15 to 19 FEBRUARY 2000

By Carl Smith


On the 15th of February 2000 at 0900 UTC the BoM issued the first shipping warning for a developing tropical in the Indian Ocean NW of Western Australia saying that a tropical low with central pressure (CP) 1000 hPa (hectoPascals = millibars = MB) was located near 14.5S 102.5E and almost stationary.

By 1600UTC CP had dropped to 999 hPa and it was near 14.7S 103.1E and moving SE at 5 knots, and at 2200 UTC CP was 998 hPa and it was near 15.1S 102.8E and moving S at 4 knots (KT).

Tropical cyclone Marcia was named in a Shipping warning issued by the BoM at 0322 UTC on the 16th saying CP was 995 hPa and it was re-located at 0300 UTC near 15.0S 102.0E and moving S at 3 KT, and it was causing rough to very rough seas, moderate swell and 30/45 KT winds within 90 nautical miles (NM) of centre.

JTWC issued a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert (TCFA) at 160500 UTC saying that winds in the area were estimated to be 25 to 30 KT and Metsat imagery at 160230 UTC indicated a near stationary circulation centre near 15.5S and 102.0E. Animated visible and infrared imagery depicted a well defined Low Level Circulation Centre (LLCC) within the monsoon trough about 340 NM ESE of the Cocos Islands and the convection had continued to organise over the past 6 hours, although the region was experiencing weak northeasterly wind shear. CP was estimated to be 1000 MB.

At 1000 UTC CP was 992 hPa and was located near 15.1S 102.6E and moving ESE at 3 KT, and at 1600 UTC, CP was 995 hPa and it was relocated near 15.2S 103.2E and moving E at 3 KTs.

It was apparent that CP was rising, as at 2200 UTC CP was 998 hPa and was located near 15.6S 103.4E and moving SSE at 4 KT.

The final warning was issued by the BoM at 0400 UTC on the 17th, saying Tropical cyclone Marcia with central pressure 998 hPa located near 16.4S 103.5E and moving SSE at 5 KT, with the cyclone causing rough seas, moderate swell and 30/40 knot winds within 90 nautical miles of centre. Winds expected to moderate below gale force in the next six hours.

JTWC continued issuing daily TCFA's on this system until 190500 UTC, but it never got to Tropical Cyclone strength as far as they were concerned. Curiously, JTWC more often calls a system a Tropical Cyclone before the BoM does, but not in this case.


Note 1: Shipping Warnings used as sources for meteorological information in this report were issued by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) Perth Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre and are Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 1999, Bureau of Meteorology - BoM information is used unless otherwise noted.

Note 2: Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), Pearl Harbour, Tropical Cyclone Formation Alerts were also used for extra meteorological information where indicated, and that material is copyright JTWC -


Maintained by Carl Smith.

Carl Smith 1999 - 2000. All maps, images, and other information on these Web pages is copyright, either by Carl Smith, or by the agencies that produce the satellite images and other weather related information, as indicated in each case. It is essential to obtain permission in writing from the copyright owner before reproducing any of the information on this website in any form whatsoever except for fair purposes of review as permitted under copyright legislation.

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