Severe Tropical Cyclone Savannah

Western Australian Regional Office

Track of Tropical Cyclone Savannah

A tropical low formed on 8 March within the monsoon trough to the north of Western Australia. For the next five days the low moved generally westward but failed to develop significantly due to the sustained influence of easterly vertical wind shear. The low then turned sharply towards the southwest on 13 March as a mid-latitude trough approached. As it moved southwest the low strengthened and Tropical Cyclone Advices were issued for the Cocos (Keeling) Islands commencing at 0648 UTC 13 March (1318 CCT 13 March, CCT = UTC +6.5). Following further intensification, the low became Tropical Cyclone Savannah during the afternoon of 14 March when it was about 130 kilometres north-northwest of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Strong to gale force winds were experienced on the islands as Savannah passed to the west with a peak gust of 43 kn (80 km/h) recorded at 2135 UTC 13 March. Vegetation damage and minor property damage were reported.

Tropical Cyclone Advices were cancelled at 0647 UTC 14 March when Savannah was 140 kilometres to the west of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. As it continued moving southwest, Savannah intensified into a category 2 system early on the 15th of March and then into a category 3 severe tropical cyclone early on the 16th of March whilst maintaining a general southwest track.

On the 16th and 17th of March, Savannah tracked more towards the west southwest and developed further into a category 4 severe tropical cyclone during the 17th of March. It reached a peak intensity at 0600 UTC 17 March with 10-minute mean winds of 95 kn (175 km/h). Savannah then weakened back into a category 3 severe tropical cyclone shortly prior to crossing into La Reunion's area of responsibility (west of 90E) early on the 18th of March.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Savannah Report

Extreme values during cyclone event (estimated)
Note that these values may be changed on the receipt of later information
Maximum Category: 4
Maximum sustained wind speed: 175 km/h
Maximum wind gust: 250 km/h
Lowest central pressure: 953 hPa