TC TESSI (22P) - CORAL SEA - TOWNSVILLE - REPORT

31st March to 3rd of April 2000

By Carl Smith
carls@ace-net.com.au


Map Animations : Part 1, Part 2, Tessi and Vaughan Satpic Animation


TC TESSI REPORT

At 0645UTC 31 MARCH 2000, the Australian Bureau of Meteorolgy (BoM), Brisbane, issued a High Seas Weather Warning (HSWW) for a tropical low (TL) with a central pressure (CP) of 1002 hectopascals (hPa = millibars = MB) centred at 0600 UTC near 14.2 south 155.2 east moving W at 10 knots (KT). Position poor. This was followed by another HSWW at 309UTC saying the TL with CP of 1002 hPa centred at 1200 UTC near 14.5 S 154.5 E moving W about 8 KT. Position poor. And at1852UTC, the TL with CP of 1002 hPa centred at 1800 UTC near 14.7 S 154.0 E moving W about 8 KT. Position poor.

On the 1st of April at 0057UTC, a HSWW was issued saying tropical cyclone (TC) Tessi with CP of 995 hPa at 010000 UTC has formed near 15.5 S 153.3 E moving WSW about 8 KT. Position fair. Within 100 nautical miles (NM) of the centre, expect clockwise winds around the cyclone at 35/40 KT. Seas rising very rough on increasing swells.

TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 1 (TCA#1) was issued by the BoM at 11am EST [010100 UTC] saying that a Cyclone WATCH has been declared for coastal and island communities between Cape Melville and Townsville. At 11am, Tropical Cyclone Tessi, Category (Cat) 1, was centred near 15.5 S 153.3 E, which is 880 kilometres (km) [475 NM] E of Cooktown. The cyclone is expected to move WSW towards the coast and slowly intensify.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC), Pearl Harbor, issued their 1st warning at 010300 UTC saying that at 010000 UTC, TC 22P (Tessi) was near 15.6S 153.1E moving 245 deg. at 7 KT, with maximum sustained winds (MSW) of 35 KT with gusts (G) to 45 KT. In the remarks, they noted that at 010300 UTC it was near 15.8S 152.7, about 450 NM E of Cape York Peninsula. Animated Visible Imagery (AVI) depicted a convective band developing over the NE quadrant, and a 312251 UTC Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) pass showed the convection wrapping into the Low-Level Circulation Centre (LLCC) from the SW.

The next BoM HSWW said that TC Tessi with CP of 995 hPa at 010600 UTC was near 16.1 S 152.7 E moving WSW about 8 KT. Position fair. Within 100 nm of the centre, expect clockwise winds around the cyclone at 35/40 KT, increasing to 40/45 KT in the next 12 to 24 hours. Seas very rough, rising to high on increasing swells.

BoM TCA#2 said that a Cyclone WATCH has been issued for coastal and island communities between Cape Melville and Bowen. At 5pm [010700 UTC], TC Tessi, Cat 1, was near 16.1 S 152.7 E, which is 790 km [425 NM] ESE of Cooktown and 680 km [365 NM] NE of Townsville. The cyclone is expected to move W-SW towards the coast and intensify overnight. The next HSWW said it was near 16.4 S 152.0 E moving WSW at 8 KT at 011200 UTC. TCA#3 it was about 670 km [360 NM] E of Cairns and 630 km [340 NM] NE of Townsville at 11pm (011300 UTC).

JTWC#2 said that at 011200 UTC it was near 16.2S 152.0E moving 240 deg. 6 KTS accurate to within 060 NM, with MSW 40 KT and G 50 KT, with radius of 35 KT winds of 60 NM in the S semicircle and 40 NM elsewhere. In the remarks, they noted that at 011500 UTC it was near 16.3S 151.8E, about 360 NM E of Cairns. Animated Infrared Imagery (AIRI) depicted a well organised system with improving convection around the system centre. A 011126 SSMI pass showed deep convection beginning to consolidate and wrap into the center. TC 22P is expected to track WSW under the steering influence of a low to mid-level subtropical ridge which extends from S of New Caledonia into SE Australia.

