Severe Tropical Cyclone Nora

23 - 25 March 2018


Severe Tropical Cyclone Nora made landfall along the west coast of Cape York, just north of Pormpuraaw overnight from 24-25 March 2018, at category 3 intensity. Strong winds knocked down many trees and power lines in the towns of Pormpuraaw, Kowanyama and Mapoon, blocking roads and cutting power to more than 500 homes. Kowanyama experienced a brief period of gales and a peak wind gust of 54 kn (100 km/h) was recorded at 0354 AEST 25 March.

Nora continued on a south-eastward track through to landfall. The intensity fluctuated but was still estimated at category three intensity when it made landfall overnight from 24 to 25 March near Pormpuraaw. It then weakened as it tracked to the south close to the Cape York coast, passing near Kowanyama where the pressure fell to 983.3 hPa. Nora weakened below tropical cyclone intensity during 25 March and then became slow-moving over land. Although it did move to the west over the southern Gulf of Carpentaria on 28 March it failed to redevelop.

Widespread heavy rainfall occurred across the eastern parts of the Gulf Country district resulting in some flooding and road closures. In the 24 hours to 0900 AEST 26 March, the highest rainfall totals recorded in the area included 371 mm at Miranda Downs (north-east of Normanton), 321 mm at Upper Walker Creek (north-east of Normanton) and 233 mm at Croydon.

A 1.2 metre storm surge was recorded by the Weipa storm tide gauge north of where Nora made landfall, though the tide did not reach the Highest Astronomical Tide (HAT). Large waves were also observed at the Weipa wave monitoring gauge.

For more information see the Severe TC Nora Report (pdf).

Track and Intensity

Best Track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Nora