some nearby islands.  Roads were badly damaged, and one
  bridge was washed 200 to 300 metres from its location.  Many houses of
  lighter construction, plus some traditional homes, were destroyed.
  River flooding was the major problem on Efate with 12 homes destroyed
  in Vila by the La Colle river.   Agricultural crops affected included
  sweet potatoes, yams, tapioca, kava, and coconut.

                Tropical Cyclone Olinda  (TC-09F / TC-13P)
                             19 - 24 January

     Tropical Cyclone Olinda formed in the eastern portion of the
  Australian Region and was named by the Brisbane TCWC at 1800 UTC on
  21 Jan when just west of the Fiji AOR.  For the early history of this
  cyclone see the section of this summary covering the Australian Region.

     Olinda entered the Southwest Pacific basin shortly after being named
  by Brisbane at a point about 400 nm west-northwest of Noumea.  The
  cyclone had MSW estimated at 45 kts and was already moving at a fairly
  good pace toward the east-southeast.  Olinda was approaching an area
  of westerly shear and slightly cooler SSTs, but the steering flow was
  an increasing deep-layer mean flow; and with environmental factors
  being basically favorable for further intensification, the cyclone
  continued to strengthen.  Peak intensity of 55 kts was reached after
  Olinda had passed into the Wellington AOR on 23 Jan.

     While in Nadi's AOR Olinda did not directly threaten any populated
  areas.  The cyclone remained on a relatively steady east-southeasterly
  trajectory which carried it about 150 nm southwest of New Caledonia.
  Olinda passed about 150 nm south of Noumea at 23/0000 UTC just as it
  was about to cross 25S into Wellington's AOR.  The storm subsequently
  turned to more of an easterly course and, as vertical shear increased,
  began to lose tropical characteristics.  The Wellington office deemed
  Olinda extratropical at 1800 UTC on 23 Jan as it sped eastward, and was
  last mentioned 24 hours later when the remnants were located about
  525 nm south of Fiji.

                 Tropical Cyclone Pete  (TC-10F / TC-14P)
                             20 - 27 January

     Tropical Cyclone Pete formed in the Australian Region and was named
  by the Brisbane TCWC at 1200 UTC on 22 Jan when it was centered about
  400 nm east of Cairns, Queensland.  For a discussion of the earlier
  history of this cyclone, see the section of this summary covering the
  Australian Region.

     Pete entered Fiji's AOR at around 1800 UTC on 23 Jan at a point only
  about 90 nm to the south of where Tropical Cyclone Olinda had crossed
  160E forty-eight hours earlier.  Pete entered the Southwest Pacific
  basin at its peak intensity of 50 kts MSW and, like Olinda, moved at
  a fairly quick pace towards the southeast under a northwesterly
  steering current.  The cyclone was being subjected to strengthening
  westerly shear at this stage and was also racing into waters already
  cooled somewhat by the passage of Olinda and Dani.  At 24/0600 UTC it
  started to turn east-southeast and six hours later was located near
  the boundary with Wellington's AOR (25S).  Warning responsibility
  was handed over to Wellington in anticipation of Pete's continued
  east-southeastward motion, but by 25/0000 UTC it was clearly evident
  on visible satellite pictures that the center was back north of 25S.

     Therefore, Nadi resumed issuing warnings as Pete headed east.
  However, the environmental conditions had become quite unfavorable and
  Pete steadily weakened.  By late on the 25th the low-level center was
  exposed and there was no deep convection.  The cyclone had just crossed
  the path where Tropical Cyclone Olinda had passed about two and a half
  days earlier, and was forecast to reach Tropical Cyclone Dani's five
  day-old path by 26/1200 UTC.   Pete passed about 100 nm south of Noumea
  around 1200 UTC on 25 Jan and continued drifting slowly eastward as it
  weakened.   The system was downgraded to a depression at 26/0600 UTC
  but some gales continued in the southern and eastern quadrants for
  another day or so.  The last warning at 27/1800 UTC placed the center
  about 200 nm southeast of Noumea.   Tropical Cyclone Pete did not
  approach any populated land areas during its lifetime.

                 Non-developing South Pacific Disturbances

     There were several tropical disturbances or weak depressions in the
  Fiji AOR which were given sequence numbers but for which warnings were
  not issued.   TD-04F actually occurred in December, forming in the
  Coral Sea in Brisbane's AOR on 25 Dec but moving southeast across 160E.
  This system formed and remained in a strongly sheared environment and
  by 26 Dec had dissipated.   TD-05F formed on 1 Jan just north of the
  Southern Cooks and moved slowly west-northwestward.  Initially this
  system had some baroclinic characteristics but later developed a fair
  amount of convection.  The depression was strongly affected by diurnal
  effects, and by 3 Jan convection near the center had begun to decrease
  as it came under southerly shear.  The system had become unclassifiable
  by 5 Jan.   TD-06F was a small disturbance which formed on 3 Jan to the
  southwest of French Polynesia.  This system formed in an environment of
  strong shear as it drifted slowly southwest, and never showed any
  significant degree of organization.

     The most significant non-developing disturbance was TD-08F which
  formed on 16 Jan in an active convergence zone located just to the east
  of Fiji.  There were also other minor eddies along the convergence line
  which was moving towards Fiji.  From early on the 17th through the 19th
  this convergence zone with embedded eddies moved across Fiji causing
  the worst flooding event in this century, especially in the Northern
  and Western (administrative) Divisions.  The death toll was 6, and
  damage to property, infrastructure, and crops reached $4 million in
  Fijian dollars.  A station in the western part of Viti Levu recorded
  396 mm of rainfall in 24 hrs, which was a record for a non-cyclone
  induced rain event.

     After passing Fiji convective organization about the center
  increased some, but vertical shear inhibited any significant
  strengthening.   By the 19th the disturbance had drifted to the
  southwest of Fiji into much cooler waters and stronger northwest shear
  which led to its demise.


                              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 included in the July summary.
  I will include this glossary from time to time, primarily in "lean"
  months without a lot of tropical cyclone activity to cover.  But if
  anyone missed receiving it and wishes to obtain a copy, send me an
  e-mail privately and I'll forward 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
  in the following manner:

       (a) FTP to: []
       (b) Login as: anonymous
       (c) For a password use your e-mail address
       (d) Go to "data" subdirectory (Type: cd data)
       (e) Set file type to ASCII (Type: ascii)
       (f) Transfer file (Type: get remote_file_name local_file_name )
           (The files will be named with an obvious nomenclature--using
           January as an example:   jan99.tracks)
       (g) To exit FTP, type: quit

    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.   If anyone wishes to retrieve any of the previous summaries,
  they may be downloaded from the aforementioned FTP site at HRD.  The
  summary files are catalogued with the nomenclature:  jan99.sum, for

    Back issues can also be obtained from the following websites
  (courtesy of Michael Bath, Michael V. Padua, Tom Berg, and Michael

     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:>

  Prepared by: Gary Padgett
  E-mail:  [email protected]
  Phone:  334-222-5327 (nights & weekends) / 850-882-2594 (weekdays)


Document: summ9901.htm
Updated: 18th March 2008

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