Severe Tropical Cyclone John

9 - 16 December 1999


Tropical Cyclone John was an intense early season cyclone that crossed the Pilbara coast between Port Hedland and Karratha near Whim Creek on 15 December. Extensive damage was done to the Whim Creek hotel. Some damage also occurred in neighbouring areas, however the communities of Dampier, Karratha, Roebourne and Wickham were fortunate to escape the most destructive winds near the centre of the cyclone.

Port Hedland experienced gale force winds for a period of 18 hours and near storm force winds with gusts to 124 km/h were observed for much of the 15 December. A maximum storm surge of 2 m was recorded by Port Hedland Authority at 0600 WST 15 December. At Karratha, on the western side of the circulation, the maximum wind gust recorded was 113 km/h and at Cape Lambert winds averaged 150 km/h for 5 hours with a maximum gust of 210 km/h (Robe River Iron Ore AWS data).

For more details see the TC John Report (pdf)

Track and intensity

All times in WST - subtract 8 hours to convert to UTC.

Best Track of Severe Tropical Cyclone John