Tropical Cyclone Eddie

8 - 13 February 1981


There was an area of low pressure south of the Solomon Islands for several days before Eddie began developing. Following a surge in the northwest monsoon an extensive area of convective cloud developed north of the Solomons and then moved southwestwards to the region of the weak low. Deepening was slow, but by 1800 UTC 8 February there was a significant circulation. The system moved steadily to the west-southwest, crossing Bathurst Bay and Princess Charlotte Bay before making landfall on the afternoon of 10 February. Eddie moved rapidly across Cape York Peninsula and only seven hours elapsed before the cyclone entered the Gulf of Capentaria just north of Edward River Mission.

In the Gulf, Eddie initially moved more to the southwest but it again turned to the west-south-west as it passed just north of Mornington Island. At 0400 UTC 11 February, its final landfall was made close to the Queensland-Northern Territory border when it was at its peak intensity with a central pressure of 980 hPa. Winds estimated to be 120 km/h were reported from Wentworth Station approximately 30 km south of the cyclone's path.

Eddie continued moving quite rapidly to the west-southwest and weakened only slowly-more than twenty-four hours elapsed before the pressure rose above 990 hPa. A wind gust of 143 km/h was recorded overnight on 11-12 February as the low brushed past Elliott in the Northern Territory. Despite its persistent strength, Eddie 's impact on the sparsely settled areas of northern Queensland and the Northern Territory was minimal. There was moderate to heavy rain accompanying the system in these areas, but only minor flooding resulted in Queensland's northeastern coastal rivers and there was also some disruption to land services in the Gulf country.

No significant structural damage was attributed to the cyclone.

Tides around the southeast Gulf of Carpentaria were substantially higher than normal; at Wentworth Station the level was estimated at 1.5 m higher than predicted and 'an extremely high tide' was reported from Edward River Mission. On the east Queensland coast the automatic storm surge recorder at Cooktown indicated a surge of 0.64 m 2330 UTC on 9 February as Eddie passed approximately 140 km to the north.

Track and intensity

Best Track of Tropical Cyclone Eddie