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Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary February 2005
[Summaries and Track Data] [Prepared by Gary Padgett]


                              FEBRUARY, 2005

  (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.)


                           FEBRUARY HIGHLIGHTS

   --> Four very intense tropical cyclones form in Southeast Pacific
   --> Strong Gulf of Carpentaria cyclone strikes Australia
   --> One severe tropical storm in Southwest Indian Ocean basin


                ***** Feature of the Month for February *****


     A few years ago I was contacted by a gentleman in southern Illinois
  who was the weather forecaster for a radio station, asking permission
  to post portions of my monthly tropical cyclone summaries on his website.
  Back in late November of 2004, I was contacted again by the same person,
  John Diebolt, who had recently relocated to Tucson, Arizona.  John is no
  longer involved in radio weather forecasting, but still has a website 
  devoted to weather.   Since John has always had a great interest in
  tropical meteorology, and since the weather in Arizona is so much more
  tranquil than in Illinois, he decided to have his website focus on the 
  tropics rather than on local weather as it had done in the Midwest.

     John was already in the habit of preparing tabular listings of
  pertinent tracking information and graphical displays of the operational
  tracks of tropical cyclones.  I asked him if it would be possible to
  prepare a separate graphic plotting the tracks which I prepare each
  month in conjunction with the tropical cyclone summaries.  This has been
  a dream of mine for years, and John was quite willing to do so.  Starting
  with the December, 2004, summary I have begun including the link to the
  graphic displaying the track for each tropical cyclone which was included
  in my tracking files.

     (One caveat--John, as well as Michael Bath on his Australian tropical
  cyclone site--refers to my tracks as "best tracks".   As the term is most
  commonly used, this is not strictly true.   As used by TPC/NHC, the term
  "best track" refers to tracks which are prepared after a careful post-
  season analysis of all the cyclones by the responsible warning agency and
  are considered the definitive positions and intensities for inclusion in
  the official historical databases.   The tracks which I prepare are
  operational tracks, but which sometimes use information from more than
  one warning agency in order to give the most complete operational track

     The link for John's website is:>

     Rather than go into a detailed description of all the wealth of
  information which John has made available, I would just encourage readers
  to visit the site and check it out themselves.  In addition to the maps
  plotting the tracks which I prepare, John has included graphics charting
  the tracks based upon warnings from individual warning centers, and also
  some high-resolution close-up maps for portions of certain cyclone tracks
  which looped or were otherwise very erratic.

     He has also included links to many other tropical cyclone-related
  websites, including those listed at the end of all the monthly summaries
  where past editions are archived.

     As a monthly feature in the May, 2002, summary, I included links to
  and a short description of various tropical cyclone websites belonging
  to some of my friends and e-mail acquaintances.   New readers may be
  interested in retrieving that particular summary from one of the websites
  listed near the end of this summary and visiting some of those excellent


     After several years of planning and working out implementation
  details, the RSMC for the North Indian Ocean basin--the Indian
  Meteorological Department--began naming tropical cyclones in that
  region on an experimental basis in the autumn of 2004.  The first
  officially named cyclonic storm--Onil--occurred in early October,
  and the second--Agni--developed late in November.   Already in 2005
  there has been one named system, Cyclonic Storm Hibaru, which formed
  in January in the southern Bay of Bengal.

     The procedure for allocating names is similar to that used in the
  Northwest Pacific basin.  All the member nations--eight in this case--
  submitted eight names each.    The 64 names were arranged in eight
  columns of eight names, ordered by the contributing nations in alpha-
  betical order, just as is done in the Northwest Pacific.  Potential
  cyclonic storms for 2005 include (** indicates name has already been

           Hibaru **             Mala                  Gonu
           Pyarr                 Mukda                 Yemyin
           Baaz                  Ogni                  Sidr
           Fanoos                Akash                 Nargis

                            ACTIVITY BY BASINS

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

  Activity for February: No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for February:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for February:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for February:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for February:  1 tropical disturbance
                          2 tropical depressions
                          1 severe 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.

           Southwest Indian Ocean Tropical Activity for February

     Following a fairly active January in the Southwest Indian Ocean, the
  month of February was rather quiet, at least in terms of named tropical
  storms.  Only one tropical storm--Gerard--formed, and this was during the
  first week of the month.  Gerard developed out of a disturbance (MFR-12)
  which had begun during the final week of January.   The system originated
  deep in the tropics in the vicinity of Diego Garcia but had worked its
  way southwestward for several days before it began to intensify to the
  southeast of Reunion Island.    Once it developed into a tropical storm,
  however, Gerard's life was fairly short and sweet as it moved rapidly to
  higher latitudes.    A report on Severe Tropical Storm Gerard follows
  below.  Also, as the month of February opened, the remnants of former
  Tropical Storm Felapi, classified as a subtropical depression, were
  drifting southward well to the southeast of Madagascar.

     Although no more named storms followed Gerard, the basin literally
  crawled with weaker systems for the remainder of February.  MFR issued
  warnings on three numbered systems:  Tropical Disturbances 13, 14 and
  15.  The first and last of these were classed as tropical depressions,
  meaning the estimated 10-min avg MSW reached 30 kts.  Interestingly,
  the one in the middle (MFR-14) lasted the longest (9 days) but remained
  classified as a tropical disturbance with peak winds of only 25 kts.

     Tropical Depression 13 formed on 4 February roughly 250 nm north of
  Mauritius and pursued a generally south-southwestward track which carried
  it a short distance east of Mauritius and Reunion Island.  The system was
  upgraded to tropical depression status with 30-kt winds on the 6th when
  located about 165 nm southeast of Reunion Island.    The depression
  continued to move off to the south-southwest and became extratropical on
  the 8th.  The final MFR bulletin placed the LOW about 525 nm south of
  Reunion Island at 1800 UTC on 8 February.

     Tropical Disturbance 14 followed a contorted track over a period of
  a week-and-a-half during mid-month.  The system started as a weak 20-kt
  LOW on the 8th about 150 nm north-northwest of Mauritius.  It drifted
  westward for a couple of days, then sharply reversed its course and
  moved eastward and east-southeastward for a few days, reaching a point
  approximately 125 nm east-northeast of Mauritius at 0000 UTC on the 13th.
  Then the system once again reversed its heading and began to move west-
  southwestward, passing south of Mauritius and Reunion Island.  The final
  reference to the disturbance by MFR was at 1200 UTC on 17 February with
  the weak LOW meandering around about 200 nm west-southwest of Reunion

     Tropical Depression 15 moved on a southerly track in the extreme
  eastern part of the basin.  The system got going on 24 February about
  700 nm east of Diego Garcia and moved slowly southward over the next few
  days.  It was upgraded to a 30-kt tropical depression at 26/1200 UTC but
  was never able to strengthen further and earn a name.  It began to weaken
  on the 28th and the final MFR bulletin at 28/0600 UTC placed the center
  approximately 875 nm southeast of Diego Garcia.

