Tropical Cyclone Nicholas

12 - 15 December 1996


Nicholas was the first cyclone to form off the northwest Australian coast during the season. It began as a weak low on the monsoon trough near Gove on 9 December. Initial development was associated with a broadscale cross-equatorial surge. A low-level centre emerged within the broad monsoonal circulation during the early morning of 14 December. Shear over the genesis region was low due to the proximity of the upper ridge axis. The low then moved steadily south due to a major 500 hPa trough to the southwest of the cyclone and a high to the southeast. Cyclone strength was reached early on 14 December off the northwest Kimberley coast. As the cyclone neared the coast it weakened due to upper shear and interaction with the land. It continued south and weakened further over the inland west Kimberley during the day. It finally dissipated as a surface circulation during the afternoon of 16 December.

For more details see the TC Nicholas Report (pdf)

Track and intensity

All times in WST - subtract 8 hours to convert to UTC.

Best Track of Tropical Cyclone Nicholas