Tropical Cyclone 22U

Western Australian Regional Office

Track of Tropical Cyclone 22U

A tropical low (22U) developed to the northwest of Western Australia on 20 and 21 March. The low tracked generally towards the south and approached the Pilbara coast on 22 March. During 23 March, the system developed and crossed the coast just to the west of Port Hedland during the early afternoon. Port Hedland Airport recorded a period of gale force winds with a peak wind gust of 94 km/h.

Severe Weather Warnings for Heavy Rain and Damaging/Destructive Winds were issued during the event.

Post analysis determined that the system briefly reached tropical cyclone intensity just before making landfall. Tropical Cyclone 22U quickly weakened into a tropical low later on 23 March as it moved inland. The system weakened further whilst moving through central Western Australia on 24 March. The system and associated cloud band produced heavy rainfall in the Pilbara and central Western Australia between the 21 and 25 March.

The following 24 hour rainfall totals were recorded to 9am. 22 March: Port Hedland Airport 103.2mm. 23 March: Port Hedland Airport - 105.2mm. 24 March: Newman Aerodrome - 93.4mm, Port Hedland Airport - 69.8mm. 25 March: Leonora Aerodrome 91.8mm, Laverton Aerodrome 57.8mm.

Significant river rises occurred in the Pilbara coastal rivers, De Grey River and Fortescue River. The Fortescue River at Newman peaked at around 3.5 metres (close to the minor flood level of 4 metres) and minor flooding was recorded in the Yule River. Minor to major flooding was observed at some locations in the De Grey River catchment.

**All information relating to intensity and track is preliminary information based on operational estimates and subject to change following post analysis.**

Coastal Crossing Details
Crossing time:1:00pm AWST Thursday 23 March
Crossing location:In the vicinity of Port Hedland
Category when crossing the coast:1

Extreme values during cyclone event (estimated)
Note that these values may be changed on the receipt of later information
Maximum Category:1
Maximum sustained wind speed:85 km/h
Maximum wind gust:120 km/h
Lowest central pressure:986 hPa