Tropical Cyclone Alfred

Northern Territory Regional Office

Track of Tropical Cyclone Alfred

Alfred was first identified as a tropical low near Borroloola on the night of February 15. The tropical low remained slow moving near the southern Gulf of Carpentaria coast for a number of days before moving over open water on February 19. As the tropical low gradually intensified it moved north towards Groote Eylandt before turning back towards the southeast. Alfred reached Tropical Cyclone intensity on the morning of February 20, it remained a category 1 system for almost 24 hours before weakening and eventually crossing the coast as a tropical low in the early afternoon of February 21.

Gale-force winds felled trees in Alyangula on Groote Eylandt, at Borroloola and in nearby communities. Gales were observed at Alyangula during the evening of the 19th with a peak mean wind of 71 km/h at 7:40pm. Peak wind gusts of 113 km/h and 87 km/h were recorded at Centre Island and Mornington Island, respectively.

The McArthur River exceeded minor flood level in the Borroloola area, peaking at 12.29m around midnight on Monday 20th. Roads and bridges were cut by floodwaters and several outstations in the area were isolated. Several houses were inundated at King Ash Bay fishing village. 5-day rainfall totals recorded to 22nd Feb: 862 mm at Sweers Is, 486mm at Centre Island, 412mm at Burketown, 366mm at Mornington Island and 314mm at Borroloola.

Abnormally high tides, up to 1m above predicted levels, were observed about the southeast Gulf of Carpentaria. Tides did not exceed the Highest Astronomical Tide of the year.

Alfred was the first system in the Northern Region since Tropical cyclone Nathan in March 2015.

Coastal Crossing Details
Crossing time:12pm CST, 21 February 2017
Crossing location:180km E of Borroloola

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:83 km/h
Maximum wind gust:120 km/h
Lowest central pressure:994 hPa