Tropical Cyclone Lena

1 - 9 April 1983

Summary

Lena was the third cyclone of the season to cross the northwest Australian coast.

A weak tropical low was located off the northeast coast of Timor on 1 April and moved initially southwestward. During the next few days it tracked in a generally west southwest direction. By 0600 UTC 4 April it had reached tropical cyclone intensity, with an estimated central pressure of 994 hPa.

Lena then gradually turned onto a southward course. It reached maturity at about 0000 UTC 6 April with an estimated central pressure of 980 hPa and maximum winds of 110 km/h and maintained this intensity through to landfall.

Early on 7 April Lena recurved sharply to the southeast and accelerated towards the coast. Landfall was made near Cape Thouin west of Port Hedland on the Pilbara coast at about 2300 UTC 7 April (0700 WST 8 April). The cyclone continued moving rapidly southeast over land and weakened to below tropical cyclone intensity at 1000 UTC 8 April when the centre was 90 km south of Telfer. The system continued to be identified as a rain-bearing depression on 9 April as it passed south of Giles and into South Australia where it became extra-tropical.

Whilst Lena was over the sea the strongest wind reported was 74 km/h from the east southeast at 1805 UTC 7 April. The report came from a ship located 50 km south of the centre. The peak gust reported after landfall was 153 km/h from the north, at Port Hedland Meteorological Office. This occurred at 2345 UTC 7 April when the centre was located some 30 km southwest of Port Hedland.

Minor damage was caused by cyclone Lena at Port Hedland. The roof of the Communtiy Welfare Office was blown off, partly demolishing a nearby house. Minor damage was inflicted on other houses.

Many trees were uprooted and power lines brought down. The Customs launch was driven ashore and holed and two Taiwanese fishing boats were damaged in the harbour.

Track and intensity

Best Track of Tropical Cyclone Lena