Severe Tropical Cyclone Abigail

23 February - 8 March 2001


Tropical Cyclone Abigail first crossed the far north Queensland coast before re-intensifying into a severe tropical cyclone in the Gulf of Carpentaria, then produced heavy rain and flooding as it moved over inland Australia.

A complex area of low pressure formed within the monsoon trough in the Coral Sea on 22 February. A tropical low then developed and tracked westward to cross the far north Queensland north of Cairns on 24 February. Just prior to landfall the low rapidly developed to reach tropical cyclone intensity. Little damage was recorded and the system quickly weakened as it moved across Cape York Peninsula.

On 25 February ex-Tropical Cyclone Abigail moved into the southeastern Gulf of Carpentaria and was renamed early on 26 February, northeast of Mornington Island. Abigail rapidly intensified to category 3 intensity passing over Mornington Island before crossing the southern Gulf coast near the NT/Qld border overnight on 26 February. On Mornington Island there was widespread damage to trees with power lines brought down but generally only minor structural damage.

Abigail weakened into a tropical low south of Borroloola but retained strong tropical cloud features as it tracked across the Northern Territory during the next three days along a track close to that followed by TCs Winsome and Wylva earlier in February. Heavy rain produced by ex-Tropical Cyclone Abigail added to flood waters in the Gulf country and Victoria River District, prolonging the pre-existing disruptions to communities and road closures in the region. The low crossed into Western Australia on 1 March and caused further heavy rain across the western desert region before eventually weakening on 8 March.

For more information see the TC Abigail Report (docx).

Track and intensity

All times in UTC - add 9.5 hours to convert to CST and 10 hours to convert to EST.

Best Track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Abigail