Severe Tropical Cyclone Wati

19 - 26 March 2006


A westward moving tropical low was first identified east of the northern tip of Vanuatu on 17 March. The low reached cyclone intensity at 1200 UTC 19 March being named Wati by the RSMC Nadi about 580 km north northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia.

As Tropical Cyclone Larry weakened overland, Wati 's radial outflow improved and the system intensified under low vertical wind shear. By 1800 UTC 21 March, the cyclone reached hurricane-force intensity about 800 km east of Innisfail. Although Queensland communities were a second major cyclone impact within a week, a major shortwave trough digging northwards from near New Zealand induced a recurvature in Wati's track toward the southeast parallel to the Queensland coast. Peak intensity of 44 m/s (85 knots) was achieved at 1800 UTC on 23 March approximately 900 km east of Proserpine.

Soon afterward, Wati commenced extra-tropical transition due to increasing vertical wind shear. The cyclone accelerated to the southeast as it slowly lost both its embedded centre and its convective organization due to the increasing northwesterly wind shear.

By 0600 UTC on 25 March Wati had undergone complete extra-tropical transition approximately 900 km east of Cape Moreton. The storm remained a powerful 988 hPa extra-tropical system at this time with winds estimated to 26 m/s (50 knots) and then passed as close as 300 km to the west-southwest of Norfolk Island before sliding southwards and then almost due east over the North Island of New Zealand. The system was finally absorbed in the mid-latitude westerlies to the east of New Zealand on 28 March. There was no known impact from Wati .

Track and intensity

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

Best Track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Wati