Tropical Cyclones
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Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary April 2006
[Summaries and Track Data] [Prepared by Gary Padgett]


                                  APRIL, 2006

  (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.)


                                APRIL HIGHLIGHTS

   --> Late season Northern Australian storm becomes one of the Southern
       Hemisphere's most intense cyclones on record--fortunately makes
       landfall in sparsely populated area
   --> Intense Bay of Bengal cyclone makes destructive strike in Myanmar

                              ACTIVITY BY BASINS

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

  Activity for April:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for April:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for April:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for April:  1 very severe cyclonic storm

                         Sources of Information

     Most of the information presented below is based upon tropical
  cyclone warnings and significant tropical weather outlooks issued
  by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center of the U. S. Air Force and
  Navy (JTWC), located at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.   Occasionally some
  information may be gleaned from the daily tropical weather outlooks
  and other bulletins issued by the Indian Meteorological Department
  (IMD), which is the World Meteorological Organization's Regional
  Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) for the basin.
     The reported maximum sustained winds (MSW) are based on a 1-minute
  averaging period, which is used by all U. S. civilian and military
  weather services for tropical cyclone warnings.     For synoptic
  observations in the North Indian Ocean region, both 10-minute and
  3-minute average winds are employed, but IMD makes no attempt to
  modify the Dvorak scale for estimating tropical cyclone intensity;
  hence, a 1-minute average MSW is implied.  In the North Indian Ocean
  basin JTWC usually does not initiate warnings until a system has
  become well-organized and likely to attain tropical storm status
  within 48 hours.

                           (TC-02B / BOB0601)
                              24 - 29 April

  Mala: contributed by Sri Lanka

  A. Introduction

     When JTWC numbers an April system in the Bay of Bengal as Tropical
  Cyclone 02B--watch out!  Dating back to 1981, there have been only two 
  April tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean, and both (in 1991
  and 1994) were (1) numbered as TC-02B, (2) became very intense tropical
  cyclones, and (3) made destructive strikes on the Asian mainland.  And
  this month's Cyclonic Storm Mala qualified in all three categories.  It
  was numbered as Tropical Cyclone 02B per JTWC (BOB0601 per IMD's nomen-
  clature), became an intense cyclone, and made a destructive strike on 
  the mainland, in this case in Myanmar (formerly Burma).

     This is as good a place as any to announce a change in the focus
  of the monthly summaries.  My time is extremely limited, and what time
  I do have is often quite fragmented due to various commitments and the
  time required to help care for my elderly mother.  If the tropical
  cyclone summaries are to continue, some time-reduction techniques are
  necessary.  Last year I discovered the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia,
  and the storm reports which were being written and archived there.   In 
  fact, I included links to the Wikipedia reports for Hurricanes Dennis and
  Emily last year and perhaps for some others.  Based on the fact that 
  reports for Atlantic hurricane seasons dating back into the 1950s have 
  been archived on Wikipedia, I perceive that the summaries will be 
  available there long-term.

     Some of the Wikipedia reports are rather brief, and in some cases
  (such as TCs Elia and Hubert following), I will write a more detailed
  summary.   But when the Wikipedia report is rather detailed (such as
  for Mala and most of the Atlantic storms), I will for the most part just
  reference the online report and include some supplemental information.
  Since the May and June summaries will be rather brief due to few TCs
  worldwide, I will explain there a little more fully how I plan to 
  structure the summaries in the future.

  B. Links and Comments

     The online Wikipedia report may be accessed at the following URL:>

  However, be advised that some of the links referenced in the report
  were temporary and no longer work.

     This report gives a fairly detailed overview of Mala.  One minor
  correction should be pointed out.  As I understand things, IMD does
  not issue a BOB number (or ARB number for Arabian Sea systems) until
  a system has reached cyclonic storm (i.e., tropical storm) status.  The
  online report states that IMD designated it as BOB0601 when the deep
  depression stage (30 kts) was reached.  JTWC's first warning on Tropical
  Cyclone 02B was issued at 24/1800 UTC when the system was located
  approximately 600 nm southwest of Yangon (formerly Rangoon), Myanmar.

