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2019–20 Australian region cyclone season (StrawberryMaster)

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2019–20 Australian region cyclone season (StrawberryMaster)
Seasonal boundaries
First system formed 4 November 2019 (earliest)
Last system dissipated 30 April 2020
Strongest storm
Name Kera–Blobby (most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded)
 • Maximum winds 350 km/h (220 mph)
(10-minute sustained)
 • Lowest pressure 869 hPa (mbar)
Seasonal statistics
Tropical lows 13
Tropical cyclones 8
Severe tropical cyclones 4
Total fatalities 122 total
Total damage $1.1 billion (2020 USD)
Australian region tropical cyclone seasons
2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20, 2020–21, 2021–22

NOTE: Yes, this season was one of Hurricane news' post-HHW seasons. I've placed the 'Wikipedia' template above to give credit into the respective owners, and credit to Douglas, for the naming list/season statistics.

The 2019–20 Australian region cyclone season is the period of the year when most tropical cyclones form within the Southern Indian Ocean and Pacific Oceans between 90°E and 160°E. The season officially ran from November 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020, however a tropical cyclone could form at any time between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 and would count towards the season total. During the season, tropical cyclones will be officially monitored, by one of the five Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs) that are operated in this region. Three of the five centres are operated by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) in Perth, Darwin, and Brisbane, while the other two are operated by the National Weather Service of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby and the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics in Jakarta, Indonesia. The United States Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) and other national meteorological services including Météo-France will also monitor the basin during the season.

Seasonal summary

wikipedia:Tropical cyclone scales#Comparisons across basins

Storms

Tropical Cyclone Annabelle

Category 2 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
{{#ifd:27S Mar 28 1980 2232Z.pngClockwise vortex}}
Duration November 4 – November 8
Peak intensity 95 km/h (60 mph) (10-min)  1003 hPa (mbar)

On November 4, TCWC Darwin reported that a tropical depression had developed in the Gulf of Carpentaria about 300 km (190 mi) to the southwest of Wallaby Island. During that day the system intensified enough to produce localized and intermittent gale force winds, over the northeast Arnhem Land as it moved into the Arafura Sea. Early on November 5, TCWC Darwin reported that despite the depression having reached cyclone intensity of 95 km/h (60 mph), it was not a tropical cyclone as the system had not developed a "deep convective warm cored structure". However, the tropical cyclone warning center would eventually refute their previous claim, and then reported that the depression had become a tropical cyclone at 0000 UTC (0800 WST) on November 5, receiving the first name of the list, "Annabelle". During November 6, the system moved towards the north, before during the next day as the cyclone turned towards the west and moved into the Arafura Sea it reached its lowest central pressure of 1005 hPa (29.61 inHg). As the system moved further into the Arafura Sea, a very strong amount of vertical windshear and an intrusion of dry air made the cyclone rapidly weaken into a tropical depression before the residual depression dissipated on November 8 just to the north of the Cobourg Peninsula. Annabelle caused no deaths and only minor damage was reported to have occurred.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Brock

Category 5 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
{{#ifd:Cyclone Ingrid 2005.jpgClockwise vortex}}
Duration November 15 – November 23
Peak intensity 250 km/h (155 mph) (10-min)  923 hPa (mbar)

Originally a low pressure system north of the Gulf of Carpentaria that formed on November 15, Brock moved eastward and developed into a tropical cyclone in the Coral Sea on November 17. A strong pressure gradient rapidly developed within the system as it headed west resulting in a category rating of 5 by November 18. The eye, with very destructive wind gusts up to 330 km/h within a 20 km radius, reached the far northern coast of the Australian state of Queensland between 6 am and 9 am on November 19 AEST, and hit the Cape York Peninsula. However, it was downgraded to a Category 2 storm on November 20 as it crossed the peninsula north of the towns of Coen and Lockhart River.

After passing the town of Weipa, Brock gained strength once again as it moved out across the Gulf of Carpentaria towards the Northern Territory. It struck the town of Nhulunbuy as a Category 5 storm. It crossed the Cobourg Peninsula in the early hours of November 21, heading west. Brock struck the Tiwi Islands as a Category 4 storm, and moved west into the Timor Sea, being downgraded to a category 3 due to the passage over land. Winds were in excess of 200 km/h.

