Unnamed Tropical Cyclone

20 December 1981


This unnamed cyclone began as a tropical low in a weak monsoon trough located in the Gulf of Carpentaria early on 20 December. It moved rapidly westward and deepened, reaching cyclonic intensity at about 0500 UTC on the same day.

Peak intensity was attained as it made landfall near Gove at 1400 UTC on the 20th. The central pressure was estimated to have been 985 hPa at this time with maximum winds of 120 km/h near the centre. The area of maximum winds was probably in the southern quadrants due to the rapid westward movement of the storm. The cyclone weakened as it continued westward over land, just inside the north coast.

On the 21st the centre moved offshore near Darwin and deepened slightly, however winds remained below gale force and it finally dissipated on the 27th.

The highest wind speed recorded was at Gove where 115 km/h winds with gusts exceeding 148 krn/h occurred at 1530 UTC 20 December.

Extensive tree damage was caused in the Gove area along with some minor damage to ships berthed at the Nabalco Wharf.

Track and intensity

Best Track of Unnamed Tropical Cyclone