     Regarding the intensity of Mala, JTWC's peak estimated MSW for the
  cyclone was 115 kts in the warnings issued at 28/0600 and 28/1800 UTC.
  There was no warning issued at the peak intensity time of 28/1200 UTC.  
  However, both JTWC and AFWA assigned Dvorak ratings of T6.5/6.5 at that 
  hour, so it seems likely that Mala reached a peak intensity of 125 kts 
  about that time while located approximately 200 nm west-southwest of
  Yangon.  Based on the JTWC warnings, the cyclone's intensity had dropped
  to about 100 kts by the time of landfall near Gwa, Myanmar.   The final
  warning from JTWC, issued at 29/1800 UTC, placed the weakening 35-kt
  center inland about 370 km north-northeast of Yangon.

     A graphic depicting the track of Cyclonic Storm Mala may be found at
  the following link:>

  C. Damage and Casualties

     According to the Wikipedia report, there were 22 deaths reported
  in Myanmar with 6000 houses damaged and 351 completely destroyed.  More
  detailed information may be found in the online report.

  D. The 1991 and 1994 April Cyclones

     Since I mentioned the previous destructive April tropical cyclones in
  the Bay of Bengal numbered TC-02B, I thought I'd include a little 
  information on them.   The 1991 cyclone was one of the strongest storms
  on record in the North Indian Ocean--the JTWC Best Track file assigns
  it a peak MSW of 140 kts with an estimated CP of 898 mb.  This deadly
  cyclone struck Bangladesh with a lost of 139,000 lives, according to
  the publication The World Almanac and Book of Facts.

     A track of Tropical Cyclone 02B of 1991 may be accessed at the
  following URL:>

     For information on the 1994 cylcone, I have turned to Jack Beven's
  Weekly Tropical Cyclone Summaries, which of course were the predecessor
  of the current monthly summaries.  Jack began writing his weekly reports
  in July, 1991, so missed covering the deadly Bay of Bengal storm of that
  year by a few months.   However, he did include a fair amount of
  information on the 1994 cyclone.  Tropical Cyclone 02B of 1994 hit the
  coastline of Bangladesh near Cox's Bazaar with a peak MSW estimated at 
  135 kts.  (The JTWC Best Track gives a peak intensity of 125 kts for 
  this cyclone, so it appears likely the intensity was adjusted downward a
  bit in post-analysis.)

     This storm was responsible for 139 deaths in Bangladesh with more
  than 5000 persons injured.  Also, at the time of Jack's report, 300
  Thai fishermen, whose boats were wrecked by the cyclone, were still

     A track of Tropical Cyclone 02B of 1994 may be accessed at the
  following URL:>

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)


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

  Activity for April:  1 moderate tropical storm

                          Sources of Information

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

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

                           TROPICAL STORM ELIA
                            (MFR-13 / TC-22S)
                               6 - 16 April

  Elia: contributed by Madagascar

     The origin of the tenacious Elia lay with an area of persistent
  convection first noted approximately 830 nm east of Diego Garcia at 1800
  UTC on 5 April.   Vertical wind shear was low to moderate and upper-level
  outflow was weak.   MFR initiated advisories on the system as Tropical
  Disturbance 13 at 0000 UTC 6 April, placing a weak 20-kt center roughly
  650 nm west-northwest of the Cocos Islands.  The LOW drifted westward
  but remained weak and advisories were discontinued at 07/0000 UTC.  A
  JTWC satellite bulletin at 08/0600 UTC fixed a center several hundred
  miles to the east, or approximately 425 nm west-northwest of the Cocos
  Islands and within BoM Perth's area of warning responsibility.  It seems
  more likely that this was a new center forming within the larger area of
  disturbed weather.  JTWC assessed the potential for development as 'fair'
  as the system moved farther to the east, reaching a point about 200 nm
  north-northwest of the Cocos Islands by 1200 UTC on the 9th.    Deep
  convection was confined to the western semicircle and conditions were
  only marginally favorable for further strengthening.