On November 23, Brock approached the north coast of the Kimberley region of Western Australia as a Category 4 storm, and made landfall near Kalumburu shortly afterwards. It quickly weakened as it moved inland, and soon completely dissipated.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Coral

Category 3 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
{{#ifd:Bune mar 27 2011 0210Z.jpgClockwise vortex}}
Duration November 30 – December 6
Peak intensity 140 km/h (85 mph) (10-min)  984 hPa (mbar)

On November 30, TCWC Perth reported that Tropical Low 13U had developed to the northwest of Port Hedland, Western Australia. Over the next few days the system remained well offshore and drifted towards the west southwest while slowly intensifying.

A cyclone watch had been issued for the coastal communities between Onslow to Coral Bay. Late on December 2, the low formed into Tropical Cyclone Coral whilst 445 km NW of Exmouth. Coral intensified as expected and was upgraded to a Category 2 cyclone on December 3 whilst slowly moving towards the SSW. On December 4, the system intensified into a Category 3 severe tropical cyclone. By late December 5, the system lost its strength as it moved into colder waters and was downgraded to a Category 1 tropical cyclone, and by December 6 it was classified as an ex-tropical low.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Dane

Category 4 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 3 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
{{#ifd:Nathan_Mar_19_2015_1550Z.pngClockwise vortex}}
Duration December 13 – December 26
Peak intensity 185 km/h (115 mph) (10-min)  950 hPa (mbar)

During December 13, TCWC Brisbane reported that Tropical Low 14U had developed within the northwestern Coral Sea to the northeast of Cairns, Australia. Over the next day atmospheric convection developed and organised over the systems low level circulation, as it moved southeastwards away from the Queensland Coast under the influence of an upper level trough of low pressure. The JTWC subsequently initiated advisories on the system early on December 14 and designated it as Tropical Cyclone 04P, before TCWC Brisbane reported that the system had developed into a category 1 tropical cyclone and named it Dane. During that day the system may have become a category 2 tropical cyclone as radar and microwave imagery showed that Dane had a well defined circulation and was forming a partial eyewall. The system subsequently moved into an area of higher vertical windshear and weakened into a tropical low during December 15 as it moved into the South Pacific basin.

The system moved back into the Australian region during December 19 but remained a tropical low over the next few days, as it moved north-westwards across the Coral Sea as a low level circulation centre with little or no associated convection. During December 20, TCWC Brisbane briefly reported that Dane had re-intensified into a category 1 tropical cyclone, after wind shear over the system reduced due to a possible fujiwara interaction with a secondary circulation to the east of Dane and Severe Tropical Cyclone Anthony. However, later that day the system turned and started moving towards the north-west as the secondary system moved to its north, which meant that Dane became sheared again and weakened into a tropical low. The system remained a sheared tropical low until late on December 23, when convection began to increase and organize as a result of weakening upper atmospheric wind shear. During the next day as Dane moved towards the southwest and the Queensland coast, the JTWC re-initiated advisories on the system, before reporting that it had peaked with 1-minute sustained wind speeds of 175 km/h (110 mph). TCWC Brisbane also reported that the system had re-intensified into a category 1 tropical cyclone during that day, before reporting that it had become a category 2 tropical cyclone with peak 10-minute sustained wind speeds of 175 km/h (110 mph). The system subsequently made landfall on the Queensland east coast near Bowen and rapidly weakened over land.

Ahead of Dane's landfall on the Queensland east coast, tropical cyclone watches and warnings were issued for the region between Innisfail, St Lawrence and Charters Towers. Townsville and Mackay were pre-emptively declared disaster areas in order to aid the recovery response, while the ports of Townsville, Mackay, Hay Point and Abbott Point were closed.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Erika

Category 4 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 2 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
{{#ifd:Monty_29_feb_2004_0235Z.jpgClockwise vortex}}
Duration January 1 – January 9
Peak intensity 165 km/h (105 mph) (10-min)  958 hPa (mbar)

A low pressure area tracked westwards over Pilbara. The low moved off of the Kimberley Coast on January 1. Over the warm ocean waters, the low rapidly developed within 24 hours to a tropical cyclone. Erika paralleled the Pilbara coast and intensified to Category 4. On the 3rd, a ragged eye became evident on a visible satellite image. On January 4, a buoy 10 nautical miles away from the center of Erika reported mean winds of 92 mph (80 knots, 148 km/h). That day, a well developed eye became visible on IR satellite imagery. Erika's peak intensity was estimated to be around 0900 UTC, as a category 4 storm, on January 5. Low wind shear of less than 10 knots allowed for development until Erika made landfall as a category 3 storm. Erika began to slowly weaken as it approached the coast of Pilbara. As Erika moved forwards inland, it began to rapidly weaken and speed up but still cause major flooding in Pilbara. As Erika continued inland, it weakened to a category 2 storm on January 8. On January 9, 2020, Erika had degenerated into a remnant low over central Western Australia.