The next BoM HSWW said that at 011800 UTC TC Tessi with CP of 990 hPa was near 17.1 S 150.9 E and moving SW at 10 KT. Position fair. Within 100 nm of the centre, expect clockwise winds around the cyclone averaging 35/40 knots, maximum average winds gradually increasing to 50 knots over the next 24 hours. Seas and swells increasing to average 4 metres. TCA#4 said a Cyclone WARNING is now current for coastal and island communities between Innisfail and Bowen, and a Cyclone WATCH extends south to Proserpine including the Whitsunday Islands. The Cyclone Watch north of Innisfail is cancelled. At 5am EST [011900 UTC], TESSI was located within 40 km of 17.2 S 150.8 E, about 500 km [270 NM] E of Innisfail and 480 km [260 NM] NE of Townsville moving SW at 18 kilometres per hour (km/hr) [10 KT]. Maximum wind gusts (MWG) to 100 km/hr [55 KT], and slowly increasing

BoM TCA#5 said a Cyclone WARNING is current for coastal and island communities between Innisfail and Bowen, and the Cyclone WATCH S to Proserpine is cancelled. At 8am EST [012200 UTC], TESSI CP 988 hPa was located within 40 km [22 NM] of 17.6 S 149.9 E, about 410 km [220 NM] E of Innisfail and 380 km [205 NM] NE of Townsville moving SW at 20 km/hr [11 KT]. MWG to 110 km/hr [60 KT], and slowly increasing. The cyclone is forecast to move in a more westerly direction later today and be close to the coast early on Monday morning.

The next BoM HSWW said at 020000 UTC TC Tessi CP 987 hPa was near 17.8 S 149.6 E and moving SW at 10 knots. Position fair. Within 100 nm of the centre, expect clockwise winds around the cyclone averaging 40 knots, maximum average winds gradually increasing to 50 knots over the next 12 to 18 hours. Seas and swells increasing to average 4 metres. In TCA#6, at 11am EST [020100 UTC], TC TESSI Cat 1 987 hPa was within 40 km [22 NM] of 17.8 S 149.6 E, about 370 km [200 NM] E of Innisfail and 340 km [185 NM] NE of Townsville, moving SW at about 20 km/hr [11 KT]. MWG to 120 km/hr [65 KT], and slowly increasing.

JTWC#3 said that at 020000 it was within 60 NM of 17.8S 150.0E moving 235 deg. at 10 KT, with MSW 45 KT and G 55 KT, with radius of 35 KT winds 60 NM S semicircle 40 NM elsewhere. In the remarks, it was noted that at 020300 UTC it was near 18.1S 149.5E, about 205 NM ENE of Townsville, and a 011505 UTC TRMM pass depicted a LLCC with the majority of the convection confined to the E half of the system. 200 MB analysis showed the system was just Equatorward of the upper ridge axis, and it was expected to track under the steering influence of the low/mid-level subtropical ridge situated SW of New Caledonia.

BoM TCA#7 said at 2pm EST [020400 UTC], TC TESSI Cat 1 CP 987 hPa was within 40 km [22 NM] of 18.2 S 149.0 E, about 300 km E [160 NM] of Cardwell and 260 km [140 NM] NE of Townsville moving SW at about 20 km/hr [11 KT]. MWG to to 120 km/hr [65 KT], and slowly increasing. Gales are expected to develop tonight about the coast and islands between Innisfail and Bowen. The cyclone is forecast to be close to the coast early on Monday morning. If the cyclone centre reaches the coast as late as the morning high tide, a storm surge is expected with tides rising up to 1.5 metres above the normal level with wave runup and sea flooding in low lying coastal areas.