     Over the next couple of days the LOW wandered erratically on a
  generally southerly track, thence curving back to the west and passing
  about 100 nm northwest of the Cocos Islands.   The system appeared
  somewhat better organized on the 11th with JTWC's satellite estimates
  suggesting that it was near tropical storm intensity.  Perth initiated
  shipping bulletins on the LOW at 11/1800 UTC with the center located
  approximately 325 nm west-northwest of the Cocos Islands, and JTWC
  followed with their first warning on TC-22S at 12/1200 UTC.  The system
  was then located about 400 nm west of the Cocos Islands and was moving
  southwestward at 10 kts.   Significant strengthening was not expected
  as the system was forecast to remain in an unfavorable vertical shear

     TC-22S re-entered MFR's area of warning responsibility at 0000 UTC
  on 13 April and was classified as a 30-kt tropical depression.   At
  13/1200 UTC the depression was upgraded to a tropical storm and assigned
  the name Elia by the Meteorological Services of Mauritius.  The south-
  westerly motion continued and Elia reached its peak intensity of 45 kts
  at 14/0600 UTC while centered roughly 550 nm west-southwest of the Cocos
  Islands.  (JTWC's estimated peak 1-min avg MSW was 55 kts.)  Vertical
  shear had not lessened, but Elia's poleward outflow had increased
  significantly.  By the 15th the LLCC was becoming decoupled from the
  convection and the tropical storm accordingly began to weaken in a high
  shear environment.  JTWC issued their final warning at 15/1200 UTC, and
  MFR downgraded Elia to a tropical disturbance at 16/0600 UTC.  Six hours
  later that agency issued the final advisory on ex-Elia, placing the
  center approximately 870 nm southeast of Diego Garcia.

     A graphic depicting the track of Tropical Storm Elia may be found at
  the following link:>

     A brief report with a satellite picture of Elia may be accessed at
  the following URL:>

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

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)



  Activity for April:  1 tropical cyclone

                          Sources of Information

     The primary sources of tracking and intensity information for
  Northwest Australia/Southeast Indian Ocean tropical cyclones are 
  the warnings and advices issued by the Tropical Cyclone Warning
  Centres at Perth, Western Australia, and Darwin, Northern Territory. 
  References to sustained winds imply a 10-minute averaging period
  unless otherwise stated.

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

                  Northwest Australia/Southeast Indian Ocean
                         Tropical Activity for April

     Two tropical cyclones traversed Southern Hemisphere waters between
  135E and 90E during the month of April.   The first one, Tropical Cyclone
  Hubert, formed to the north of Western Australia early in the month and
  moved generally southward toward the coastline, but encountered strong
  vertical shear and weakened dramatically upon approaching the coast.
  A short report on Hubert follows.

     The other, and much more significant cyclone, was a visitor from east
  of 135E.  Tropical Cyclone Monica, which had formed in the Coral Sea,
  moved westward across the Cape York Peninsula into the Gulf of
  Carpentaria where it deepened into one of the most intense tropical
  cyclones ever noted in the Southern Hemisphere.  Following a track
  remarkably similar to intense Tropical Cyclone Ingrid in March, 2005,
  Monica swung west-northwestward in the Gulf, clearing the northeastern
  tip of the Northern Territory before resuming a westerly track.  However,
  Monica did not go as far west as Ingrid had moved and suddenly swung to
  the southwest and inland about 15 nm west of Maningrida on 24 April.
  The peak MSW (10-min avg) of 135 kts assigned by BoM Darwin is among the
  highest, if not the highest, ever assigned operationally by an Australian
  TCWC.  An excellent report on Monica, written by Simon Clarke, follows in
  the next section of this summary covering the Northeast Australia/
  Coral Sea region.