Tropical Cyclone Franklin

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
{{#ifd:Kelvin mar 3 1991 0452Z.jpgClockwise vortex}}
Duration January 5 – January 12
Peak intensity 85 km/h (55 mph) (10-min)  1002 hPa (mbar)

On January 5, TCWC Brisbane reported that the remnants of Tropical Disturbance 16F had moved into the Australian region. Over the next two days, the system remained stationary south of the Solomon Islands. On January 7, it was upgraded to a monsoon low, as it slowly began to move south east. On January 8, the system began to exhibit strong convective banding and low wind shear combined with favourable sea surface temperatures caused the JTWC to forecast rapid intensification of the system. However this did not occur due to dry air located in the southern Coral Sea, hindering the system's development as it continued to move south-east at around 10 km/h (6.2 mph). By late January 8, a cyclone watch was declared by the Bureau of Meteorology for areas between Port Douglas and Proserpine. By January 9, the low accelerated south-eastward slightly and continued intensifying, albeit slowly. Sea surface temperatures of 28 °C (82 °F) assisted in the system's development and by January 10, it reached tropical cyclone strength and was named Franklin by the BOM. Franklin began to shift south-southeast, and a cyclone warning by the BOM was shifted south accordingly as Franklin continued to intensify. Late on January 11, Franklin reached category 1 status while located 185 km (115 mi) north-east of Townsville and was forecast to make landfall near Bowen within 12 hours. Franklin made landfall on the Queensland coast between Bowen and Proserpine at around 3:30 am on January 12, with the eye of the cyclone passing over the small town of Dingo Beach. In doing so, Franklin became the first cyclone to hit the coast of Eastern Queensland since Dylan in 2014. Franklin quickly weakened to below cyclone status after moving over land and was dropped from all advisories by the Bureau of Meteorology and TCWC Brisbane while located near Moranbah as it was classified as a remnant low.

Despite making landfall on a heavily populated region of the Queensland coast, damage was minimal and mainly restricted to minor flooding associated with king tides. Several houses in Townsville and Mackay sustained minor damage from seawater inundation associated with unusually high tides, while a beachside resort on Great Keppel Island sustained severe damage to many structures after the beach gave way, washing several buildings into the sea. Rainfall was minimal for a slow moving tropical cyclone and mainly restricted to the southern cloud mass of Franklin. Proserpine received 190.6 mm (7.50 in), St Lawrence 128.0 mm (5.04 in) and Mackay 108.4 mm (4.27 in). Despite being only 25 km (16 mi) away from Franklin's eyewall, Bowen only received 56.0 mm (2.20 in) of rain, while Yeppoon, almost 500 km (310 mi) away from the cyclone's eye received 136.6 mm (5.38 in) and Rockhampton recorded 229.6 mm (9.04 in) from thunderstorms associated with Franklin's outer rainbands. Despite moderate to heavy rainfall totals, no flooding was recorded as the weather had been extremely dry in the few months prior to Franklin's landfall, and most of Queensland still remained in severe drought.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Gloria

Category 5 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 3 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
{{#ifd:Ului_14_mar_2010_2330Z.jpgClockwise vortex}}
Duration January 12 – January 28
Peak intensity 205 km/h (125 mph) (10-min)  945 hPa (mbar)

An undesignated tropical low formed in Darwin's Area of Responsibility, near 11.9ºS 138.5ºE located in the northern Gulf of Carpentaria. On January 12, the tropical low was designated officially as 17U as it was expected to intensify and move eastward across the gulf. The system did not develop further before it crossed the Cape York Peninsula on January 18, but after emerging over the Coral Sea it strengthened and was named Tropical Cyclone Gloria on January 21. It peaked as a Category 4 severe tropical cyclone, but due moving into cooler waters, it was downgraded to a tropical low later in the day. The low remained slow moving off the coast of Queensland until the 26th, when it commenced an eastward motion, and then dissipated on the 28th.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Hamish–Layten

Category 4 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 2 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
{{#ifd:Jaminy_Feb_16_1984_1028Z.pngClockwise vortex}}
Duration January 20 – January 28 (crossed 80°E)
Peak intensity 175 km/h (110 mph) (10-min)  952 hPa (mbar)

