A low was first identified in the monsoon trough with a deep ridge to the south. Low-level inflow and an upper divergent easterly flow aided the development and it moved in a west-southwesterly direction, passing through the northern part of Vanuatu and into the Coral Sea before being named Drena on 3 January. Drena continued in a westsouthwest direction while slowly intensifying. Interaction with a deep short wave trough caused re-curvature to the southeast. A maximum intensity of 90 knots was reached as it crossed the mid-level ridge axis. While further south-east the cyclone weakened due to increased shear ahead of the upper trough. As the system accelerated to the southeast it weakened further and became coldcored on 9 January. On its passage south, considerable wind damage was reported in New Caledonia and along Coromandel Peninsula and Taranaki in New Zealand.
Track and intensity
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