Tropical Low (14U)

25 – 30 January 2017


A low (14U) which formed in the Gulf of Carpentaria on 23 January moved west across the top end of Australia. The low moved into the Western Australian area of responsibility (AOR) early on 25 January, south of Wyndham and continued to move to the west. On 26 January the low moved offshore and over open water north of Broome. Convection increased and became more organised and the low showed signs of developing during 27 January. Gale force winds were observed at offshore and coastal locations during 27 and 28 January as 14U moved rapidly to the west, parallel to the Pilbara coast. Gales were present in southern quadrants and 14U reached an estimated maximum 10-minute mean wind speed of 45 knots (kn) (83 kilometres per hour (km/h)) at 1800 Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) 27 January (0200 Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) 28 January=UTC+8 hours) but the low did not continue to develop into a tropical cyclone. The low moved west into the Indian Ocean and weakened by 30 January.

Tropical Cyclone Advices were initiated at 0700 UTC 25 January and covered the coastal areas between Bidyadanga and Ningaloo, gradually being extended west along the Pilbara coast during the event. Tropical Cyclone Advices were cancelled at 1000 UTC 28 January when 14U was located well to the north west of Exmouth and moving further away from the Western Australia mainland.

The low was responsible for heavy rainfall and flooding through parts of the Kimberley. The heaviest 24 hour rainfall recorded to 9am Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) was 177mm at El Questro (25 January), 93mm at Mount Rob (26 January) and 95mm at Country Downs (27 January). Following the heavy rainfall, the Fitzroy River at Fitzroy Crossing peaked above 8 metres (m), below the minor flood level (9.5 m). Downstream of Fitzroy Crossing, Noonkanbah and Willare approached the minor flood class levels.

Significant river rises occurred in the Kimberley. Minor to moderate flooding occurred in the Ord River at Tarrara Bar and Flying Fox Hole. The King River at Cockburn North peaked above the major flood level (3.0 m). River rises up to 7.0 m were recorded in the Dunham River at Dunham Gorge. River rises were also observed in the upper Ord River catchment.

In the west Kimberley, river rises were recorded in the Lennard River (around 3.5 m) and Isdell River (around 5.0 m).

For more information see the TC Tropical Low 14U Report (pdf).

The strongest wind gust recorded was 59 kn (109 km/h) at Legendre Island at 2025 UTC 27 January.

Track and Intensity

Best Track of Tropical Cyclone Tropical Low 14U