Tropical Cyclone Fletcher

Queensland Regional Office

Track of Tropical Cyclone Fletcher

Tropical Cyclone Fletcher initially formed as a tropical low in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf on the 30th January 2014 before adopting a general eastwards track while moving across the Top End of the Northern Territory as a well organised system over the next few days. As the system moved across the Top End it produced heavy rain, including 150-200 mm in the Adelaide River catchment, causing the river to exceed the major flood level at Adelaide River township on the 1st February. Heavy rain also contributed to minor to moderate flooding in the Katherine and Daly Rivers.

Fletcher remained as a well organised tropical low as it reached the Gulf of Carpentaria and eventually formed into a tropical cyclone, approximately 45 kilometres north-northwest of Karumba, on the 3rd February. Fletcher only briefly lasted as a tropical cyclone before crossing the southeast Gulf of Carpentaria coast south of Gilbert River Mouth later in the evening on the 3rd February. Fletcher remained slow moving as a tropical low along a very active monsoon trough around the southeast Gulf of Carpentaria before crossing the coast for the final time on the 9th February.

The monsoonal flow to the north of Fletcher caused increased tides and heavy rainfall about the Peninsula and Gulf Country districts in Queensland. Fletcher went on to spread heavy rainfall across parts of the Northern Territory as it moved over the interior between the 10th and 12th February, producing 100-150mm of rain in the Roper-McArthur and southeast Victoria River districts. This heavy rain over the Northern Territory lead to significant stream rises and flooding of low lying areas, including the McArthur River at Borroloola, which exceeded the minor flood level on the 10th February and again on the 13th February and the Victoria River at Kalkarindji, which exceeded the moderate flood level on the 12th and 13 February. Fletcher eventually weakened over the northwest Alice Springs District on the 12th February.

Rain observations: Kowanyama (Qld) recorded 6 days straight of rain greater than 100mm. 361.2mm was recorded at Kowanyama on the 7th February. Kowanyama went on to record 1432mm of rainfall for the month of February, making it the wettest month at the station since records began in 1913.

Tropical Cyclone Fletcher was the third tropical cyclone in the Eastern Region for the 2013-2014 season.

*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:6pm EST Friday 3 February 2014
Crossing location:southeast Gulf of Carpentaria coast
 70 km north-northeast of Karumba
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:65 km/h
Maximum wind gust:95 km/h
Lowest central pressure:992 hPa