A developing low formed near Sumba Island on December 27 and moved southwards. The low reached tropical cyclone intensity at 0900 WDT 28 December 2007 and reached category 2 at 0300 WDT 28 December 2007. After its initial southerly motion Melanie turned to the west southwest and moved parallel to the Pilbara coastline until 31 December 2007. The system weakened to category 1 as it turned more southerly and finally weakened to below cyclone strength early on 2 January 2008, dissipating over the ocean well offshore from Exmouth later that day.
Throughout the event forecasts indicated the most likely track would have Melanie remain off the coast, although at times the uncertainty area did indicate that landfall was possible. It was for this reason that Advices were issued for a period while Melanie was offshore from the Pilbara coastline. However based on Bureau advice Emergency Management authorities did not issue community alerts for coastal communities.
Melanie did remain far enough offshore to not to have any direct impact on the WA coast. However, there was a significant economic impact to industry resulting from port closures, production shut downs and evacuations from offshore installations. Preliminary information suggests these costs amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars.
For more details see the TC Melanie Report (pdf)
Track and intensity
All times in WDT - subtract 9 hours to convert to UTC.