Tropical Cyclone Harry

8 - 18 February 1989


A shallow depression first appeared in the monsoon trough some 800 km to the west of Vanuatu on 7 February. It deepened by 8 February as it moved eastwards and reached cyclone intensity at around 1200 8 February. Harry then centred about 730 km west of Vanuatu with average winds estimated at 65 km/h close to the centre; gales extended to about 160 km from the centre.

By 1800 UTC 9 February average winds were estimated to be 90 km/h close to the centre and, by 1200 UTC 10 February, eye development indicated that the cyclone had deepened into a severe tropical cyclone. Harry curved more southwestwards with further intensification and crossed the main island of New Caledonia on 11 February. There were no reports of significant damage.

By 0900 UTC 13 February Harry was at 19. 5°S, 160°E with a central pressure of 966 hPa, moving west-northwest and deepening. At 0001 UTC 14 February the estimated minimum pressure of 925 hPa was reached. The intensity and direction of travel was maintained for a further 12 hours. Harry then remained almost stationary for a day before slowly accelerating to the southeast.

At 0900 UTC 16 February the system started weakening as it continued to accelerate towards the southeast under the influence of a trough to the southwest.

Thereafter the system continued to weaken with winds decreasing to storm force by 0600 UTC 17 February, weakening further to gale force 24 hours later. After moving into higher latitudes it regained storm strength, as an extratropical low, by 0600 19 February.

During the 12 hours that the estimated minimum central pressure of 925 hPa prevailed, the eye diameter, as seen on satellite, increased from 55 to 85 km. The estimated maximum mean wind was 185 km/h and the estimated maximum gust was 250 km/h. The strongest observed wind was 93 km/h.

Track and intensity

Best Track of Tropical Cyclone Harry