Severe Tropical Cyclone Monty

27 February - 3 March 2004


TC Monty was a small and intense cyclone that developed rapidly off the Pilbara coast and affected offshore oil and gas infrastructure before making landfall near Mardie station and causing flooding in the inland Pilbara.

A low moved off the Kimberley coast near Broome on 26 February and rapidly formed into a tropical cyclone just twenty-four hours later. Monty moved roughly parallel with the Pilbara coast and developed to category 4 intensity before moving towards the west Pilbara coast on 1 March. After causing hurricane-force winds at offshore reporting sites, Monty crossed the coast as a lower end category 3 system near Mardie station between Onslow and Dampier about 2100 WST on Monday 1 March. Miraculously only minor property damage occurred although two vessels in Mermaid Sound broke their moorings and ran aground causing significant damage.

Although rapidly weakening later on 1 March, Monty produced widespread rainfall over the Pilbara causing significant flooding. Two people were rescued from the roof of the Yarraloola homestead on the Robe River and the town of Pannawonica was cut-off. The bridge over the Maitland River on the Northwest coastal highway was destroyed. The floods on the Maitland, Robe and Fortescue Rivers were the highest on record.

On a positive note the rainfall brought an end to the long drought over the west Pilbara.

For more details see the TC Monty Report (pdf)

Track and intensity

All times in WST.

Best Track of Tropical Cyclone Monty