Severe Tropical Cyclone Zelia

14 - 18 January 2011


Severe Tropical Cyclone Zelia initially developed over the northern Coral Sea approximately 750 kilometres northeast of Cairns on the 14th January 2011. Zelia began to move in a southeasterly direction under the influence of a mid level ridge situated across the western Coral Sea. Zelia rapidly intensified to a category 3 system on the 15th January and then further to a category 4 on the 16th while accelerating to the west of New Caledonia.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Zelia began weakening on the 17th January as the system approached Norfolk Island due to a combination of cooler sea surface temperatures and increased wind shear. Zelia was downgraded to a low pressure system at 4am on the 18th January.

Zelia was the second tropical cyclone in the Queensland area of responsibility during the 2010/11 season. Zelia was also the second tropical cyclone to affect Norfolk Island during the 2010/11 season following tropical cyclone Vania only the week before.

Extreme Values During Cyclone Event (estimated)

Note that these values may be changed on the receipt of later information

Maximum Category:
Maximum sustained wind speed:
185 km/hr
Maximum wind gust:
270 km/hr
Lowest central pressure:
943 hPa

Track and Intensity

Best Track of Severe Tropical Cyclone Zelia