The next BoM HSWW said at 020600 UTC TC Tessi with CP of 990 hPa was near 18.5 S 148.5 E and moving WSW at 12 knots. Position fair. Within 100 NM of the centre, expect clockwise winds 34 to 45 KT around the cyclone, gradually increasing to 50 KT near the centre over the next 12 hours. Seas and swells 3 to 5 metres. BoM TCA#8 said at 5pm EST [020700 UTC], TC TESSI Cat 1 CP 990 hPa was located within 40 km [22 NM] of 18.5 S 148.4 E, about 250 km [135 NM] E of Cardwell and 200 km [110 NM] ENE of Townsville moving WSW at about 22 km/hr [12 KT]. MWG to to 120 km/hr [65 KT]. If the cyclone centre reaches the coast as late as the morning high tide, a storm surge is expected with tides rising up to 1 metre above the normal level with wave runup and sea flooding in low lying coastal areas.

BoM TCA#9 said at 8 pm EST [021000 UTC], TC TESSI Cat 1 CP 988 hPa was within 40 km [22 NM] of 18.6 S 147.8 E, about 150 km [80 NM] E of Lucinda and 130 km [70 NM] NE of Townsville moving WSW at about 18 km/hr [10 KT]. MWG to 120 km/hr [65 KT].

The next BoM HSWW said at 021300 UTC TC Tessi with CP of 988 hectopascals located near 18.7 S 147.2 E and moving W at 10 KT. Position good. Within 100 nm of the centre, expect clockwise winds 34 to 40 KT around the cyclone, reaching 47 KT near the centre. Seas and swells to 5 metres. TCA#10 said at 11 pm EST [021300 UTC], TC TESSI Cat 1 was located about 95 km ESE of Lucinda and 80 km NE of Townsville moving W at about 18 km/hr. MWG to to 120 km/hr. Gales are expected to develop overnight about the coast and islands between Innisfail and Bowen. The cyclone is expected to cross the coast between Townsville and Lucinda during the early hours of Monday morning. Tides are expected to be slightly above normal but will not exceed the high water mark. Heavy to flood rains are likely overnight about the coast and nearby ranges between Innisfail and Mackay. People between Innisfail and Bowen should remain inside until the cyclone has passed and listen to the next advice at 2am EST [021600 UTC].

JTWC#4 said that at 021200 UTC it was within 60 NM of 18.6S 148.0E moving 245 deg at 10 KT, WSW 45 KT, G to 55 KT, radius of 35 KT winds 60 NM S semicircle 40 NM elsewhere. In the remarks they noted that at 021500 UTC it was near 18.7S 147.5E, and Animated Radar Data from Townsville indicated it was E of Palm Island with deep convection SE to S of the system center. AIRI depicted weakening convection and decreasing organisation over the last 12 hours. It was expected to track under the steering infuence of the low/mid-level subtropical ridge SW of New Caledonia, and should make landfall at the 12 hour point about 28 NM NW of Townsville.

BoM TCA#11 said at 2 am EST Monday the 3rd [021600 UTC], TC TESSI Cat 1 CP 988 hPa was within 40 km [22 NM] of 18.7 S 146.9 E, about 60 km [32 NM] ESE of Lucinda and 60 km [32 NM] N of Townsville moving W at about 15 km/hr [8 KT]. MWG to 120 km/hr [65 KT]. Gales are expected about the coast and islands between Innisfail and Bowen for at least the next 6 hours as the centre of the cyclone approaches the coast between Townsville and Lucinda. Tides are expected to be above normal and could exceed the high water mark. Heavy to flood rains are likely about the coast and nearby ranges between Innisfail and Mackay. People between Innisfail and Bowen should remain inside until the cyclone has passed and listen to the next advice at 5am EST [021900 UTC].

The next BoM HSWW said at 021700 UTC TC Tessi with CP of 988 hPa was near 18.8 S 146.5 E and moving W at 8 KT. Position good. Within 40 NM of the centre, expect clockwise winds 34 to 40 KT around the cyclone, reaching 50 KT near the centre. Seas and swells to 5 metres. Winds are expected to ease quickly in the next 6 hours as the cyclone crosses the coast. TCA#12 said at 3 am EST [021700 UTC], it was located about 40 km [22 NM] SE of Lucinda and 60 km [32 NM] N of Townsville moving W at about 15 km/hr [8 KT]. MWG to 120 km/hr [65 KT]. People between Innisfail and Bowen should remain inside until the cyclone has passed and listen to the next advice at 4am EST [021800 UTC].

