Tropical cyclone Chris was the most severe storm in the Australian region during the season.
A large cloud cluster and associated low formed to the northwest of Christmas Island early on 5 January and drifted slowly southwards. On the 6th the system turned to the west southwest and became more organised. It reached cyclonic strength at 0000 UTC on the 7th.
During the next few days the centre moved in a general westerly direction and continued to deepen. At 1200 UTC on the 9th an eye was clearly visible on the satellite pictures. Chris moved into the Mauritius region late on the 11th as a very severe storm and was renamed Damia . Peak intensity in the western Region was reached at 1200 UTC on the l lth with an estimated central pressure of 934 hPa and estimated maximum winds near the centre of 190 km/h.
The steering mechanism which caused cyclone Chris to track steadily across the Indian Ocean in a westward direction was probably provided by the strong anticyclone that was located south of the storm's centre during most of its life.
The highest wind reported was force 7 from the southeast by a ship located about 240 km south of the centre at 1700 UTC on the 7th.