Severe Tropical Cyclone Pearl

11 - 21 January 1994


Tropical cyclone Pearl was a very small, severe cyclone that achieved hurricane intensity for several days. It was first analysed as a tropical low early on 11 January when located to the northwest of Broome. The low was positioned beneath the upper ridge axis which, when combined with a moderate cross-equatorial northwesterly flow, appeared to contribute to abnormally rapid cyclogenesis. By 0600 UTC 12 January Pearl had reached hurricane intensity. The cyclone moved on a generally westward path from just off the West Kimberley coastline, covering a distance of more than 4000 kilometres before decaying in the central Indian Ocean on 21 January. Pearl was steered by the middle-level easterly flow to the north of the subtropical ridge axis. It was located beneath the upper-level ridge axis during most of its lifetime and thus experienced little shear. Weakening occurred when it moved to the south of the upper ridge axis into a region of increasing westerly flow.

For more details see the TC Pearl Report (pdf)

Track and intensity

Best Track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Pearl