     Graphics displaying the tracks of these three systems may be found at
  the following links:>>>

                       SEVERE TROPICAL STORM GERARD
                             (MFR-12 / TC-14S)
                          28 January - 5 February

  Name: contributed by the Seychelles

  A. Storm Origins

     The only named tropical cyclone in February in the Southwest Indian
  Ocean actually began in late January.  At 1800 UTC on 27 January an area
  of convection had been persistent approximately 300 nm east-northeast of
  Diego Garcia.  Satellite imagery revealed a possible LLCC near the
  disorganized convection, and vertical shear was low, although somewhat
  stronger to the north.   The potential for development was upgraded to
  'fair' at 28/0000 UTC.  At 1200 UTC on the 28th MFR issued the first
  bulletin on Tropical Disturbance 12, locating the weak center around
  100 nm east-northeast of Diego Garcia.  The MSW was estimated at 25 kts,
  but this was lowered to 20 kts at 1800 UTC.  The LLCC was exposed with
  convection decreasing and drifting away to the southwest, shear was
  increasing and divergence aloft was decreasing.  MFR dropped the MSW to
  20 kts and JTWC downgraded the development potential to 'poor'.

     At 29/0600 UTC the center of interest was relocated several hundred
  miles to the south.  Microwave imagery on the 29th showed a large mass
  of colder, dry air to the south and west of the LLCC.  Convection was
  cyclic and shear moderate, although the system did exhibit good
  outflow.  Overall organization continued to improve and MFR upgraded the
  disturbance to tropical depression status with 30-kt winds at 1800 UTC
  on 30 January.  The system was then located about 700 nm east-northeast
  of Mauritius, having been drifting generally southwestward for the past
  couple of days.   An interim STWO issued by JTWC at 30/0100 UTC had noted
  that the disturbance consisted of an elongated area of turning with two
  possible LLCCs, and that convection was consolidating over the western-
  most center with overall organization improving.  The potential for
  further development was upgraded to 'fair' once more and a TCFA issued 
  at 30/1400 UTC.

     However, Tropical Depression 12 didn't fare so well on the 31st.  At
  31/0600 UTC MFR downgraded the system to 25 kts and at the same time
  relocated the center well to the west-northwest to a position roughly
  525 nm east-northeast of Mauritius.  Also, at 1400 UTC JTWC cancelled
  the TCFA issued the previous day.  Animated multi-spectral imagery and
  a 31/0920 UTC AMSR-E AQUA pass indicated that convection had diminished
  and become decoupled from the center.  The system was entering an
  environment of cooler air, increasing vertical shear and diminished
  outflow.  The development potential was downgraded to 'poor' once more.
  By 1800 UTC entrainment of dry air from the west had resulted in the
  almost complete dissipation of the deep convection.

     JTWC wrote the system off as a potential cyclone threat while MFR
  maintained it as a weak tropical disturbance for the next couple of days
  as it drifted southwestward in the general direction of the Mascarene
  Islands.  At 0300 UTC on 2 February JTWC issued an interim STWO which
  in essence started the disturbance as a new suspicious 'poor' area
  located about 325 nm east of Mauritius.  Deep convection was once more
  increasing around the LLCC, which was underneath a ridge axis in an
  environment of low vertical shear and increasing 850-mb vorticity.  By
  1800 UTC organization had improved to the point that the development
  potential was again upgraded to 'fair'.

  B. Synoptic History

     Things began to happen fast on 3 February.  At 0600 UTC MFR upped the
  MSW to 30 kts, qualifying the system as a tropical depression once more.
  The center was then located approximately 230 nm east of Reunion Island,
  still moving southwestward.  Next, JTWC issued a TCFA at 03/1400 UTC.
  A 03/0949 UTC AMSR-E pass had depicted improving organization and
  increasing deep convection with an indication of possible eye formation.
  The intensifying system was located within a narrow region of low shear
  with much stronger vertical shear to the south.  At 1800 UTC MFR upgraded
  Tropical Depression 12 to a 45-kt tropical storm, located about 175 nm
  southeast of Reunion Island.   At the same time JTWC issued their first
  warning on TC-14S, likewise estimating the intensity at 45 kts (1-min
  avg).  Tropical Storm 12 (TC-14S) was tracking south-southwestward at
  7 kts under the steering influence of a low to mid-level anticyclone
  anchored to the southeast.

     The actual naming responsibility for tropical cyclones east of 55E
  lies with the Meteorological Service of Mauritius.  In the majority of
  cases a name is assigned at the time MFR upgrades a system to tropical
  storm status.  In this case, however, Mauritius did not assign the name
  Gerard until 0600 UTC on 4 February, twelve hours after MFR and JTWC had
  upgraded the system to tropical storm intensity.  At the time of naming,
  the system's MSW was 60 kts per both MFR and JTWC.

     The tropical storm increased rapidly in intensity, reaching a MSW
  of 60 kts at 04/0600 UTC, at which time it was named Gerard by Mauritius.
  Severe Tropical Storm Gerard reached the westernmost point of its track
  at 04/0000 UTC, thereafter moving on a course which was slightly east of
  due south as it came under the influence of a transient shortwave trough.
  Gerard reached its peak intensity of 60 kts with an estimated minimum CP
  of 973 mb at 04/1800 UTC.  The storm was then located about 475 nm south-
  southeast of Reunion Island and had accelerated to a forward speed in
  excess of 20 kts.  The warning from MFR noted that winds possibly reached
  hurricane intensity in a very small area just east of the center due to
  the rapid translational speed.  (Interestingly, JTWC had dropped the MSW
  to 45 kts (1-min avg) at this time.)  After 05/0000 UTC Gerard began to
  rather quickly lose its tropical characteristics.  MFR dropped coverage
  of the system after 1200 UTC on 5 February as it moved poleward of the
  35th parallel, out of their AOR.  The final warning placed the center
  about 900 nm south-southeast of Reunion Island, moving rapidly south-
  southeastward, and noted that Gerard was fast becoming extratropical.

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

  C. Damage and Casualties

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

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)



  Activity for February:  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 February

     The month of January had seen a flurry of minor, short-lived tropical
  cyclones in waters between 90E and 135E, and the last of these systems
  popped up in early February.  After that, the remainder of the month was
  very quiet with no tropical LOWs of any significance.    Weak Tropical
  Cyclone Vivienne meandered on an erratic track well south of Java for
  a few days in early February--actually the system was classified as a
  tropical cyclone by BoM Perth for only 18 hours on 8 February.  A short
  report on Vivienne follows.

                         TROPICAL CYCLONE VIVIENNE
                              5 - 10 February

     A Tropical Weather Outlook issued by BoM Perth on 3 February noted
  that the monsoon trough across northern Australia was becoming more
  active and that a tropical LOW was expected to form off the Kimberley
  coast within the next couple of days with some potential for tropical
  cyclone development.  By the next day a weak LOW had formed near 15S/
  119E with associated convection.  Animated multi-spectral imagery
  revealed a consolidating circulation with strong low-level inflow.  The
  LLCC was located in an environment of low to moderate vertical shear with
  very favorable divergence aloft and increasing 850-mb vorticity.  At 1800
  UTC JTWC assessed the development potential as 'fair'.   The Perth TCWC
  issued the first gale warning on the LOW at 0200 UTC on 5 February,
  placing the center approximately 300 nm northwest of Broome, Western
  Australia.  Gales were forecast for the southwestern quadrant at some
  distance from the center.  The system at this time was drifting slowly
  to the southwest.

