Severe Tropical Cyclone Karen

2 - 9 March 1977


Tropical cyclone Karen was the fourth cyclone of the season and the second to operate near the Northwest coast. It was a severe storm and although it caused mostly minor damage its track was so close to the coast that it caused gales along the whole of the Northwest coast from Cape Leveque to Northwest Cape.

Karen was a slowly developing storm which reached maturity on 7 March. Its estimated central pressure at that time was 970 hPa and the eye diameter varied between 25 km and 55 km. It is estimated that the maximum mean wind generated at the surface was 150 km/h. The lowest pressure reported was 980 hPa from a tug in Flying Foam Passage at 2230 UTC 6 March and from Exmouth at 2000 UTC 7 March.

All centres along and close to the Northwest coast suffered damage because of the strong winds. Mostly the damage was minor, such as shrubs and trees being uprooted, power supplies and shipping schedules disrupted. The main damage occurred at Exmouth where some roofs of houses were damaged, trees uprooted and power lines broken. One woman suffered a badly gashed leg. A yacht was wrecked at East Intercourse Island by the heavy seas.

For more details see the TC Karen Report (pdf)

Track and intensity

Best Track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Karen