                        TROPICAL CYCLONE HUBERT
                              4 - 7 April

  A. Storm History

     The daily Tropical Weather Outlook issued by the Perth TCWC on 1 April
  mentioned a weak tropical LOW near 14.0S/115.0E, but the system was not
  forecast to develop into a tropical cyclone over the next three days.
  JTWC first mentioned the disturbance in the STWO issued at 02/1800 UTC,
  noting that deep convection was cycling near a broad but symmetric LLCC.
  Vertical shear was low to moderate and the LOW was situated under the
  western extent of a 200-mb anticyclone.  By the next day the system's
  chances for development were looking better, and BoM Perth initiated gale
  warnings for shipping interests at 0300 UTC on 4 April, placing the
  center approximately 475 nm north of Onslow, Western Australia.  The
  system's organization continued to improve and JTWC issued a TCFA at
  2100 UTC.  Shear was low to moderate and outflow was good and improving.

     BoM Perth upgraded the LOW to Tropical Cyclone Hubert at 1200 UTC on
  5 April, placing the center about 300 nm north-northeast of Onslow.  The
  cyclone, which had initially moved southeastward during its developmental
  stages, commenced on a south-southwesterly trajectory as it was steered
  by a mid-level ridge over Western Australia.   Hubert was expected to
  follow a more southwesterly track, but a weak upper-level LOW to the
  south of the cyclone did not fill as anticipated.   This created a
  weakness in the ridge, allowing Hubert to move on a more southerly
  track toward the Western Australian coastline.

     Hubert gradually intensified, reaching a peak intensity of 55 kts at
  07/0000 UTC while centered approximately 115 nm north of Onslow.  (JTWC
  had upped the 1-min avg MSW to 55 kts as early as 1800 UTC on the 5th,
  but noted that the LLCC remained partially-exposed due to moderate
  northeasterly shear.)  Shortly after peaking in intensity, Hubert made
  a slight jog to the south-southeast toward the coastline.  However, the
  cyclone ran into atmospheric hostilities in the form of high vertical
  shear and quickly began to weaken.  The final advice from BoM Perth
  at 07/1500 UTC downgraded Hubert to a tropical LOW and placed the
  center near the coast about 20 nm east-northeast of Onslow and about
  30 nm southwest of Mardie.  The system subsequently moved inland and

     A graphic depicting the track of Tropical Cyclone Hubert may be
  found at the following link:>

     The track of Hubert in tabular format may be accessed at the following

     A brief report on Hubert with a satellite image of the system may be
  accessed at the following URL:>

  B. Meteorological Observations

     Following are a few synoptic observations sent to the author by
  Matthew Saxby.  A special thanks to Matthew for sending the information.

  (1) Wind

     At Karratha sustained winds (10-min avg) fell just shy of gale force,
  reaching ESE 33 kts at 06/0130 UTC but remaining near 30 kts for over
  24 hours.  The peak gust of 45 kts was recorded at 06/0830 UTC.

     The weather station on Bedout Island recorded a maximum 10-min avg
  wind of NE 38 kts at 06/1900 UTC.  At Barrow Island winds first exceeded
  gale force at 06/1230 UTC and did so continuously through 07/0500 UTC.
  Peak sustained winds of 41 kts were observed at 06/2130 UTC, 07/0400 UTC
  and 07/0500 UTC from the ESE, ENE and NE, respectively.  A peak gust of
  51 kts was recorded several times between 06/1631 UTC and 07/0100 UTC.

  (2) Rainfall

     In the 24 hours ending at 0100 UTC on 7 April, Barrow Island recorded
  234 mm of rain.   In the 24 hours ending at 08/0100 UTC, Coolawanyah
  recorded 156 mm and Mt. Florance measured 132 mm.

  D. Damage and Casualties

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

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)



  Activity for April:  1 over land tropical LOW
                       1 severe tropical cyclone

                         Sources of Information

     The primary sources of tracking and intensity information for
  Northeast Australia/Coral Sea tropical cyclones are the warnings
  and advices issued by the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres at
  Brisbane, Queensland, and Darwin, Northern Territory, and on very
  infrequent occasions, by the centre at Port Moresby, Papua New
  Guinea.  References to sustained winds imply a 10-minute averaging
  period unless otherwise stated.

