A weak low formed early on 31 December in the northwest Gulf of Carpentaria. During the next two days, the low drifted into the central Gulf under the influence of a middle-level ridge over the Coral Sea. On 2 January, the tropical low became almost stationary and deepened further as a sharpening upper trough over WA improved outflow on the southern side of the system. Brisbane TCWC named tropical cyclone Bernie on 3 January.
Bernie steadily intensified that night, reaching a peak intensity of 55 knots on the morning of 4 January. North-easterly shear then began to increase over the cyclone, causing the central convection to diminish and an exposed low-level circulation centre was evident late in the day. The weakening cyclone was steered southwest onto the southern Gulf of Carpentaria coast early on 5 January. Later that morning
Bernie was downgraded to a tropical low as it continued moving southwards, produced flooding and road closures throughout the southern Gulf coast and hinterland, with the townships of Doomadgee and Burketown isolated.
Track and intensity
All times in UTC - add 9.5 hours to convert to CST.