Severe Tropical Cyclone Nicholas

11 - 20 February 2008


A low that developed off the Kimberley coast on 11 February reached cyclone strength late on 12 February. The system experienced a period of weakening during 13 February as it began to move to the south east before re-intensifying to cyclone strength and moving in a south westerly direction, executing a loop in its track.

Nicholas then continued in a south westerly direction, paralleling the Pilbara coastline and intensifying to category 3 strength. Nicholas began to weaken to the north of Exmouth before turning to the south and then south east, finally crossing the upper west coast approximately 60 kilometres south southwest of Coral Bay on the morning of 20 February. Nicholas was a category 1 cyclone as it crossed the coast and dissipated to below cyclone strength some 6 hours later.

Nicholas was an unusually slow moving system, the average speed of movement until 16 February was between 4 and 10 km/h. In the later stages the speed increased to about 10 to 13 km/h. The system was also a long lived cyclone, lasting 10 days.

Heavy rain fell through the west Gascoyne and Murchison extending into the adjacent Goldfields and northern parts of the South West Land Division. There were scattered falls in excess of 100 mm and Burnerbinmah in the Murchison recorded 203 mm of rain over three days.

Advices were issued for the Kimberley coastline as Nicholas formed. The watch/warning area was moved down the Pilbara coastline as Nicholas tracked south westerly and FESA issued community alerts

For more details see the TC Nicholas Report (pdf)