TCA#13 said a CYCLONE WARNING is current for coastal and island communities between Innisfail and Ayr. The warning between Ayr and Bowen is cancelled. TC TESSI has intensified a little in the past few hours and is now a Cat 2 cyclone. At 4 am EST, TC TESSI CP 988 hPa was within 30 km of 18.7 S 146.6 E about 35 km [19 NM] SE of Lucinda and 65 km [35 NM] N of Townsville moving W at about 15 km/hr [8 KT]. Gales and destructive wind gusts to 130 km/hr [70 KT] are being experienced about the coast and islands and adjacent inland areas between Innisfail and Bowen and should continue for about another 4 hours as the centre of the cyclone approaches the coast between Townsville and Lucinda. Winds sould then gradually ease as the system moves further inland.

TCA#14 said a CYCLONE WARNING is current for coastal and island communities between Cardwell and Ayr. The warning between Cardwell and Innisfail has been cancelled. TC TESSI Cat 2 CP 988 hPa is now quite close to the coast between Lucinda and Townsville. At 5 am EST [021900 UTC], it was within 30 km of 18.8 S 146.5 E, about 35 km SE of Lucinda and 60 km NNW of Townsville moving W at about 15 km/hr. Gales and destructive wind gusts to 130 km/h are being experienced about the coast and islands and adjacent inland areas between Cardwell and Ayr and should continue for about another 4 hours as the centre of the cyclone crosses the coast between Townsville and Lucinda. Winds should then gradually ease as the system moves further inland.

ABC radio reports from Townsville around this time indicated that the city was being buffetted by very strong gales (I was online and listening to the radio at the time).

BoM TCA#15 said the centre of TC TESSI Cat 2 CP 988 hPa was on the coast between Lucinda and Townsville. At 6 am EST [02200 UTC], it was within 30 km of 18.8 S 146.3 E, about 20 km [11 NM] S of Lucinda and 70 km [38 NM] NW of Townsville moving W at about 15 km/hr [8 KT]. Gales and destructive wind gusts to 130 km/h [70 KT] are being experienced about the coast and islands and adjacent inland areas between Cardwell and Ayr and should continue for about another 2 hours as the centre of the cyclone crosses the coast. Winds should then gradually ease as the system moves further inland.

BoM TCA#16 said a CYCLONE WARNING is current for coastal and island communities between Cardwell and Ayr and west to the ranges between Ingham and Townsville. The centre of TC TESSI, Cat 1, CP 990 hPa, with MWG to 110 km/hr [60 KT], is on the coast between Lucinda and Townsville, and has weakened a little in the past hour. At 7 am EST [022100 UTC], it was within 20 km [11 NM] of 18.8 S 146.3 E, about 20 km [11 NM] S of Lucinda and 70 km [38 NM] NW of Townsville and almost stationary. The cyclone is soon expected to soon resume a westerly movement across the coast. Gales are being experienced about the coast and islands and adjacent inland between Cardwell and Ayr and should continue for about another few hours as the centre of the cyclone moves inland. Winds should then gradually ease.

An ABC radio live telephone cross to the hotel at Rollingstone in the eye of the cyclone revealed that winds had been calm for about an hour and a half after having spent the previous several hours experiencing the full force of TC TESSI. There was minimal structural damage, but many trees had been broken or uprooted. A cross to ABC Townsville revealed that the winds had largely abated, and there were reports of some structural damage mainly caused by falling trees, and that many of the trees around the city had been broken or uprooted.

BoM TCA#17 said that a CYCLONE WARNING is current for coastal and island communities between Lucinda and Townsville and west to the ranges. The centre of TC TESSI, Cat 1, 990 hPa, with MWG to 90 km/hr [50 KT], is on the coast between Lucinda and Townsville, and has weakened further in the past hour. At 8 am EST [022200 UTC], it was within 20 km [11 NM] of 18.8 S 146.3 E, about 20 km [11 NM] S of Lucinda and 70 km [38 NM] NW of Townsville and almost stationary. The cyclone is soon expected to resume a westerly movement across the coast. Gales are being experienced about the coast and islands and adjacent inland close to the cyclone centre. Winds are expected to ease below gale force in the next hour or two. Tides will be slightly higher than normal for another few hours. Heavy to flood rains are likely about the coast and nearby ranges between Cardwell and Mackay. A Preliminary Flood Warning is current.

