Severe Tropical Cyclone Chloe

5 - 9 April 1995


Tropical cyclone Chloe was the most intense cyclone to develop in the South Pacific and southeast Indian Oceans during the 1994-95 season. It was a very small cyclone with gale-force winds extending only about 80 km from the centre and displayed the rapid intensification and weakening phases typical of 'midget' tropical cyclones.

A low initially formed in an active monsoon trough to the east of Timor on 3 April and moved westward, north of an upper-level ridge. Easterly shear and passage over the mountains of Timor initially retarded development, however rapid cyclogenesis followed late on 4 April once the low moved west of Timor over the Savu Sea. During this period, the middle-level ridge was displaced northwards by an amplifying trough over southeastern Australia, reducing shear over the developing low. Chloe was named at 0300 UTC 5 April after which it stalled and turned southeastwards in response to strengthening northwesterly flow around 500 to 400 hPa. Chloe intensified rapidly to hunicane intensity within 24 hours then further to its peak intensity around 0600 UTC 7 April (estimated mean wind speed around 56 m/s) as it moved over the open waters of the Timor Sea.

Late on 7 April, Chloe began to weaken under the influence of increasing northwesterly shear and at 0300 UTC on'8 April the cyclone crossed an uninhabited section of the north Kimberley coast causing a swath of vegetation damage 30 km wide. Chloe then weakened rapidly and turned southwestwards in response to low-level northeasterly flow. Chloe 's estimated central pressure rose from 955 hPa at landfall to 1000 hPa 12 hours later, as its remnants dissipated into a weak tropical low inland of Derby.

Dvorak (1984) satellite intensity analysis of Chloe yielded a peak Data T-Number of 7.0 over a six-hour period. This corresponds to a central pressure of 930 hPa using the empirical pressure-wind relationship derived by Love and Murphy (1985) for small cyclones over the Australian Northern Region, whereas the standard Atkinson and Holliday (1977) pressure-wind relationship would yield a central pressure around 900 hPa for this system. For a given intensity, central pressure estimates vary with cyclone size and environmental pressure, hence the estimated maximum wind (mean or gust) is generally a better measure of intensity than central pressure.

For more details see the TC Chloe Report (pdf)

Track and intensity

All times in WST - subtract 8 hours to convert to UTC.

Best Track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Chloe