Tropical Cyclone Alfred

15-22 February 2017


Alfred was a Category 2 tropical cyclone that developed in the Gulf of Carpentaria before moving inland near the Northern Territory and Queensland border and weakening.

A low developed over inland eastern Northern Territory and drifted in a loop for several days over the southern Gulf of Carpentaria coast. The low moved offshore north of Borroloola and developed into a tropical cyclone at 0600 UTC 19 February (UTC=CST+9.5 hours). Alfred reached a peak 10-minute mean wind intensity of 50 kn (95 km/h) at 0000 UTC 20 February before quickly weakening to below tropical cyclone strength by 1200 UTC 20 February. The remnant low crossed the coast near the Northern Territory and Queensland border during 22 February and dissipated over land..

Gale-force winds felled trees in Alyangula on Groote Eylandt, at Borroloola and in nearby communities. Gales were observed at Alyangula with a peak mean wind of 38 kn (71 km/h) recorded at 1340 UTC 19 February. Peak wind gusts of 61 kn (113 km/h) and 47 kn (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. Five-day rainfall totals recorded to 22nd February were 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.

For more information see the TC Alfred Report (pdf).

Track and Intensity

Track of Tropical Cyclone Alfred