BoM TCA#18 said the CYCLONE WARNING for coastal and island communities between Lucinda and Townsville and west to the ranges has been cancelled. The centre of ex-TC TESSI CP 998 hPa has just crossed the coast between Ingham and Rollingstone and is moving W at 10 to 15 km/hr [5 to 8 KT]. The system has weakened further in the past hour. At 9 am EST [022300 UTC] it was within 30 km [16 NM] of 18.8 S 146.1 E, about 40 km [22 NM] SW of Lucinda and 80 km [43 NM] NW of Townsville. Gales are no longer expected but strong wind squalls will be experienced between Lucinda and Townsville and W to the ranges for several hours. Heavy to flood rains are likely about the coast and nearby ranges between Ingham and Mackay. A Preliminary Flood Warning is current. No further Tropical Cyclone Advices will be issued.

JTWC#5 said that at 030000 UTC it was within 60 NM of 18.8S 145.8E moving 270 deg at 8 KT with MSW 30 KT, G to 40 KT and was dissapating as a significant TC overland. In the remarks they noted that at 030300 UTC it was near 18.8S 145.4E, and had moved onshore about 20 NM SD of Lucinda at 022030. Cities within the area reported sustained winds of gale force (34 to 47 KT). Microwave imagery and the Townsville radar loop indicated that the majority of of the convection and heavy precipitation was primarily confined to the southern half of the system. It was expected to track W and dissipate. This was the final warning on this system.

Very heavy rain continued in Townsville for the next 2 days, causing several landslides on the slopes of Castle Hill that caused damage to some homes in the suburb of North Ward.

EXTRA INFORMATION

Transcript of ABC radio report.

This Bulletin: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 20:10 AEST

Many still without power after Cyclone Tessi

Engineers are working to stabilise the slopes of Townsville's Castle Hill after last night's landslide which led to many homes being evacuated.

Most people have now been allowed to return to their properties.

Experts were called in this morning to look at the situation after tonnes of mud and rocks crashed down from Castle Hill, threatening more than 130 homes.

One family was lucky to escape as the ground floor of their luxury home was inundated.

However, with the exception of four homes, all can now be occupied.

Elsewhere in Townsville at least 20,000 housholders face a third night without electricity and 10,000 people still cannot get through when they pick up the phone.

The State Emergency Service has also responded to calls from people with houses damaged from fallen trees, and on nearby Magnetic Island water shortages will continue until tomorrow.

© 2000 Australian Broadcasting Corporation

NOTES:

Note 1: Tropical Cyclone Advices, Updates, and Shipping Warnings used as sources for meteorological information in this report were issued by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) Brisbane Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres and are Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 1999, Bureau of Meteorology - http://www.bom.gov.au. BoM information is used unless otherwise noted.

Note 2: BoM Brisbane issues warnings to the Australian public using kilometers for distances, kilometers per hour for maximum gust wind speeds, hPa for central pressure, and times are CST, which is Australian Central Standard Time = UTC + 9.5 hours, or WST, which is Australian Western Standard Time = UTC + 8 hours. I have converted all these and added in them brackets, so changing to nautical miles (nearest 5 NM), knots (nearest 5 KT), hPa = MB, and times are also given in UTC.

Note 3: Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), Pearl Harbour, tropical cyclone warnings were also used for extra meteorological information where indicated, and that material is copyright JTWC - http://www.npmoc.navy.mil/jtwc.htm.

END REPORT


Maintained by Carl Smith.
carls@ace-net.com.au

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.

DISCLAIMER: Carl Smith is not responsible or liable in any way whatsoever for the manner in which any person, group, or business, chooses to use the information in this website or the consequences thereof. Whilst all due care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, there may be errors, and the information here is not necessarily up to date. All persons are reminded that it is essential to obtain current information from relevent authorities regarding current or potential cyclones.