Severe Tropical Cyclone Abigail

22 January - 1 February 1982


Abigail was the first cyclone of the season to affect the Queensland Region and originated from a low which developed just off the south Queensland coast on 22 January. During the next 3 days the low moved initially to the northeast and then to the northwest, slowly intensifying. On the morning of 25 January the low, situated approximately 330 km east of Willis Island, commenced to move towards the southeast.

Cyclonic intensity was reached on the night of 26 January. During the next 3 days Abigail executed a complete loop and by the evening of 30 January was located approximately 620 km east southeast of Willis Island. At this time the cyclone underwent a further major change in direction and commenced moving to the east northeast. Abigail moved out of the Eastern Region on the evening of 1 February with a central pressure of 977 hPa, the lowest pressure attained whilst in this region. The strongest wind reported in the region was 95 km/h by a ship located at 0200 UTC 29 January 250 km to the west southwest of the centre.

In association with a ridge of high pressure over southern parts of Queensland, Abigail produced strong to occasionally gale force winds over coastal areas of central and southern Queensland but otherwise had little effect on the State.

After moving out of the Eastern Region Abigail commenced to move towards the south-southeast passing to the west of New Caledonia. It continued to intensify and attained its lowest central pressure of 947 hPa on 3 February. It then began to weaken and finally assumed a more easterly track while moving to the south of New Caledonia.

Track and intensity

Best Track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Abigail