Severe Tropical Cyclone Ivor

15 - 26 March 1990


Tropical cyclone Ivor was the most severe cyclone to affect coastal parts of Cape York Peninsula north of Cooktown this century. It was first detected as a shallow low along the SPCZ near 14.0°S, 169.0°E at 0001 UTC, 15 March when the 40 to 50-day oscillation was nearing the end of its enhanced convective phase.

Initially, the low moved steadily southwestward but, on approaching the 160°E longitude, it commenced recurving to the right in response to the subtropical ridge. By 1200 UTC, 16 March it had acquired tropical cyclone characteristics. Late on 16 March and throughout 17 March, Ivor moved northwest and gradually intensified. Ivor became a severe tropical cyclone near .13.8°S, 147.7°E at 0900 UTC, 18 March.

From here, Ivor commenced to track along 14°S towards the Cape York Peninsula and reached peak intensity at 0600 UTC, 19 March, approximately six hours before landfall. At its peak the central pressure was estimated to be 965 hPa and the maximum average winds, 125 km/h.

Ivor continued to move westwards across the Cape York Peninsula before entering the Gulf of Carpentaria and then recurving south and back across the peninsula.

When Ivor made landfall again near 15°S at 1800 UTC, 21 March, its tropical cyclone features disappeared. Over land, former tropical cyclone Ivor only moved eastwards a short distance before turning southeastward towards the east coast. Apart from a brief appearance over the coastal waters near Townsville and later near Mackay, Ivor remained over land and eventually filled in- land of Mackay on 26 March.

Despite its intensity, the wind damage caused by tropical cyclone Ivor was minor. However, trees were uprooted and windmills destroyed over parts of the Cape York Peninsula. Eastern parts of Queensland received plentiful rainfall with some severe flooding.

Track and intensity

Best Track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Ivor