Tropical Cyclone Rewa

28 December 1993 - 21 January 1994


Tropical cyclone Rewa was a remarkably long-lived event with a lifetime spanning 25 days. There were two separate periods when sustained winds near the centre were estimated to have reached 110 knots and the central pressure reached 920 hPa. The track of Rewa was erratic; the cyclone underwent several major changes in direction during its lifetime.

Rewa began as a tropical depression situated to the north of Vanuatu at 0600 UTC 28 December. The low moved in a westerly direction and reached cyclone intensity later that day. The cyclone then moved west-southwest and slowly began to deepen, crossing the southern tip of the island of Malaita before passing south of Guadalcanal Island in its passage through the Solomons. By 0600 UTC, with a central pressure of 975 hPa, the system had assumed a more westerly movement. By 1200 UTC 31 December Rewa (estimated central pressure of 965 hPa) had recurved towards the south. By late on 1 January 1994 Rewa was deepening rapidly and the central pressure had fallen to 940 hPa. The cyclone then moved in a more south-southeasterly direction and deepened further to have an estimated central pressure of 920 hPa. The central pressure appeared to remain around 920 hPa between 1200 UTC 2 January and 0000 UTC on the 3rd. Rewa then began to weaken slowly and move more towards the southeast. From 0600 UTC 4 January Rewa moved in a general easterly direction while continuing to weaken.

By 1800 UTC 5 January, while still weakening, the cyclone passed over central New Caledonia heading in a northeasterly direction. This movement generally persisted until 1200 UTC on 7 January when the central pressure had risen to 1000 hPa. Near this point the weakening system recurved to the northwest and continued to move in this direction until late on 10 January. Shortly afterwards the system assumed a more westerly movement.

Early on 1I January Rewa was showing signs of intensification and had begun to move in a long arc to the northwest and then to the north. Later that day the intensification rate had slowed. Intensification resumed on 13 January and at 0600 UTC the system was situated near the north-west tip of Tagula Island in the Louisiade Archipelago with central pressure estimated to be 985 hPa. The cyclone then executed a sharp clockwise turn just off the northern side of Tagula Island and by 1800 UTC was moving steadily southeast. The reinvigorated Rewa continued to move southeast and by 1800 UTC on 16 January the central pressure was estimated to have fallen to 920 hPa. This central pressure was estimated to have occurred over the 12-hour period from 1200 UTC 16 January to 0000 UTC 17 January, equalling the lowest pressure achieved by Rewa earlier in its lifetime. The cyclone then recurved to the west-southwest. Fortunately it was weakening as it approached the Queensland coastline. By 0000 UTC 19 January Rewa had turned south on a track parallel to the Queensland coast. From 1800 UTC the track was more towards the southeast away from the coast while weakening continued. Rewa was estimated to have weakened to below cyclone strength by the morning of 21 January when located north of Lord Howe Island.

The remnants of the cyclone moved southeast across the Tasman Sea, approaching the north of the South Island of New Zealand during 23 January where very heavy rainfalls were recorded (Ready 1994).

The two periods when the cyclone was at maximum intensity occurred when the cyclone was well away from land. However nine people were lost in a boat off the east coast of Papua New Guinea due to heavy seas associated with Rewa . A boy died when trapped in a storm water pipe after heavy thunderstorm rainfall over Brisbane. The heavy rain was caused by an interaction between a front and the decaying cyclone.

Track and intensity

All times in UTC - add 10 hours to convert to EST.

Best Track of Tropical Cyclone Rewa