     The LOW's organization gradually improved, and at 05/1800 UTC JTWC
  issued a TCFA, which was re-issued 24 hours later.    A 06/0949 UTC
  QuikScat pass depicted a well-defined LLCC situated under the
  subtropical ridge axis in an environment of low to moderate vertical
  shear and within a very weak steering regime.   A 06/2218 UTC microwave
  pass showed a partially-exposed circulation center with deep convection
  confined primarily to the southwestern quadrant.  The first warning on
  TC-17S from JTWC was issued at 07/0000 UTC with the system then located
  about 325 west-northwest of Broome, still drifting very slowly in a
  generally westward direction.   Perth was still maintaining the system
  as a 30-kt tropical LOW, and JTWC's initial warning intensity was 35 kts
  (1-min avg), based on CI estimates of 35 and 45 kts.   Deep convection
  continued to cycle and the status quo was maintained for the next
  24 hours.

     By 0000 UTC on the 8th the LLCC had moved under the deep convection.
  At 08/0400 UTC BoM Perth upgraded the LOW to Tropical Cyclone Vivienne,
  located approximately 375 nm west-northwest of Broome and essentially
  stationary.  Maximum 10-min avg winds were estimated to reach as high
  as 45 kts.   Vivienne's life as a tropical cyclone was very brief.
  A 08/1039 UTC SSM/I pass indicated that the LLCC had become fully-
  exposed, and visible imagery revealed that the deep convection had
  weakened significantly.  JTWC dropped the winds to 30 kts at 1200 UTC
  and issued their final warning.   Perth retained Vivienne as a cyclone
  through their 08/1600 UTC warning, but declassified it at 2200 UTC.
  During its brief life as a tropical cyclone Vivienne moved very little.
  The daily Tropical Weather Outlooks from Perth mentioned the ex-cyclone
  for a couple of days--the final reference to the LOW at 0400 UTC on
  10 February placed the weak center about 275 nm north of Karratha with
  an expectation of dissipation over the next few days.

     No damage or casualties are known to have resulted from the ephemeral
  Tropical Cyclone Vivienne.

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

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)



  Activity for February:  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 February

     The first tropical cyclone of the 2004-2005 season in the eastern
  portion of the Australian Region finally came to life in early February.
  Tropical Cyclone Harvey developed in the Gulf of Carpentaria and moved
  inland east-southeast of Port McArthur near the Queensland/Northern
  Territory border as a Category 3 cyclone on the Australian Cyclone
  Severity Scale with peak gusts estimated at 120 kts.  Harvey's remnants
  later emerged into the Coral Sea and generated gales over a wide area,
  but the system at that stage did not have the structure of a tropical
  cyclone so no tropical cyclone advices/warnings were issued.  A report
  on Severe Tropical Cyclone Harvey, written by Simon Clarke, follows.

                             5 - 14 February

  A. Storm Origins

     On 4 February 2005 an active phase of the monsoon re-established 
  itself over northern Australia, focusing on a tropical LOW in the 
  western Gulf of Carpentaria to the north of Groote Eylandt.   By
  5 February this developing LOW had assumed a position in the central 
  Gulf approximately 125 nm west-southwest of Weipa, Australia (13.6S/ 
  140.0E).  Under favourable conditions of low shear, high SSTs and 
  good poleward upper-level outflow, it commenced the process of 

     Warnings for the developing tropical LOW commenced during the evening
  of 5 February for areas between Weipa (Queensland) and Port McArthur 
  (Northern Territory), with a southward movement forecast to bring the 
  developing storm closer to Australia's mainland and nearby islands. 
  The LOW intensified as predicted and was code named Harvey at 06/0000 
  UTC.  At this time, Harvey was located approximately 125 nm west-
  northwest of Pormpuraaw (Queensland) or near 14.0S/139.7E.

  B. Synoptic History

     From this point onward, Harvey moved generally in a south-
  southwesterly direction, intensifying slowly at first.  However, upon 
  its approach to land, Harvey intensified rapidly into a SEVERE 
  CYCLONE (Category 3 on the Australian Scale) and quickened its pace 
  in response to an approaching surface trough advancing from the 
  southwest.  Harvey reached a peak intensity of 965 hPa with a peak 
  MSW of 85 kts (10-min avg) in the hours just prior to making landfall 
  50 nm north-northwest of Wollogorang (Northern Territory) at 07/0600 
  UTC.  At this time, a hint of an eye was just visible in satellite 

     The maximum winds (1-min avg) estimated by JTWC for Harvey were
  only 50 kts, and that was at 07/1200 UTC, some six hours after land-
  fall.  The previous warning at 07/0000 UTC, six hours before land-
  fall, had estimated the MSW at 45 kts.  Brisbane's 10-min avg MSW at
  this time was 60 kts, so the intensification of Harvey just prior to
  landfall was quite rapid.  Since an eye was becoming visible just prior
  to Harvey's reaching the coast, it stands to reason that if JTWC had
  issued a warning at 0600 UTC, the MSW would probably have been in the
  65 to 75-kt range.   (This paragraph added by Gary Padgett.)

     Rain falls of up to 200 mm were reported in the remote area where 
  Harvey crossed from sea to land.  There have been no reports of any 
  structural damage or injuries.  However, trees were reported as being 
  uprooted.  People were evacuated from the Robinson River community to 
  higher ground because of the possibility of flooding in low-lying 
  areas.  However, Harvey was a small cyclone, causing no significant 
  damage despite its severe classification.

     Pungalina Station, 130 km southeast of Borroloola, was in the direct 
  path of the cyclone.  The station manager reported that wind gusts 
  stronger than 55 kts hit the homestead just before midnight, and the 
  cyclone dumped 60 mm of rain in a few hours. 

     According to information received from Huang Chunliang, the AWS at
  Mornington Island (WMO 94256, 16.67S/139.17E) recorded 180.2 mm of
  rain in the 24 hours from 06/0000 to 07/0000 UTC, and an additional
  102.4 mm between 08/0000 and 09/0000 UTC.   (Chunliang only sent
  daily amounts exceeding 100 mm, so the station's rainfall during the
  intervening 24 hours must have undoubtedly been less than that amount.)

    Harvey lost cyclone status at 07/1830 UTC approximately 110 km west-
  northwest of Wollogorang and was soon captured thereafter by the 
  approaching surface trough to the southwest and steered rapidly 
  across inland Queensland, passing into the Coral Sea off the central 
  Queensland Coast near Mackay on 10 February.  However, the remains of 
  the cyclone never regained the tropical characteristics that it 
  initially had.  Despite this, gale warnings were issued from the TCWC 
  at Brisbane as the remnant LOW moved seaward, eventually losing its 
  low-level identity a week later after retreating north into the far 
  northeastern Coral Sea.

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

  TRMM Imagery of Harvey in the Gulf of Carpentaria can be found at:>

  C. Damage and Casualties

     As Tropical Cyclone Harvey made landfall in a very sparsely populated
  region, no significant structural or agricultural damage was reported.
  Also, no casualties are known to have resulted from this cyclone.

  (Report written by Simon Clarke)


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

  Activity for February:  1 tropical depression
                          4 intense tropical cyclones of hurricane force

                         Sources of Information

     The primary sources of tracking and intensity information for
  South Pacific tropical cyclones are the warnings and advisories
  issued by the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres at Nadi, Fiji (for
  waters north of latitude 25S), and Wellington, New Zealand (for
  waters south of latitude 25S).  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 Southern Hemisphere
  centres' 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

                South Pacific Tropical Activity for February

     February, 2005, was one of the most remarkable months ever in the
  South Pacific tropical cyclone basin.  Four intense tropical cyclones
  formed, all east of the International Dateline.   The only prior season
  to have seen even three intense cyclones roam waters of the Southeast
  Pacific during an entire season was in 1982-1983.  Four intense cyclones
  in this portion of the basin sets a new seasonal record--not to mention
  a new monthly record--going back to 1960.  (I am here defining the term
  "intense cyclone" to mean a 10-min avg MSW of 90 kts or higher, which is
  the criterion used by Meteo France in the Southwest Indian Ocean.  This
  is also equivalent to a 1-min avg MSW of 100 kts, which is essentially
  the threshold for a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir/Simpson scale.)

