Severe Tropical Cyclone Uesi

7 - 17 February 2020


Severe Tropical Cyclone Uesi was a tropical cyclone outside the Australian region that moved into the Australian region as a sub-tropical cyclone and directly affected Lord Howe Island.

A tropical low formed south of the Solomon Islands on 7 February in Fiji Meteorological Service's area of responsibility. The system developed into a tropical cyclone to the west of Vanuatu on 9 February and reached a peak intensity of category 3, west of New Caledonia, on 11 February. During 12 February it gradually weakened to category 2 intensity as it moved to the south-south-west. Uesi then transitioned into a sub-tropical cyclone prior to moving into the Australian area of responsibility at 1200 UTC 13 February.

Despite losing its tropical characteristics Uesi approached Lord Howe Island having winds equivalent to a category 2 tropical cyclone. Lord Howe Island Airport recorded damaging wind gusts exceeding 90 km/h (48 kn) between 0730 and 1500 UTC 13 February (1830 13 February to 0200 LHDT 14 February). The highest wind gust was 67 kn (124 km/h) at 1353 UTC 13 February (0100 LHDT 14 February). The observed minimum pressure of 979.7 hPa at 1738 UTC 13 February (0408 LHDT 14 February).

Homes were damaged mostly related to fallen Norfolk Island Pine trees and one boat capsized off the western edge of the island. Local White Terns were affected as the Norfolk Island Pines they nest in were brought down.

Large waves with maximum wave heights exceeding 5 metres were recorded along areas of the southeast Queensland and New South Wales coasts. This led to beach closures and some beach erosion.

For more information see the Severe TC Uesi report (pdf).

Track and Intensity

Best Track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Uesi