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

                        Northeast Australia/Coral Sea
                        Tropical Activity for April

     Following a track very similar to the intense Tropical Cyclone Ingrid
  of March, 2005, Severe Tropical Cyclone Monica became one of the most
  intense tropical cyclones ever tracked in the Southern Hemisphere since
  the commencement of the satellite era.  The cyclone was one of the latest
  on record to affect the Northern Territory and brought very heavy 
  rainfall to the region.   Until Monica came along it was beginning to 
  look like this would be the first season since the 1988-89 season that 
  the Darwin TCWC would not see a named tropical cyclone anywhere within 
  their AOR.   According to information from Mark Kersemakers, a forecaster
  at BoM Darwin, the 1987-88 season was also stormless in Darwin�s AOR.  An
  outstanding report on Monica, authored by Simon Clarke, follows.

     Also worthy of mention was a tropical LOW which meandered about over
  the Northern Territory and adjacent Gulf of Carpentaria waters for almost
  two weeks during the first part of April.  While fairly well-organized, 
  this LOW was not nearly as significant as the one in late January which 
  brought sustained winds to near gale force with gusts to storm force 
  in some areas.  It did, however, enhance monsoonal rainfall which caused
  floods in the Katherine area, leading to large-scale evacuations of 
  people living in the area.   Some information on these floods may be 
  found at the following link:>

                           16 - 26 April 2006

  A. Introduction

     The Southern Hemisphere TC season kept its best for last.  TC Monica 
  was not only the strongest cyclone of the season in the Southern 
  Hemisphere; but also one of the Southern Hemisphere�s strongest in 
  recorded history.  While not causing as much destruction as TC Larry 
  from a month earlier, Monica is noted for bringing tremendous 
  rainfall across the north tropical coast of Queensland, Cape York 
  Peninsula and the Top End of the Northern Territory.

     A brief preliminary report on Severe Tropical Cyclone Monica, 
  authored by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology is also available 
  on-line at the following URL:>

     An unofficial summary can also be found at the following URL which 
  also includes some impressive satellite imagery:>

     Also of particular note about Monica is that the cyclone arrived 
  quite late in the season which is usually over in the last weeks of 
  April in the Southern Hemisphere.

  B. Storm History

     Monica developed from a cluster of tropical thunderstorms that was 
  identified as early as 15 April in the Solomon Sea.  Under an upper- 
  level ridge over the northern Coral Sea, the consolidating area of 
  convection gradually developed a LLCC near 9.0S/152.5E.  Development 
  continued in a favourable environment consisting of low vertical wind 
  shear, good divergence aloft and high SSTs. 

     On 16 April, the LOW rounded the SE tip of Papua New Guinea and 
  entered the northern Coral Sea, moving SW at approx. 8 kts.  At 
  17/0000 UTC the developing 995-hPa LOW was located at 12.4S/150.0E 
  (approx. 330 nm NE of Cooktown, Queensland) and was officially named 

     The advisories issued by BoM Queensland indicated that Monica was 
  expected to intensify and move on a general westward path toward Cape 
  York Peninsula due to the steering influence of the low to mid-level 
  ridge to the south.  Monica followed this forecast track and by 
  18/1200 UTC reached hurricane status (65-kt winds 10-min avg) 
  approximately 125 nm E of Lockhart River (13.0S/145.6E) while 
  accelerating to 12 kts on a general W to WSW path toward Cape York.

     At 19/0600 UTC, Monica made its first landfall as a 960-hPa, max 
  10-min avg 80-kt cyclone approx. 20 nm S of Lockhart River (13.1S/ 
  143.3E).  Just prior to landfall, Monica slowed slightly with the eye 
  appearing to loop south and then parallel to the coast for a while 
  prior to making landfall.  Interestingly, Monica crossed the coast in 
  almost the exact same point as Ingrid from the previous 2004/05 
  season (see unofficial comparison at Link 4).

     Comparisons between Monica and Ingrid were not to finish there.  
  Monica moved quite quickly westwards across Cape York Peninsula and 
  despite a substantial breakdown in core convection and fragmented 
  radial outflow, emerged as a Category 2 cyclone in the Gulf of 
  Carpentaria 20 nm S of Aurukun (13.6S/141.5E) at 20/0000 UTC. 