     Many South Seas islands were adversely affected by Cyclones Meena,
  Nancy, Olaf and Percy, ranging from Tokelau in the north to Rarotonga
  in the south.   Meena's punch was felt most keenly in the Southern Cooks
  with Rarotonga being the most severely affected.  The same general area
  was the target of Nancy only a week later with Aitutaki Atoll, Rarotonga
  and Mangaia being affected.   Olaf and Percy besieged islands farther
  north, with Olaf battering some islands in American Samoa while Percy
  devastated the atolls of Tokelau, Swain's Island (belonging to American
  Samoa), and Nassau and Pukapuka Atolls.

     RSMC Nadi does not utilize a classification system for tropical
  cyclones as do many TCWCs.   To put these four Big Ones in perspective,
  I thought I would classify them according to the Meteo France system
  used for Southwest Indian Ocean cyclones, the Australian Cyclone Severity
  Scale, and the Saffir/Simpson Scale utilized in the Atlantic and North-
  east Pacific basins.  If they had occurred in the Southwest Indian Ocean,
  Meena and Nancy would have been classified as "intense tropical cyclones"
  (MSW >= 90 kts) while Olaf and Percy would have been referred to as "very
  intense tropical cyclones" (MSW > 115 kts).   All four of the cyclones
  reached Category 5 on the Australian scale.    With regard to Saffir/
  Simpson categories, Meena and Nancy would be strong Category 4 hurricanes
  while Olaf and Percy would be classified as Category 5 hurricanes.  Also,
  Olaf and Percy would have been called super typhoons had they occurred in
  the Northwest Pacific basin, and Meena was borderline--JTWC's highest MSW
  was 125 kts (1-min avg), but Fiji's peak 10-min avg MSW of 115 kts
  converts to 130 kts (1-min avg).

     Excellent in-depth reports on these four remarkable cyclones follow,
  all written by Simon Clarke of Cleveland, Queensland, Australia.  A very
  special thanks to Simon for his efforts.

     A graphic displaying the combined tracks of Meena, Nancy, Olaf and
  Percy can be found at the following link:>

     Tropical activity in the South Pacific did not end with the four Big 
  Ones--there were some additional weaker systems near the end of the
  month.  Tropical Depression 11F formed on 26 February about 400 nm east-
  southeast of Tahiti.  The depression was never very well-organized and
  drifted slowly eastward over the next day or so.  The final summary on
  the system, issued at 27/0600 UTC, placed it about 500 nm west-northwest
  of Pitcairn Island.

     A graphic displaying the track of this depression may be found at the 
  following link:>

     Two other disturbances were active as the month ended, both of these
  becoming tropical depressions early in March.  One of these, Tropical
  Depression 12F, became the emphemeral Tropical Cyclone Rae on the 5th.
  A short report on Rae will be contained in the March summary.

                        TROPICAL CYCLONE MEENA
                          (TD-07F / TC-15P)
                            2 - 8 February

  A. Storm Origins

     Meena was the fourth tropical cyclone of the season to form in the 
  Southwest Pacific for the 2004/2005 season.  Meena was also the first 
  in a wave of intense tropical cyclones that were to develop in a very 
  active convective pattern which persisted through much of the western 
  to central South Pacific, including areas east of the Dateline, for 
  the entire month of February and into early March. 

     An area of low pressure was first identified moving westward on
  1 February.  At this time, Tropical Cyclone Lola was slowly decaying 
  some 600 nm to the southwest.  After some consolidation, this area of 
  low pressure became quasi-stationary with a depression (designated 
  TD-07F by Fiji) becoming more clearly identifiable near 15.0S/168.0W, 
  or approximately 180 nm east of Pago Pago, American Samoa. 

  B. Synoptic History

     A small CDO was evident by 02/2100 UTC.  The depression was within 
  a favourable environment for continued development, being located 
  just south of the upper-level (250-hPa) outflow in a region of strong 
  diffluence.  The upper-level outflow in the northern region was 
  enhanced by strong cross-equatorial wind flow, but restricted 
  elsewhere.  TD-07F was upgraded to cyclone status and named Meena at 
  03/0600 UTC near 14.4S/168.2W, or about 150 nm east of Pago Pago. 
  Meena then commenced a slow eastward path.  Early development was 
  interrupted by northwesterly wind shear due to a shortwave upper-
  level trough to the southwest and some misalignment between the LLCC 
  and the CDO.  However, the cyclone started to slowly intensify as 
  outflow improved in all quadrants. 

     By 04/1200 UTC, organization had improved sufficiently for Meena to 
  possess hurricane force winds.  The cyclone was then located 
  approximately 275 nm east of Pago Pago.  A banding eye was also 
  discernible in visible satellite imagery.  The cyclone turned to the 
  southeast at 10 kts and slowly accelerated in this direction, being 
  steered along the western periphery of a low to mid-level ridge 
  anchored to the southeast.

     Meena intensified rapidly in the following 12 hours while passing
  75 nm to the east of Palmerston Island and 100 nm to the west of 
  Aitutaki.  Convective bands wrapped tightly around the CDO with tops 
  cooling to -86 C, and a well-defined eye was evident in satellite 
  pictures.  The upper-level outflow remained good in all quadrants and 
  was enhanced in the southeast sector by a jet entrance region.  By 
  06/1200 UTC, peak intensity of 915 hPa and 10-min avg winds of 115 kts
  was reached and was maintained for the following six hours.   Meena's
  very destructive core was centered only about 100 nm northwest of
  Rarotonga as it reached peak intensity and the eye subsequently passed
  between Rarotonga and Managaia Island (21.9S/157.9W), moving to within
  40 nm northeast of Rarotonga.

     Thereafter, equatorward outflow decreased with steady erosion in the 
  deep convection in Meena's western semicircle.  The fairly rapid 
  weakening process was enhanced by increasing vertical wind shear and 
  cooling SSTs.  The cyclone moved into Wellington's AOR at 07/1200 UTC 
  and soon afterward merged with a baroclinic zone and was declared 
  extratropical at 08/0000 UTC near 28.0S/150.0W, or approximately 550 nm 
  south of Tahiti.  The remnant LOW continued to accelerate to the 
  east-southeast at 30 kts into the empty Southeast Pacific.  The final 
  reference to the ex-Meena LOW in Wellington's High Seas Bulletins at 
  08/1200 UTC placed the center a little over 850 nm southeast of 
  battered Rarotonga.

  (Editor's Note: The peak 1-min avg MSW estimated by JTWC during Meena's
  life was 125 kts, in good agreement with Fiji's 10-min avg peak MSW of
  115 kts.)

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

  C. Preliminary Damage Reports

     Residents living on Palmerston, Aitutaki, Rarotonga, Atiu, Mitiaro 
  and Mauke were reported as "counting themselves as lucky" as the 
  destructive core of Meena weaved its way between island groupings 
  without making a direct hit.

