Tropical Cyclone Wally

22 - 27 February 1976


Wally was the sixth cyclone of the season and the third to affect coastal areas of Western Australia. It formed just west of the Kimberley and then travelled in an arc slightly convergent to the northwest coast of Australia. It had travelled polewards almost to latitude 30°S before recrossing the coast near Geraldton and moving inland to dissipate.

The maximum wind reported was 90 kn (167 km/h) experienced by the "Robert Miller" at 261700 GMT when the cyclone was about 35 km to the westsouthwest of the ship. Coastal areas also experienced winds exceeding gale force. The earliest report from a land station was the south southeast wind of 83 km/h reported from Cape Lambert at 2300 UTC on 24 February. Localities such as Barrow Island, Shark Bay, Kalbarri, Northampton, Geraldton and Dongara experienced winds exceeding gale force. For about an hour beginning 0730 UTC 27 February a calm was experienced at Dongara as Wally moved inland directly over the township.

Reports indicated that damage caused by the wind was minor.

From the reported winds it was expected that rough seas and heavy swells would have been generated by cyclone Wally . Along the west coast abnormally high tides were reported from many centres with rough or very rough seas and northwesterly swells of two to four metres. Seas and swells reported by ships affected by Wally at no time exceeded moderate heights. Damage to prawning trawlers in the Shark Bay area was estimated at $150,000. No other damage attributable to sea action was reported.

For more details see the TC Wally Report (pdf).

Track and intensity

Best Track of Tropical Cyclone Wally