Esther was the first of four cyclones in the Northern Region for the season.
For several days prior to genesis an active monsoon trough was established across the Banda Sea near latitudes 6-8°S. At 0000 UTC 19 December a small, weak tropical low developed near the monsoon trough about 250 km northeast of Timor. During the next day the !ow moved slowly in a southwesterly direction and deepened. Cyclonic strength was reached at about 0300 UTC 20 December with an estimated central pressure of 994 hPa.
Esther then moved in a southerly direction and continued to intensify. Peak intensity was reached at 0800 UTC 20 December with an estimated central pressure of 990 hPa and estimated maximum winds of 100 km/h prior to crossing Babar Island. Esther weakened rapidly with its crossing of Babar Island and dissipated quickly as a cyclonic system in the waters to the south just after the crossing.
There were no ship reports available close to the centre and no reports of damage were received from the islands in Esther 's track.