     Palmerston Island reported that damage was limited to some coconut 
  trees and small huts being blown down, but otherwise no major damage. 
     Similarly, damage was light on Aitutaki with reports of felled 
  trees and houses losing roofing and other damage caused by debris. 
  There were no reports of injury.
     With warnings that Meena was stronger than Tropical Cyclone Sally 
  which devastated Rarotonga on New Year's Day in 1987, the Government 
  of Rarotonga was well-prepared for Meena, setting up evacuation 
  shelters around the island for the island's 11,000 residents and 200 
  tourists.  Preparation by households and businesses, and public 
  awareness, contributed to the minimal damage suffered.  No injuries 
  or casualties were reported.   

     However, Meena's main punch was almost entirely due to the ocean 
  swell impacting on the fringing reef and coastline.  The northern 
  coast of Rarotonga, especially in the commercial district of Avarua, 
  was pounded by huge waves early in the morning on 6 February.  Waves 
  were reported to be averaging 14 metres in height.  A strong storm 
  surge was experienced with widespread rocks strewn.  The well-known 
  Trader Jacks Restaurant on the wharf at Avarua was reported as being 
  largely destroyed with only a shell of the building standing. 
  Moderate damage was reported to homes and businesses immediately on 
  or near the shore from the eastern part of Avarua eastward along the 
  east coast of the island.  Government buildings on the east side 
  including the Ministry of Police and Health were damaged by the tidal 
  surge.  Many residences near the coast also reported storm surge 
  damage.  There was no significant damage reported to the airport. 
     Large amounts of debris were deposited along the coast and coastal 
  roads.  Power and phone service remained functional throughout most 
  of the island with only isolated outages reported.  Widespread damage 
  was reported to cooking sheds, trees and gardens, especially in 
  exposed coastal areas along the eastern coast.  However, damage was 
  considerably less inland away from the coast and the tidal surge.
     On Mangaia, the island's airport was strewn with rocks, the 
  harbour reported as being un-operational and in need of urgent 
  repairs, and the water distribution network was severely disrupted. 
  Inland roads were made inaccessible due to fallen trees.
     At the time of writing this report, no estimates of damage had 
  been tallied from Meena.

  D. Links

     Further photographs, reports and a basic plot of Meena's track can 
  be found at the Cook Island News website at:>

  TRMM Imagery is available at:>

  Further satellite pictures can be found at:>

  (Report written by Simon Clarke)

                        TROPICAL CYCLONE NANCY
                           (TD-09F / TC-18P)
                            10 - 18 February

  A. Storm Origins

     Nancy was the fifth tropical cyclone to form in the Southwest 
  Pacific for the 2004/2005 season.  Nancy was also the second in a 
  series of intense tropical cyclones that were to develop in the 
  western/central South Pacific.  Nancy formed into a tropical cyclone 
  only four days after the demise of Tropical Cyclone Meena.  Both 
  Nancy and Meena formed into tropical cyclones in almost the same 
  location to the east of American Samoa.

     Also of interest, Nancy was named just prior to the next cyclone 
  in the series: Olaf, which was a developing depression (TD-08F) to 
  Nancy's near west.  Both Nancy and Olaf became intense cyclone twins 
  reminiscent of Cyclones Ron and Susan during the 1997/1998 season.   

     A broad area of low pressure was first identified stretching from 
  Tuvalu across the central South Pacific to the north of Samoa as 
  early as 10 February 2005.  Two centres of low pressure were 
  identified with the eastern LOW forming into TD-09F near 11S/168W, or 
  approximately 120 nm north-northeast of Pago Pago, American Samoa, at 
  10/2100 UTC.  The depression's convection was concentrated around the 
  centre with improving organisation.  The system was located just west 
  of an upper-level outflow in a low shear environment while SSTs 
  around the system were 30 C.  The depression was quasi-stationary 
  initially, but a weak northwesterly steering flow was forecast to 
  drift the system to the south-southeast in the medium term.

  B. Synoptic History

     Early development was hindered by an approaching trough from the 
  southwest which provided an increase in shear.  However, by 12/0600 
  UTC organisation and outflow had improved with a small CDO developing 
  under the LLCC.  At 12/1800 UTC TD-09F was upgraded to cyclone status 
  and named Nancy at 12.8S/166.8W, or approximately 300 nm east-
  northeast of Pago Pago.  Initial motion was to the northeast at about  
  5 kts.  Nancy was located in a region of strong diffluence with good 
  outflow to the north and south and commenced the process of 

     At 14/0000 UTC, the cyclone was located near 14.0S/164.0W, or 
  about 400 nm east of Pago Pago, and was moving to the southeast at 
  4 kts under the influence of a mid-level ridge to the east.  This track 
  carried Nancy's center approximately 40 nm to the south of Suwarrow 
  Atoll.  The cyclone had undergone rapid intensification in the 
  previous 12 hours and had developed hurricane force winds.  Satellite 
  imagery revealed a symmetrical cloud pattern with an irregular but 
  warm eye.  Further intensification followed as Nancy remained in a 
  region of strong diffluence assisted by twin outflow channels to the 
  north and southeast.  Weak northwesterly vertical wind shear 
  persisted, but this did not limit further intensification as the
  cyclone moved parallel to this shear.
     Peak intensity of 935 hPa and 10-min avg winds of 110 kts was 
  achieved at 14/1200 UTC near 14.4S/162.1W, or approximately 100 nm 
  south-southeast of Suwarrow Atoll as the cyclone moved to the east-
  southeast at 12 kts.   A gradual turn to the south-southeast and south 
  ensued in the following 36 hours as Nancy crossed over the uninhabited
  atoll of Manuae, situated almost midway between Aitutaki and Atiu.
  Rapid weakening became evident as a result of increasing vertical wind
  shear associated with a sharpening upper-level trough to the southwest.
  Hurricane intensity was lost at 16/0600 UTC as the LLCC became exposed
  30 nm from the main area of convection.  By this time, Nancy had turned
  to a southwesterly path at 10-12 kts as a result of interaction with
  strengthening Tropical Cyclone Olaf situated to its northwest and passed
  approximately 70 nm to the east and south of Rarotonga.   Continued
  interaction with Olaf resulted in Nancy's convective centre being
  completely displaced toward the southwest away from the LLCC.  By
  17/0600 UTC, Nancy had transformed into an extratropical LOW near
  25.0S/164.0W, or approximately 300 nm southwest of Rarotonga.
  Convection was completely confined to the southern quadrant.  The
  remnant LOW moved into Wellington's AOR at this time and was soon
  afterward absorbed into the outer circulation of intense Tropical
  Cyclone Olaf to the north.   The final reference to the ex-Nancy LOW
  in Wellington's High Seas Bulletins was at 18/1200 UTC and placed the
  35-kt gale centre about 500 nm southwest of Rarotonga.

  (Editor's Note: JTWC's estimated peak 1-min avg MSW for Nancy was
  125 kts.  This is in excellent agreement with Fiji's peak 10-min
  avg MSW of 110 kts.)