On January 20, a tropical low formed northeast of the Cocos Islands. Steered by a ridge to the south, it moved generally southwestward and intensified into Tropical Cyclone Hamish, named by the Bureau of Meteorology. After executing a loop, Hamish crossed 80 E into the south-west Indian Ocean on January 28. Upon crossing into the basin, the storm was renamed Layten by the Mauritius Meteorological Service.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Isa

Category 5 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 5 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
{{#ifd:Severe_Tropical_Cyclone_Hamish_-_8_March_2009_(MODIS_Terra).jpgClockwise vortex}}
Duration February 1 – February 13
Peak intensity 270 km/h (165 mph) (10-min)  899 hPa (mbar)

On February 1, a weak tropical Low developed in an active trough located over the north western Coral Sea slowly moving south east. The low began to intensify despite its proximity to land. At 11pm EST (1100 UTC), the tropical low developed into Tropical Cyclone Isa and convective band begin to develop. The next day, the cyclone strengthened into a Category 2 cyclone, and by the 11pm advisory, had strengthened further to a Category 3 severe tropical cyclone and a defined eye showed on the satellite. Later that day it begin to affect the north eastern parts of Queensland. On February 3, Isa was located approximately 230 kilometres from Cairns with the Bureau of Meteorology expecting Isa to intensify into a Category 4 with the cyclone expecting to brush through near Mackay on Sunday night or Monday morning. During that day Isa had intensified to a Category 4 cyclone. Later that day the storm intensified into a Category 5 cyclone, the first since Cyclone Andy, during its closest approach to Hayman Island. During February 6, Severe Tropical Cyclone Isa weakened to a Category 4 cyclone. The cyclone was forecasted to make landfall near Bundaberg however the Bureau of Meteorology then expected Isa not to make landfall and to continue to move in a south easterly direction and slowly weaken. A trawler caught in rough seas produced by the storm sent out a distress signal as it was overcome by the storm. Rescue attempts to retrieve the three crew members were hampered by Isa and were called off but expected to resume of February 9. On February 10 11am EST (0100 UTC) Isa had weakened to a Category 3 cyclone with the Bureau of Meteorology is expected that Isa slow and continue to weaken. On February 11 7am EST (2100 UTC) the Isa weakened further to a Category 2 cyclone with the Bureau of Meteorology expected Isa to continually be slow moving and weaken, with the cyclone beginning to move in a north west direction later in the day. The storm continued to weaken and BoM downgraded it to a tropical low later that day. Isa then dissipated on February 13.

Tropical Cyclone Jerry

Category 2 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
{{#ifd:Tatiana_2016-02-11_0310Z_(Original).jpgClockwise vortex}}
Duration February 6 – February 10
Peak intensity 100 km/h (65 mph) (10-min)  999 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Low 10U developed during February 6 within the central Coral Sea, about 900 km (560 mi) to the southwest of Honiara in the Solomon Islands. The system was located within a favourable environment for further development, with the low level circulation centre gradually consolidating, while deep atmospheric convection wrapped into the system. Over the next couple of days the system gradually developed further as it moved eastwards, before the JTWC initiated advisories on the system and designated it as Tropical Cyclone 12P during February 7. Over the next day the system continued to develop and was named Jerry by the BoM, as it developed into a Category 1 tropical cyclone.

By this time Jerry had started to move towards the east-southeast under the combined influence of the monsoon flow and a trough of low pressure. The system subsequently peaked as a Category 1 tropical cyclone with 10-minute sustained winds of 100 km/h (65 mph) during February 8, before it moved just out of the Australian region and into the South Pacific basin. The system subsequently moved southwards and rapidly weakened during the next day, before it lost its tropical characteristics and degenerated into a subtropical low during February 10. After the system had degenerated into a subtropical low, it produced some powerful, long period swells along southeast Queensland beaches.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Kera–Blobby

Category 5 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 5 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
{{#ifd:STS_BertieAlvin_2005.jpgClockwise vortex}}
Duration February 16 – February 24 (out of area)
Peak intensity 350 km/h (220 mph) (10-min)  869 hPa (mbar)

A weak tropical low persisted on February 14 at a low latitude about 740 km (460 mi) west-southwest of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Early on February 15, the TCWC Perth issued a gale warning on the system; at the time, the system consisted of cycling convection in association with several small circulations. The circulations organized into a well-defined center of circulation, and at 0000 UTC on February 16 it was classified as Tropical Cyclone Kera about 835 km (515 mi) northwest of the Cocos Islands. The storm tracked southwestward around the western periphery of a mid-level ridge between Australia and Indonesia. Environmental conditions generally favored further strengthening, with good outflow though moderate wind shear, and late on February 17 the JTWC initiated advisories on Kera.

