Severe Tropical Cyclone Justin

6 - 24 March 1997


Severe Tropical Cyclone Justin was a large, long-lived Coral Sea cyclone that crossed the Queensland coast as a category two cyclone northwest of Cairns on 22 March.

Two lows that merged in a very active monsoon trough in the Coral Sea developed into Tropical Cyclone Justin on 7 March, reaching maximum intensity on 9 March as a very large system. Justin remained almost stationary and due to cooling SST's it was downgraded to a tropical low on 13 March. Justin then drifted north over warmer SST's and re-intensified to tropical cyclone strength on 14 March, reaching a peak intensity at category three intensity on 18 March before weakening and crossing the coast northwest of Cairns on 22 March.

The combined effects of heavy rain, large seas and gale to storm force winds caused widespread damage in the region between Cairns and Townsville and the loss of two lives. Earlier in Justin 's lifecycle 30 people were killed in Papua New Guinea and five people died when their yacht was destroyed. Justin was reportedly responsible for an estimated loss of $150 million to the agricultural industry alone.

For more details see the TC Justin Report (pdf)

Track and intensity

All times in UTC - add 10 hours to convert to EST.

Best Track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Justin