Alice was the first of eleven topical cyclones that operated in the Western Region during the 1980-81 season.
On 3 November a low that showed early signs of development was located just west of Sumatra. As this system drifted slowly west-southwest, the associated cloud cluster became more organised. Cyclonic intensity was reached on 5 November when the centre was located approximately mid- way between Sumatra and Cocos Island. During the next few days Alice moved steadily west-southwest into the central Indian Ocean. It was most intense late.on 7 November when the central pressure was estimated to be 940 hPa with a maximum wind of 180 km/h.
Alice continued moving west-southwest around the northwestern flank of a sub-tropical ridge that was centred in the east Indian Ocean. On 10 November it moved into the Mauritius Region and was renamed Adelaide.
The highest wind reported was 63 km/h from the southwest by a ship located about 140 km northwest of the centre at 0900 GMT on 8 November. Twelve crewmen were lost from one of two fishing vessels that were sunk in the very high seas generated by this cyclone. Those killed were from a Taiwanese vessel, the Sing Long No. 21, which sank on 8 November. As it foundered the crew boarded two life-rafts. Seven crew members on one raft were rescued by a freighter about 24 hours later; the twelve missing men were on the second raft which was never found. The other vessel lost was the Gammiri No. 5 from South Korea which sank on 9 November; her crew of twenty-four was rescued by a sister ship. The two vessels were valued at $1 million each.