Felix started as a tropical low about 180 km south of Timor on 22 December 1980. This low was part of an active monsoonal trough which was quasistationary north of latitude 10°S.
The low deepened as it moved steadily westward along the northern periphery of a strong mid-tropospheric ridge and on the 23rd it attained cyclonic intensity when the centre was located just southwest of Timor.
Development continued as it changed direction slightly to the west-southwest and moved into open waters. Felix was most intense on 26 December with an estimated central pressure of 940 hPa and a maximum wind of about 180 km/h.
On the 28th Felix recurved to the south and began to weaken. It degenerated into a tropical low late on the 29th, drifted northwards during 30 December and finally dissipated some 900 km west of Northwest Cape.
The demise of Felix was principally due to strong northwesterly vertical shear just after recurvature commenced and was accompanied by the strengthening of a surface ridge south of the cyclone centre, which blocked the recurvature of the low-level centre and reinforced the shearing and weakening process.
The highest reported wind was 93 km/h from the west-northwest by a ship located about 105 km north of the centre at 1200 UTC on 27 December.
No damage was reported.