Severe Tropical Cyclone Sam

4 - 10 December 2000


Tropical Cyclone Sam was named by the Perth Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre at 1300 WST on Tuesday 5 December 2000 when it was located offshore to the north-northeast of Derby. The cyclone initially moved on a westerly track but turned to the south late on Wednesday 6 December. It was upgraded to Category 3 at 1300 WST on Thursday 7 December, and was further upgraded to Category 5 overnight on 7 December. During this period of intensification Sam moved very slowly to the southwest. It commenced a southeast track towards the coast late on the morning of 8 December.

Sam crossed the Kimberley coastline 110 km south of Broome, near the community of Bidyadanga, at approximately 2000 WST Friday 8 December 2000. The eye of the cyclone then passed over Frazier Downs, Nita Downs and Anna Plains before moving slowly inland and gradually weakening over the Great Sandy Desert. Sam was close to maximum intensity when it crossed the coast. Wind gusts near the centre were estimated to be greater than 250 km/h.

For more details see the TC Sam Report (pdf)

Track and intensity

All times in WST - add 1.5 hours to convert to CST.

Best Track of Tropical Cyclone Sam