The low that was to become tropical cyclone Pierre was first recognised as an ill-defined circulation over the tip of Cape York Peninsula on 17 February 1985. A definable circulation formed on the ITCZ at about 0600 UTC 18 February near 11.8°S, 143.3°E with a central pressure of 1002 hPa. The low moved slowly to the east-southeast at first, gradually turning south-southeast until its track was almost parallel to the coast. It gradually deepened until cyclonic intensity was reached about two days later, by which time the centre was about 160 km east of Cooktown. The central pressure was then 995 hPa.
Tropical cyclone Pierre accelerated gradually to reach a speed of about 25 km/h during the morning of 21 February. Maximum intensity was reached about 0600 UTC 21 February when the central pressure was 986 hPa. Decay was fairly rapid, cyclonic intensity being lost in about fifteen hours. This occurred two hours after landfall in Shoalwater Bay. The resulting low went out to sea again near Yeppoon after about three hours over land and took on an almost easterly track until it passed into Fiji RSMC area of responsibility at 23°S, 160.0°E on the afternoon of 24 February.
The maximum reported wind speed was 102 km/h reported from Hayman Island at 0600 UTC 21 February. Damage was minimal with only minor temporary flooding occurring.