     Like Ingrid from the season before, Monica embarked on a general NW 
  path across the very warm Gulf waters in response to a subtropical 
  ridge anchored to the SW of the system and steadily intensified as 
  the surface inflow around the LLCC improved.  Hurricane intensity was 
  regained at 20/1800 UTC near 13.6S/140.2E (220 nm ESE of Nhulunbuy, 
  Northern Territory and 90 nm W of Aurukun, Queensland) as the cyclone 
  continued to drift to the NW at 4 kts.  Monica continued to intensify 
  under highly favourable conditions of high SSTs and weak vertical 
  wind shear.

     The cyclone developed a regular and circular clear eye as it traveled 
  to the north of the NE tip of the Northern Territory.  Category 5 
  status was achieved at 22/0600 UTC near 12.4S/139.2E (140 nm E of 
  Nhulunbuy) and this was maintained until landfall.  The cyclone was 
  tracked by the Nhulunbuy (Gove) radar which showed the classic 
  concentric eye-wall characteristic of intense cyclones.  The cyclone 
  continued to improve in structure with very deep convection expanding 
  even further with a very symmetrical warm eye which contracted to 20 
  nm in diameter surrounded by a ring of cold convective tops.

     Monica maintained a westerly path at 8 kts approx. 75 nm off the 
  northern coastline, passing over the Wessel Islands.  Peak intensity 
  of 905 hPa and max 10-min avg winds of 135 kts was achieved at 
  23/0600 UTC near 11.4S/137.4E (115 nm ENE of Elcho Island) and 
  maintained for a further 12 hours.  Despite being more powerful than 
  Ingrid from the 2004/05 season, it is noted that Monica�s path was 
  slightly farther north, keeping its relatively larger, intense 
  circulation offshore as the storm tracked westward parallel to the 
  Top End.      
     (Also of note, the Joint Typhoon Warning Agency pegged Monica at a 
  peak of 155 kts with gusts to 190 kts, which is equivalent to a 
  moderate American Category 5 cyclone (Saffir/Simpson Scale).  CIMSS 
  estimates at the time also placed Monica as a 170-kt/T8.0/868.5-mb 
  cyclone, which certainly would rank Monica in the top echelon of 
  cyclones in recorded history worldwide.  It should be noted that 
  reliable records of cyclone intensity only go back to the mid-1980s 
  in the Southern Hemisphere.) 

     Finally the cyclone shifted to an 8-kt WSW track in response to a 
  weakening of the mid-level ridge to the south as a consequence of an 
  approaching major shortwave trough over Western Australia.  This 
  brought the centre of Monica across the coastline near 11.8S/134.1E 
  (about 15 nm W of Maningrida or 190 nm ENE of Darwin) just prior to 
  24/1200 UTC as a 915-hPa cyclone. 

     The very destructive core of Monica with gusts to 350 km/hr (190 kts)
  affected the coast between Maningrida and Goulburn Island while crossing
  the coast.  However, Monica weakened very rapidly over land, losing 
  hurricane intensity in a little under 12 hours and cyclone status 
  overland near Darwin (12.6S/131.4E) at 25/0000 UTC as the cyclone lost 
  all of its cold convective cloud tops.  The LLCC remained evident to 
  400 hPa in Darwin vertical wind profiler data and the depression 
  moved WNW and then SSW into the Timor Sea.  However, the remnant LOW 
  remained too close to the NT coastline for any significant re-
  intensification with all deep convection developing over land well 
  away from the centre.  The exposed LLCC moved inland over the SW Top End 
  east of Port Keats and dissipated soon afterwards.

  C. Observations

     No meteorological instruments recorded the full impact of Monica. 
  However, the following brief notes were available at the time of   
  report writing. 