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

  C. Preliminary Damage Reports

     As with Meena only a week prior to Nancy, residents of the 
  Southern Cook Islands group were again "counting themselves as lucky"
  as the destructive core of Nancy weaved its way between the inhabited 
  island groupings, and was considerably weakened prior to brushing 
  Rarotonga.  However, when compared to Meena, it was wind damage 
  rather than sea surge damage that was notable, particularly to 
  residential premises. 
     On Aitutaki, Nancy uprooted trees, damaged roofs and flooded low-
  lying areas on the atoll.  With storm surges expected, many tourists 
  were moved to an evacuation centre on the atoll while radio 
  broadcasts called on villagers to evacuate the low-lying islands. 
  Cyclone shelters were open during the storm.  As a result, no injuries 
  were reported among Aitutaki's 2000 residents.
     One of the disaster management committee coordinators said that 
  the northeastern side of Aitutaki was hit by huge waves, with the 
  Samade Bar near the Ootu Peninsula experiencing flooding.  Apart from 
  some debris, there was no damage to the airport.   Strong winds 
  buffeted the island from late Monday afternoon and strengthened just 
  after midnight.
     "We couldn't sleep," said Apii Porio, speaking on behalf of the 
  Atiu island secretary Charlie Koronui, the mayor Rakeimata Koronui, 
  and the local disaster management committee. "I think this is the 
  first time that people on Atiu have seen a cyclone like this."
     Nearly 60 people sought refuge at the island's cyclone centres, 
  and Porio added that the strong winds and rain had left a lot of 
  houses with water damage.  Porio estimated winds of up to 130 knots 
  (241 kph) struck the island between 1 AM and 5 AM on Tuesday morning, 
  ripping off the security doors at the island's power station, pushing 
  over power poles and leaving trees and branches on the roads right 
  around the island. 
     Destructive wind gusts (recorded up to 77 knots) were behind most 
  of the damage suffered around Rarotonga.  Countless trees and 
  branches brought down power lines and littered the roads, while a 
  number of buildings--including classrooms at Tereora College and 
  Nikao Maori school, the CICC and Seventh Day Adventists' churches in 
  Matavera, and the Portofino Restaurant in Maraerenga--all lost their 
  roofs after midday.
     Detective Senior Sergeant Are Ingaua, of the National Emergency 
  centre, said he thought Nancy was worse than Meena as it had caused 
  widespread destruction along the northern and eastern coasts of 
     "Roads have been flooded, trees uprooted and power lines blown down 
  by winds that gusted up to 185 km/hr.
     "A couple of buildings have been destroyed, roofs have blown off 
  some schools, and in some homes only a concrete slab is left."
     He said one of the three generators is operational and they may 
  have to operate in such a way that power is rationed fairly between 
  the villages.  About seven houses lost their roofs along with the 
  Enua Manu pre-school, covers were blown off three community water 
  tanks, 15 cooking shelters demolished, and the northern side of the 
  island was pounded by heavy seas.  However, no damage was reported at 
  the airport.  At least two hotels on the island were closed 
  temporarily for repair work.
     Mangaia was the last in the Cook Island Group to feel the effects
  of Nancy with unofficial reports of gusts of up to 140 knots before 
  midday (15 February).  People in Oneroa were moved to one of three 
  evacuation centres on higher ground, and heavy machinery was moved to 
  Makatea for the passage of the cyclone.  There were no reports of 
  serious damage or injury, although one house in Ivirua reportedly had 
  its roof blown off.
     Considerable crop damage was also reported throughout the Southern 
  Cook Islands associated with Nancy's winds. 
  NOTE:  Further preliminary damage reports for the series of intense 
  South Pacific Cyclones from Meena to Percy will be summarised at the 
  end of the report on Tropical Cyclone Percy.
  D. Links

     Further photographs, reports and a basic plot of Nancy's track can be 
  found at the Cook Island News website at:>>

  A weakening Nancy, with strengthening Olaf at:>

  (Report written by Simon Clarke)

                         TROPICAL CYCLONE OLAF
                           (TD-08F / TC-19P)
                            10 - 23 February

  A. Introduction

     Olaf was the sixth tropical cyclone of the season to form in the 
  Southwest Pacific for the 2004/2005 season.  Olaf was also the third 
  in a series of intense cyclones, which had commenced with Cyclone 
  Meena earlier in the month, and developed into a tropical cyclone 
  only twenty-one hours after the naming of its 'twin' cyclone, Nancy, 
  which had developed to its near east.

  B. Storm Origins

     By 10 February 2005 a broad area of low pressure had become 
  established in the central South Pacific stretching from Tuvalu 
  across to the north of Samoa.  This area of disturbed weather spawned 
  two centres of low pressure with the western LOW forming into TD-08F 
  as early as 10/2100 UTC roughly 500 nm northeast of Fiji.  The centre 
  of the depression was initially difficult to locate.  However, by 
  13/0600 UTC, TD-08F had consolidated near 9.2S/177.6W (approximately 
  460 nm northwest of Apia, Western Samoa) into a common centre with 
  convection increasing in organisation and cooling about the central 
  area.  Banding to the north developed and began to wrap around the 
  developing LLCC.  Tropical Depression 08F was located in a region of 
  strong diffluence south of the 250-hPa outflow with SSTs of 30 C.

  C. Synoptic History

     Olaf was named at 13/1500 UTC as winds reached 35 kts near the 
  centre.  The newly-christened cyclone was near 9.2S/177.5W, or 
  roughly 500 nm northwest of Pago Pago, American Samoa.  Initially, 
  the centre was difficult to fix and was relocated to near 9.4S/178.0W 
  at 13/1800 UTC.  At this time, the cyclone was almost stationary and 
  commenced a phase of fairly rapid intensification under favourable 
  conditions consisting of low environmental shear and strong 
  diffluence aloft.  Twelve hours later, at 14/0600 UTC, Olaf had 
  strengthened into a hurricane with 75-kt winds (10-min avg).  By 
  15/0000 UTC the cyclone had become very intense with peak winds 
  estimated at 120 kts and a CP of 930 hPa and had commenced a steady 
  east-southeasterly movement at 8 kts.   Olaf gradually turned 
  southeastward,  accelerating to 10 kts as it was steered by the 
  equatorial northwesterlies.  This track placed the Samoan Islands 
  under the serious threat of a potential direct strike. 

     The central pressure remained more or less within the 930-945 hPa 
  range for the following 24 hours as the cyclone jogged back to an 
  eastward track, moving approximately 100 nm north of Apia, Western 
  Samoa.  By 16/0600 UTC, Olaf had intensified further with satellite 
  imagery depicting a well-defined and warming eye and convective tops 
  cooling to -80 C.  Peak intensity of 125 kts/915 hPa was reached at 
  this time near 12.8S/171.1W, approximately 70 nm north-northeast of
  Apia and 90 nm north-northwest of Pago Pago.  The cyclone subsequently
  reassumed a southeasterly track at around 15 kts.  Maximum 10-min avg
  winds of 115-125 kts were maintained until 18/0000 UTC at which time
  Olaf reached a point near 19.7S/164.3W, or approximately 380 nm east-
  southeast of Niue.

     During this period, Olaf's eye passed approximately 15 nm to the 
  east of Ta'u, American Samoa, where a barometric pressure of 931 hPa 
  was recorded at 16/1654 UTC.  It is possible that the pressure in the 
  centre of Olaf was as low as 900 hPa.  However, the official track 
  summaries held the cyclone at a 915 hPa minimum central pressure.
  Apia (WMO 91762, 13.80S/171.78W) recorded 124.9 mm of rain during
  the 48-hour period from 15/0000 through 17/0000 UTC.  (This bit of
  information from Huang Chunliang.)

