Tropical Cyclone Marcelle

29 April - 9 May 1973


Marcelle was the eleventh and last tropical cyclone of the season. It was also the latest occurring cyclone in the Northwestern Australian Region for seventeen years. As well as having the longest track of any cyclone plotted in this region there were other aspects which made Marcelle unique.

After forming over waters southsoutheast of Ceylon, Marcelle was located eight days later 1200 km west of cape Leeuwin and interacting with a southern cold frontal system as it approached the West Australian coast at 65 km/h. Having crossed the coast it brought relatively little rain, but winds were strong enough to blow cattle over and bury them in drifting sand.

In the southeastern wheat belt paddocks were stripped of freshly germinated crops and denuded of soil to such an extent that the entire Shire of Ravensthorpe was declared a wind damaged area.

In this later phase the wind speed was estimated at 160 km/h at Cape Naturaliste where the anemometer could not register above 130 km/h.

For more details see the TC Marcelle Report (pdf).

Track and intensity

Best Track of Tropical Cyclone Marcelle