Tropical Low 16U

22 February - 10 March 2023

Operational Track

Operational track for Tropical Low 16U

All times are in AEDT (UTC+10 hours)


Tropical Low 16U formed to the north of Port Hedland on 22 February and moved slowly northeast. The low did not develop into a tropical cyclone however gales were experienced at Troughton Island for short periods during the afternoon and evening of 27 February. A maximum wind gust of 96 km/h was recorded at Troughton Island AWS at 1615 AWST.

The low continued to move east over the Kimberley and into the Northern Territory. Between 1 and 5 March the low moved very slowly eastwards across the Norther Territory. This caused widespread heavy rainfall and flooding of rivers and roads which resulted in the main highway between the Northern Territory and Western Australia being closed. This route was being used to supply the Kimberley with road freight as the highway between Broome and Fitzroy Crossing was closed in January due to severe flood damage caused by Ex-TC Ellie. Several communities in the NT were evacuated due to essential services and homes being inundated with floodwaters, with around 700 people initially displaced and from these around 300 were displaced for over a month.

The low drifted over the waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria on 5 and 6 March before moving back inland over north west Queensland on 7 March. The slow moving low brought more heavy rainfall and flooding rains to the area at the base of the Gulf until it finally dissipated during 10 March. Record breaking floods occurred across northwest Queensland with flood waters leading to evacuations and significant inundation of many rural properties and some towns, including Burketown, Urandangi and Camooweal. These flood waters caused extended isolation for a number of communities in northwest and western Queensland in the weeks after the rain event. Media reported on the mass loss of livestock and the destruction of properties and roads across the region.

Australian Rainfall Analysis. Week Ending 3rd March 2023.

Rainfall recorded in the one week leading up to 3 March 2023.

Australian Rainfall Analysis. Week Ending 10th March 2023.

Rainfall recorded in the one week leading up to 10 March 2023.