     After 18/0000 UTC, increasing shear south of 20S ahead of an 
  approaching upper-level trough and dry air intrusion eroding 
  convection in the cyclone's southwest quadrant heralded a fairly 
  rapid weakening of Olaf as the system continued to accelerate to the 
  southeast through south-southeast and south at up to 20 kts.  Convection
  became displaced to the southeast of the LLCC as Olaf moved into 
  Wellington's AOR at 19/0000 UTC approximately 325 nm south-southwest 
  of Rarotonga.  Olaf finally lost tropical cyclone status 18 hours later 
  near 31.0S/161.5W. 

     The extratropical remains of Olaf continued to track at up to 25 kts
  in a general southeasterly direction into open ocean, re-intensifying as
  a powerful 968-hPa extratropical system two days later.  At 0000 UTC on
  23 February the ex-Olaf extratropical system was a weakening 40-kt gale
  centre crossing the 50th parallel about 1650 nm southwest of lonely
  Pitcairn Island.

  (Editor's Note:  JTWC's estimated peak 1-min avg MSW for Olaf was
  145 kts, in excellent agreement with Fiji's peak of 125 kts.)

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

  D. Preliminary Damage Reports

     Although the cyclone did not pass directly over Western Samoa, 
  winds of approximately 120-200 km/hr were reported to have damaged 
  power lines on the western island of Savai'i.  Extensive tidal damage 
  was also reported in coastal areas.  Faleolo International Airport 
  (NSFA/APW) in Apia was also closed during and after the cyclone.

     Tropical Cyclone Olaf skirted around the northern side of the main 
  island of American Samoa, Tutuila, on February 15th and 16th (Samoan 
  local time) with wind speeds reaching more than 200 km/hr.  However, 
  the Samoa National Disaster Council reported that no injuries or 
  major damage was sustained. 

     On American Samoa's Manua'a islands, Olaf destroyed many homes 
  close to the sea, downed crops and littered the island with debris. 
  Ale Filoialii, a resident on the Manua'a island of Ta'u, said nearly 
  all homes still standing had lost rooftops and the island was without 
  electricity and running water, creating health concerns.  United States 
  President George W. Bush declared a major disaster in the Manu'a 
  island group.   Territory Governor Togiola Tulafono advised that 
  President Bush's declaration meant assistance from the Federal 
  Emergency Management Agency would be available for the Manu'a group 
  which took the brunt of the cyclone.  The Governor said the worst 
  affected area was the village of Fitiuta on Ta'u island which 
  suffered 85-90 per cent destruction.  Houses had been destroyed, 
  trees snapped in two and a large section of road infrastructure wiped 

     Mr. Tulafono reported that the most urgent need was to provide 
  clean water to the island of Ta'u where there was no electricity to 
  pump water from underground wells and the 100,000 gallon water tank 
  was nearly depleted.  Although the power plant on the island was 
  working again, the lines between the villages of Ta'u and Fitiuta 
  were wiped out.  "That area was totally devastated by the strength of 
  this wind," Mr. Tulafono said.

     A spokesman from the American Samoan Power Authority said the lack 
  of water was creating health concerns.  "We need to get water not 
  only for drinking but also to use in the homes--in the bathrooms and 
  toilets," he said.

     Twenty-three people were rescued from the sea as a result of the 
  cyclone in the Samoan region, with two people reported as missing 
  from a fishing boat that sank.  At the time of report writing, it is 
  not clear whether these two had been accounted for.

     Unlike Cyclones Meena and Nancy, which skirted the east coast of 
  Rarotonga during the previous two weeks, Cyclone Olaf affected the 
  western side.  Despite passing well to the west (approximately 125 nm),
  there were reports of homes and businesses losing their roofs, and many
  more had been left without power or phone lines.  About 30-40 per cent
  of homes on Rarotonga lost electricity and communications, but these
  services were quickly restored.  The Cook Islands Emergency Operations
  Centre reported that approximately 60 houses on Rarotonga suffered
  damage to their roofs.
     On the island of Palmerston, sea water was reported to have surged 
  up to 100 meters inland as Cyclone Olaf passed by. 

   There were no reports of death or injury on land from Olaf. 

  NOTE:  Further preliminary damage reports for the series of intense 
  South Pacific Cyclones from Meena to Percy will be summarised at the 
  end of the report on Tropical Cyclone Percy.

  E. Links

     Further photographs, reports and a basic plot of Olaf's track can 
  be found at the Cook Island News website at:>

  TRMM Imagery is available at:>

  Further satellite pictures can be found at:>>>

  (Report written by Simon Clarke)

                         TROPICAL CYCLONE PERCY
                           (TD-10F / TC-20P)
                          24 February - 5 March

  A. Storm Origins                   

     Percy was the seventh tropical cyclone of the Southwest Pacific 
  for the 2004/2005 season and the final intense cyclone in a wave of 
  storms to affect the western to central South Pacific in the month of 

     A discrete area of convection developed to the east of Tuvalu on 
  23 February with an area of low pressure soon forming into TD-10F
  by 2100 UTC on the 24th.  Being located in a favourable outflow 
  environment in all quadrants with high SSTs (31 C), the depression 
  underwent explosive development in the twelve hours leading up to 
  cyclone formation.  Deep convection rotated around the LLCC and by 
  25/0000 UTC, TD-10F was upgraded to cyclone status and named Percy 
  near 8.5S/178.4W, or approximately 120 nm east of Fongafale, Tuvalu. 
  Percy was embedded in deep monsoonal westerly winds, and as a 
  consequence was being steered to the east-southeast at 14 kts.

  B. Synoptic History
     Early development was described as being explosive with Percy 
  developing hurricane force winds by 25/1800 UTC when located 
  about 400 nm northwest of Pago Pago, American Samoa (near 9.0S/ 
  175.0W).  A ragged, cloud-filled eye became apparent in satellite 
  imagery and continued intensification was forecast as a shortwave 
  trough developed to the southwest of Percy.  The cyclone indeed 
  intensified further as it passed midway between Fakaofa and Swains 
  Island, reaching its first peak in intensity of 100 kts/925 hPa at 
  27/0000 UTC approximately 215 nm north-northeast of Pago Pago (near 
  10.8S/169.6W).  Percy adjusted to an eastward track and decelerated 
  as it ran into the middle-level ridge located to its east.  Hereafter,
  the cyclone's structure became somewhat asymmetric under the influence
  of increasing northeasterly vertical wind shear and a slight weakening
  trend persisted for the following 18 hours.

     Between 27/1800 and 28/0000 UTC, Percy passed to the southwest of 
  and close to Pukapuka and Nassau Islands as a 940-hPa cyclone with 
  maximum 10-min avg winds of 85-90 kts.  At this point, the cyclone 
  recommenced intensification as deep convection re-organised over the 
  CDO with the cloud pattern regaining a symmetrical pattern.  An eye 
  soon re-appeared in EIR imagery.     This re-intensification was 
  enhanced by a jet entrance region to the south as the cyclone turned 
  90 degrees to move on a slightly zigzag southerly path at 10 kts 
  around the western periphery of a mid-level ridge to the east. 