     In Queensland, peak wind gusts recorded were 59 kts at 15:00 local 
  time (19/0400 UTC) at Lockhart River and 50 kts at 7:43pm local time 
  (19/0943 UTC) inland at Coen.  The heaviest rain occurred well south 
  of the cyclone within the strong onshore flow in the area between 
  Cape Tribulation and Cairns. 

     A number of places around the Cairns region received more than 200 mm 
  as the cyclone made its way across Cape York Peninsula.  On 20 April, 
  Copperlode Dam (11 km W of Cairns) recorded 340 mm in the 24 hours to 
  9 am and Cairns itself passed its monthly April rainfall record of 
  550 mm.

     In the Northern Territory, Gove Airport recorded a gust of 44 kts as 
  Monica passed well to the north.  This observation is the station�s 
  highest April wind in 21 years.  Elsewhere the highest wind gusts 
  recorded were 55 kts at Milingimbi at 12:30 local time (24/0330 UTC), 
  80 kts at Maningrida at 18:31 local time (24/0931 UTC), and 52 kts at 
  Warruwi at 22:00 local time (24/1300 UTC).  It is noted that the 
  Maningrida wind gauge became inoperative at 20:02 local time (24/1102 

     The BoM reported very heavy rainfall in parts of the western Arnhem 
  district on 23 and 24 April, in the Darwin-Daly district on 25 April 
  and in the Victoria River District on 26 April.  The highest 24-hour 
  totals included Ngayawili 190 mm on 24 April; Adelaide River East 
  225 mm, Elizabeth Valley 192 mm, Noonamah 186 mm, Darwin River Ridge 
  174 mm, Humpty Doo 166 mm and Channel Island 153 mm on 25 April; and 
  Kidman Springs 261 mm, Coolibah 216 mm and Dashwood Crossing 129 mm 
  on 26 April.

     A graphic displaying the track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Monica may
  be found at the following link:>

  D. Preliminary Damage Reports

     Monica was a relatively compact cyclone.  Similar to Ingrid from the 
  previous season, communities beyond a 50-nm radius of the track were 
  hardly affected by the cyclone�s winds.  However, in contrast to 
  Ingrid, Monica brought some of the heaviest rains ever recorded for 
  April through parts of Northern Queensland and the Northern 
     The following is a preliminary snapshot of the effects of Monica on 
  communities in the cyclone's path, collated from various sources:

  (1) Northern Queensland  

     There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, though rain 
  from Monica caused the worst floods in living memory in parts of far 
  north Queensland.  Significantly, flooding isolated many parts of the 
  Cape, making it difficult to initially assess the damage.

     The Lockhart River township (pop. 700) escaped serious harm, although 
  news reports say about 15% of the buildings were damaged.  Many roads 
  were cut to traffic including extensive wash outs from major flooding 
  along the Peninsula Developmental Road.  Several residents from a 
  Cape York Peninsula aboriginal community and at least three families 
  from cattle properties were airlifted to drier ground due to flooding.

     Farther south in Cairns several air flights in and out were cancelled 
  on 19 April.  All tourist trips to the Great Barrier Reef were also 
  abandoned.  The Kuranda Railway, a popular tourist train which winds 
  through World Heritage protected tropical rain forest near Cairns was 
  also halted because of a landslide along the line.

     As tropical cyclone Monica tracked west across the Gulf of 
  Carpentaria, many of the 75 prawn trawlers that fish the remote off-
  shore regions took shelter in calmer waters to the south near Karumba 
  and the Northern Territory-Queensland border.  The interruption to 
  the banana prawn harvest created at least one week of disrupted 
  fishing time and wasted fuel in less than ideal fishing grounds.  One 
  of the largest companies, NewFishing Australia, estimated the 
  disruption will cost them tens of thousands of dollars alone.

