Tropical Cyclone Wylva

15 - 22 February 2001


Wylva was a relatively short-lived cyclone, which formed in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria close to the coast. The pre-cyclone circulation formed in the monsoon trough over Cape York Peninsula and moved over Gulf waters on 15 February. A favourable upper ridge to its southwest and a good vertical structure helped its steady development and it became a named system by the 16th. (Tropical Cyclone Wylva was named late on the 15th February). With a firm mid-level ridge to the south, its motion was steadily towards southwest, remaining weak. The system moved inland by 12 UTC on the same day.

The situation was complex, with an apparent eye on radar (maybe a middle level centre) coming ashore and leaving the low level centre behind. The system continued to track westwards as a depression. Like Winsome before it and Abigail afterwards, Wylva maintained its cloud structure quite well over the Australian continent. As a cyclone it had little impact, due to the remoteness of the area affected, but the remnants of the system produced a record flood in the upper Victoria River which inundated the Kalkarindji, Daguragu, Mistake Creek and Pigeon Hole communities. Around 700 people were evacuated, and damage to infrastructure was estimated at A$13 million. Many areas were isolated by the floods, and required food drops.

Track and intensity

All times in UTC - add 9.5 hours to convert to CST.

Best Track of Tropical Cyclone Wylva