Tropical Cyclone Gretel

14 - 15 March 2020


Tropical Cyclone Gretel formed offshore in the Coral Sea in March 2020 and reached category 2 intensity (outside of the Australian region) as it passed close to the south of New Caledonia. Gretel caused abnormally high tides and large surf about the southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales coasts. A brief period of near gale force winds was also recorded at Norfolk Island as the system tracked to the northeast of the island.

The tropical low that became Gretel was first identified and tracked over northern Gulf of Carpentaria waters on 10 March before it became a broader low-pressure system embedded along the monsoon trough as it moved into the Coral Sea from 11 March. The system slowly consolidated itself as it tracked away from the Queensland east coast in the following days before it formed into a tropical cyclone and was subsequently named Gretel during the early hours of 15 March.

Shortly after being named, Gretel moved into the Fiji area of responsibility where it maintained a track towards the southeast into the Pacific Ocean before undergoing extra-tropical transition to the north of New Zealand.

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

Track and Intensity

Best Track of TC Gretel