Severe Tropical Cyclone Claudia

5 - 16 January 2020


Best Track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Claudia
All times shows are in Australian Western Standard Time (AWST), that is UTC + 8 hours.

A tropical low formed in the Arafura Sea, about 600 kilometres (km) east northeast of Darwin, during the afternoon of 6 January. The low drifted southeast and then turned southwest, crossing the Northern Territory coast just to the east of Maningrida on the morning of 9 January. The low continued to track westward, passing to the south of Darwin during 10 January before moving out over open water again in the Timor Sea.

As the tropical low moved to the north of the Kimberley region of Western Australia it began to intensify and reached tropical cyclone strength at 1500 Universal Time Constant (UTC) 11 January (11 pm Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) 11 January). Severe Tropical Cyclone Claudia intensified quickly in favourable conditions and reached a peak intensity of 80 knots (kn) (150 kilometres per hour (km/h)) at 0600 UTC 13 January. Early on 14 January Claudia began to weaken as it moved over cooler seas surface temperatures (SSTs) and encountered unfavourable conditions. Claudia weakened below tropical cyclone strength at 1200 UTC 15 January, however a low-level circulation persisted for many days after this which continued to move generally westwards.

The passage of the tropical low across the top end of Australia produced very heavy rainfall. Dum-In-Mirrie recorded a new Northern Territory daily rainfall total of 562 millimetres (mm) in the 24 hours to 9 am 11 January. The highest wind gust recorded during Claudia was from Browse Island Automatic Weather Station (AWS) which recorded a gust of 68 kn (126 km/h) at 2311 UTC 11 January. There were no other impacts to mainland Australia from Severe Tropical Cyclone Claudia.

Extreme values during cyclone event (estimated)

Note that these values may be changed on the receipt of later information

Maximum Category: 3
Maximum sustained wind speed: 150 km/h
Maximum wind gust: 205 km/h
Lowest central pressure: 963 hPa