A tropical low that was first observed near 10°S 117°E on 6 December tracked southeast and intensified, reaching cyclone strength by the afternoon of 7 December. As further intensification progressed Frank changed direction towards the south southwest, maintaining that course until early on 12 December when located just to the west of Cape Cuvier. Frank was at maximum strength around 0100 UTC on 10 December when located at 19.3°S 114.9°E with maximum winds of 85 knots. Frank remained offshore throughout its lifetime passing closest to land during early evening on 11 December, when the centre was about 70 kilometres west of NW Cape.
A study of the foreshore on the western side of Exmouth Gulf showed that a storm surge had occurred, however there was no tide gauge to provide accurate measurements.
The cyclone weakened rapidly over colder water during 12 December to below cyclone strength by the evening. The low then recurved towards the south southeast passing close to Carnarvon around midnight, then moved inland and weakened further during 13 December.
Frank was the first tropical cyclone to form off the northwest coast of Australia during the 1995/96 season. At the time it was reported to be one of only three cyclones since 1876 that caused gales at NW Cape prior to Christmas.
For more details see the TC Frank Report (pdf)
Track and intensity
All times in WST - subtract 8 hours to convert to UTC.