  (2) Top End, Northern Territory

     Monica was the strongest cyclone on record to affect the Northern 
  Territory.  Destructive winds caused extensive defoliation and 
  felling of trees on Marchinbar Island as the cyclone passed directly 
  over the  Wessel Island group.  Just north of the island chain, 
  Martjanba outstation was completely destroyed.  At Junction Bay, 
  Monica ripped mangrove forests from the ground and destroyed sand 

     Monica ran over a fairly sparsely populated section of coastline. 
  However, several small aboriginal communities were in the cyclone�s 
  path.  A 50-km wide swath of defoliation and major tree damage was 
  reported to the west of Maningrida (pop. 2600) that extended inland 
  over parts of the Kakadu National Park to the escarpment near 
     Jabiru and Maningrida were spared a direct hit by only a matter of 
  miles.  In the Maningrida community, several houses and a local 
  school were reported as being unroofed or extensively damaged.  
  Houses were also damaged and power was lost in other small 
  communities including  Milingimbi, Oenpelli, Jabiru and Ngayawili 
  (Elcho Island).  Power lines were also damaged in Yirrkala, 
  Ramingining, Warruwi (Goulburn Island) and other smaller communities 
  and outstations. 

     The following URL provides more detail on the recovery operations 
  underway in these communities:>

     Grave fears were held that Monica might reach Darwin as a strong 
  Category 3 cyclone and some domestic and international flights in and 
  out of the city were cancelled as a consequence.  The city�s ANZAC 
  Day rites had to be called off.  However, Monica weakened dramatically 
  on its overland approach to Darwin and will be remembered there more 
  so for the tremendous late season rain that it bought rather than for
  its wind damage.  The heavy rains cut many roads including the Arnhem 
  Highway at the Adelaide River and Cox Peninsula Road at Berry Creek.

     Fortunately, no casualties or serious injuries were reported as a 
  consequence of Monica.

  E. Links

  Link 1:

  Satellite imagery � Monica developing in the North West Coral Sea>

  Link 2:

  Satellite Imagery � Monica crosses Cape York>

  Link 3:

  A selection of impressive satellite and radar images as Monica passes 
  close to the Top End, Northern Territory:>

  Link 4:

  Tidal Effects Environmental Protection Agency�s Comparison to Ingrid 
  (Cape York Crossing):>

  (Report written by Simon Clarke)


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

  Activity for April:  1 tropical depression

                  South Pacific Tropical Activity for April

     No tropical cyclones formed in the South Pacific basin during the
  month of April.  RSMC Nadi identified one system as a numbered tropical
  depression, but it was weak.  Tropical Depression 17F was first mentioned
  at 1800 UTC on 20 April, located to the southeast of Fiji and just east
  of the Dateline.  The system was weak with an exposed center and with
  isolated deep convection located to the south of the LLCC.  TD-17F
  meandered slowly around for a couple of days, but by the 23rd had moved
  southward out of the tropics and was dropped from the Fiji Tropical
  Disturbance Summaries.  No track was included for Tropical Depression 17F
  in the accompanying cyclone tracks file.

     Also, during the final days of April several more LOWs were referenced
  simply as 'depressions' in the Fiji summaries.  These systems were well
  east of the Dateline and were never classified as 'tropical� depressions,
  so it is assumed they were likely hybrid or subtropical in character.   



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

  (1) Aircraft Reconnaissance Information

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

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

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

  (2) Archived Advisories

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

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

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

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

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

  (3) Satellite Imagery

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

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

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

  (1) For the Eastern North Pacific:>

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

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


                               EXTRA FEATURE

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


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

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

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

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

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


     JTWC now has available on its website the Annual Tropical Cyclone
  Report (ATCR) for 2004 (2003-2004 season for the Southern Hemisphere).
  ATCRs for earlier years are available also.

     The URL is:>

     Also, TPC/NHC has available on its webpage nice "technicolor"
  tracking charts for the 2005 Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific
  tropical cyclones; also, storm reports for all the 2005 Atlantic
  and Eastern North Pacific cyclones are now available, as well as
  track charts and reports on storms from earlier years. 

     The URL is:>

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


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

  Kevin Boyle  (Eastern Atlantic, Western Northwest Pacific, South
                China Sea)
  E-mail:  [email protected]

  Simon Clarke  (Northeast Australia/Coral Sea, South Pacific)
  E-mail:  [email protected]


Document: summ0604.htm
Updated: 6th August 2006

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