     The second peak intensity was achieved at 0000 UTC on 2 March when 
  the storm was located near 16.2S/165.3W, or roughly 275 nm south of 
  Nassau with a CP estimated at 900 hPa and a MSW of 125 kts.  RSMC 
  Nadi noted that the warm pixel in Percy's eye registered 8 C in 
  satellite imagery with the CDO remaining tight with a cloud-free eye 
  and concentric eyewalls.  Vertical shear was negligible over the system 
  as well as along its projected path.  Accordingly Percy maintained 
  'super' cyclone status for a further 18 hours while moving to a 
  position approximately 110 nm west of Palmerston Island. 

     Weakening commenced thereafter as the eye began to cool and fill. 
  In a pattern established with the intense cyclones of the previous 
  weeks, a fairly rapid degeneration process followed as the cyclone 
  passed south of 20S as a result of an increase in vertical shear over 
  the system and a restriction in outflow over the northern quadrant. 
  Percy was shunted to the southeast by an approaching upper-level 
  trough, and eventually turned eastward after passing 24S as it was 
  captured by a deep trough approaching from the west.  By 04/1200 UTC 
  the LLCC was detached to the northwest of the deep convection.  Percy
  was then located near 24.7S/158.6W, or approximately 230 nm south of 
  Rarotonga, with the overall convective structure of the cyclone 
  breaking up.  Hurricane intensity was lost at this time and rapid 
  weakening ensued as the cyclone entered a belt of stronger westerlies.  
  Percy accelerated to the east at 20 kts, eventually becoming extra-
  tropical at 05/0000 UTC near 26.0S/153.0W, or approximately 230 nm 
  south of Rimatara.  The cyclone moved momentarily into RSMC Wellington's
  AOR prior to losing cyclone status.     The remaining extratropical 
  depression moved west-northwestward and continued to weaken further.  
  The final reference to the system by Wellington was at 1200 UTC on 
  5 March when it was located about 700 nm east-southeast of Rarotonga.

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

  (Editor's Note:  As was the case with Meena, Nancy and Olaf, JTWC's 
  peak estimated 1-min avg MSW was in good agreement with that from 
  Fiji.  JTWC estimated Percy's peak winds at 140 kts at 0600 UTC on 
  2 March at the same time that Nadi was estimating the 10-min avg MSW
  at 125 kts.)

  C. Preliminary Damage Reports
     Percy severely battered the New Zealand-administered territory of 
  Tokelau, damaging roads and power lines and spreading debris around. 
  The 1400 people of Tokelau were faced with a massive clean-up job in 
  the wake of Cyclone Percy, which has been described as the worst to 
  hit the islands in living memory.

     The island's administrator, Neil Walters, was in Tokelau when the 
  cyclone struck, coinciding with "king tides" that swamped the islands 
  in up to a metre of sea water.  After a similar cyclone in 1966, much 
  of Tokelau's population was relocated to New Zealand.  However, this 
  did not happen on this occasion as plans were already being made to 
  rebuild.  "That's going to be pretty daunting, but again, people here 
  are tough and resilient and they'll get on with it," he said.  "We'll 
  send up maintenance teams, whatever is needed to supplement what 
  they've got here."

     The United Nations' Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) 
  team in Tokelau reported that the Nukunono, Atafu and Fakaofa atolls 
  had lost significant parts of their infrastructure, including damage 
  from wind and floods to seawalls, hospital facilities, schools, an 
  office building and a meeting house, while debris had collected in 
  the villages.

     The United Nations' emergency assessment teams further reported 
  that agriculture had been badly damaged in Tokelau.  Tokelau's three 
  atolls lost most of their staple crops, especially the coconut crop 
  used for food and drink, the swamp taro, banana and pawpaw crops, while 
  most of the fish habitats were destroyed.   The islands suffered beach 
  erosion and many live coral formations were covered by sand and debris.

     Tokelau has received relief aid of $360,000 from New Zealand, 
  $39,000 from Australia and $50,000 from the United Nations' 
  Development Programme (UNDP), OCHA said.

     Swain's Island, a small outlying part of American Samoa midway 
  between Hawaii and New Zealand, was out of contact for a week after 
  Percy hit.  Following contact, all eight people on the island were 
  reported as being safe and well.  That same evening a C-130 plane 
  flew from Pago Pago over Swains and dropped a load of food, water, 
  tents tarps and a first-aid kit.   Of the nine buildings on the 
  island, only three survived Percy, including the Government Building 
  where the people took shelter during the storm.  The island was 
  largely over-flooded by the storm surge, with very heavy damage 
  reported to gardens, trees and plants with debris strewn throughout.

     According to Radio New Zealand International, nearly all of the 
  600 residents of Pukapuka and the 40 living on Nassau in the Northern 
  Cook Islands lost their homes or suffered heavy damage from the 
  cyclone, which hit after leaving damage in Tokelau and on Swains 
  Island in northern American Samoa.  Only ten buildings were left 
  intact.  Most displaced residents were reported to be staying in 
  churches and schools. 

     Pukapuka's head teacher noted that pupils could not go back to the 
  school unroofed by Cyclone Percy because of the raw asbestos roofing 
  material lying around.  Pukapuka's water tanks and catchment areas 
  were polluted by seawater and needed to be cleaned before fresh 
  rainwater could be stored.  Half the island's 600 people were reported 
  as living with neighbours while awaiting materials for rebuilding.  A 
  team of 13 French soldiers assisted with the cleaning up process.

     The island secretary urged authorities to urgently build community 
  water tanks on the two islands to guarantee clean water.  He said 
  that most of the showers and toilets were damaged in the cyclone and 
  the heat had proved to be unbearable as shade trees had been knocked 
  down.  Claims were soon made that a lack of sanitation on Pukapuka 
  and Nassau were becoming a health hazard in the wake of Cyclone Percy 
  and in early April, the Cook Island's Government was still 
  considering complete evacuation of Pukapuka because of a lack of 
  fresh food, water and shelter.

     Reports indicate that only minor damage occurred on Palmerston 
  Island from Percy.  Palmerston is a very small atoll with a population
  of around 50 people.  There are no cyclone proof buildings and local
  residents usually wait out the storms in the interior part of the
  largest island away from the storm surge.  The population was cut off
  from outside contact as the telecommunications link failed during Percy.
  However, as Percy did not get any closer than 90 nm to Palmerston, the
  population was spared from the full destructive force of the cyclone.

     Police in Rarotonga reported no reports of damage or injuries as 
  Cyclone Percy passed well to the southwest of the island.

     Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Sir Geoffrey Henry 
  (Cook Islands) estimated that reconstruction costs from damage caused
  by the four cyclones, including Percy, during the month of February 
  could be more than US$25 million.

  D. Links

     Further photographs, reports and a basic plot of Percy's track can 
  be found at the Cook Island News website at:>

  TRMM Imagery is available at:>

  Further satellite pictures can be found at:>>

  Further in-depth materials on the damage situation following Percy can be
  found at the ReliefWeb site at:>

  A streaming news report from OneNews New Zealand regarding the situation
  at Pukpuka can be found at:,,10979-4257912-300,00.html>

  Snapshots of Percy's sea surge impact can be found at:>

  (Report written by Simon Clarke)



     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.

     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 2004 Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific
  tropical cyclones; also, storm reports for all the 2004 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]

  John Wallace (Assistance with Eastern North Pacific)
  E-mail:  [email protected]

  Huang Chunliang  (Assistance with Western Northwest Pacific, South
                    China Sea)
  E-mail:  [email protected]

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


Document: summ0502.htm
Updated: 17th May, 2005

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