Severe Tropical Cyclone Narelle

5 – 15 January 2013


A strong monsoon flow combined with a burst of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) to form a tropical low near 10.5oS 126oE. This tropical low initially moved west southwest and slowly developed. Narelle reached cyclone strength at 0000 Universal Time Coordinated (0800 AWST=UTC+8 hours) 8 January and continued to develop under favourable conditions. From 9 January Narelle tracked in a southwest direction and reached a 10-minute mean wind peak intensity of 105 knots (kn) (195 kilometres per hour (km/h)) at 1200 UTC 11 January when it was located around 470 kilometres (km) to the north northwest of Exmouth, Western Australia (WA). Narelle moved south southwest from 13 January, parallel to the WA coastline, as it weakened due to a combination of increased vertical wind shear and cooler sea surface temperatures (SSTs). Narelle weakened below tropical cyclone strength at 0600 UTC 14 January, finally dissipating well offshore to the west of Perth.

Though the tropical cyclone never directly affected the mainland it did cause disruption to Northwest Shelf operations. Narelle also produced a tidal surge which affected the WA coastline from Onslow to Busselton, the peak being 110 centimetres (cm) at Onslow and 84 cm at Exmouth on 13 January, while the surge down the west coast reached 90 cm at Busselton and 78 cm at Fremantle on 16 January. This caused elevated tides that caused some inundation of low lying areas but no major impact overall.

For more information see the TC Narelle Report (pdf).

Track and Intensity

Best Track of Tropical Cyclone Narelle