Severe Tropical Cyclone Ernie

4 -11 April 2017


Severe Tropical Cyclone Ernie was a very small and intense tropical cyclone that underwent one of the most rapid intensification cycles documented in the Australian Area of Responsibility (AoR).

A low formed near the Indonesian Islands on 4 April and tracked southwest. Initially the development of the tropical low appeared to be hindered by moderate to strong vertical wind shear, this decreased during 6 April and Ernie underwent a period of rapid intensification. The tropical cyclone reached a 10-minute mean wind peak intensity of 120 knots (kn) (220 kilometres per hour (km/h)) at 1200 Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) 7 April (0200 Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) 8 April), only twenty four hours after reaching tropical cyclone strength and breaking Dvorak constraints on development. Early on 8 April Ernie was steered to the west southwest as a combination of drier mid-level air and increased wind shear caused Ernie to begin to weaken. The low decreased below cyclone strength by 0600 UTC 10 April. Ernie’s very small size played a part in the tropical cyclone undergoing an unusually rapid intensification and then subsequent rapid weakening.

Ernie had no impact on mainland Australia or Island territories.

For more information see the TC Ernie Report (pdf).

Track and Intensity

Best Track of Tropical Cyclone Ernie