Tropical Cyclone Kera gradually strengthened and became a severe tropical cyclone on February 18. The next day, TCWC Perth issued its last advisory on the cyclone, as it was expected to cross 90ºE, which separates the TCWC Perth and the Météo-France (MFR) areas of responsibility. However, Kera turned due southward, and the MFR issued advisories for 30 hours as the cyclone remained just east of 90ºE, during which the MFR estimated Kera attained peak winds of 350 km/h (220 mph), beating Patricia's record and making Kera the strongest storm worldwide. Early on February 20, the JTWC assessed the cyclone as reaching winds of 350 km/h (220 mph), which is the equivalent to a extremely strong Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. On February 24, the cyclone crossed into the area of responsibility of the MFR, and it was renamed Intense Tropical Cyclone Blobby. Shortly thereafter the storm turned to the northwest and weakened as it encountered unfavourable conditions. The JTWC issued its last advisory on February 25 after it weakened to a tropical depression, and two days later the MFR discontinued advisories. The remnants of the storm continued northwestward until turning west-southwestward and dissipating on February 28.

Tropical Cyclone Lance

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
{{#ifd:Jack Apr 20 2014 0729Z.pngClockwise vortex}}
Duration March 15 – March 20
Peak intensity 85 km/h (55 mph) (10-min)  1004 hPa (mbar)

On March 15, TCWC Perth reported that Tropical Low 12U had developed within the Central Indian Ocean to the northwest of the Cocos Islands. Over the next couple of days the system gradually developed further within a marginally favourable environment for further development, as it moved to the west-southwest and passed around 160 km (100 mi) to the northwest of the Cocos Islands. During March 16, the environment surrounding the system became conducive for rapid development with the system rapidly consolidating as a result. The JTWC subsequently initiated advisories on the low and designated it as Tropical Cyclone 24S, before the BoM reported during the next day that the system had become a category 1 tropical cyclone and named it Lance.

Shortly after that, Lance entered warm waters, but failed to intensity. It was then labeled by the BoM as a Category 1 tropical cyclone with a Dvorak intensity of T3.5. Early on the next day, the storm intensified into a minimal tropical cyclone, as it began to slowly move southward near the 90°E.

Tropical Cyclone Mary

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
{{#ifd:Bakung_Dec_11_2014_0650Z.jpgClockwise vortex}}
Duration April 25 – April 30
Peak intensity 85 km/h (55 mph) (10-min)  1004 hPa (mbar)

During April 25, a tropical low developed about 535 km (330 mi) to the north-east of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The system had developed within a favourable environment for further development, with low to moderate vertical wind shear and a good poleward outflow which was being enhanced by a trough of low pressure. Over the next day the system gradually intensified/developed further, with atmospheric convection deepening near the systems centre. TCWC Jakarta subsequently named the low Mary during April 27, as it was thought that the system had become a Category 1 tropical cyclone on the Australian scale. At the same time TCWC Jakarta reported that Mary had peaked with 10-minute sustained windspeeds of 65 km/h (40 mph), before the JTWC initiated advisories on the system later that day and designated it Tropical Cyclone 18S.

During April 28, TCWC Jakarta reported that the system had weakened slightly, while the JTWC reported that the system had intensified slightly and reached its peak intensity with 1-minute sustained windspeeds of 80 km/h (50 mph). Early the next day as Tropical Cyclone Mary continued to move westwards, it moved out of the Australian region and into the South-West Indian Ocean. However, during that day the system's low level circulation centre became exposed and displaced about 280 km (175 mi) from the deep convection. As a result, TCWC Jakarta and the JTWC issued their final warnings on the system, while RSMC La Reunion declared it to be a remnant low in their one and only warning on the system.

Storm names

Tropical cyclones that develop between 90°E and 160°E are assigned names by the Floyd Meteorological Center (in Sydney, Australia), and sometimes, by the Douglas Weather Center (in Darwin, Australia). These monitor all tropical cyclones that form within the Australian region, including any in other areas of responsibility.

  • Annabelle
  • Brock
  • Coral
  • Dane
  • Erika
  • Franklin
  • Gloria
  • Hamish
  • Isa
  • Jerry
  • Kera
  • Lance
  • Mary
  • Neville (unused)
  • Olga (unused)
  • Pablo (unused)
  • Ruby (unused)
  • Seth (unused)
  • Tyler (unused)
  • Ursula (unused)
  • Victoria (unused)
  • Wayne (unused)
  • Xera (unused)
  • Yvette (unused)
  • Zelda (unused)

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