2009–10 Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclone season

1996–97 Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclone season

The 1996-97 Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclone season ran year-round from July 1, 1996 to June 30, 1997, reaching its peak mid-February to early March.

Australian region

Tropical Cyclone Melanie-Bellamine

Melanie formed from a low near Cocos Island on 30 October 1996. It deepened to a category 2 storm overnight on 1 November and it moved westwards, with a subsequent name change to Bellamine. It dissipated on 11 November.

Tropical Cyclone Nicholas

A tropical depression formed on December 12,1996 near Timor. The depression moved south before being classified as a cyclone on December 14 and was named Nicholas. The storm made landfall west of Derby, Australia as a tropical storm on the 15th and dissipated the next day.

Tropical Cyclone Ophelia

Ophelia formed between two tropical cyclones, Nicholas (near the north Kimberley coast) and Elvina near 80°E, to the east of Christmas Island on 13 December 1996. Its track was somewhat unusual in that it moved towards the southeast for most of its lifetime. The weak cyclone had no impact on Christmas Island or northwest Australia and dissipated on 19 December.

Tropical Cyclone Phil

A weak cyclone, Phil crossed the northern part of Australia between December 26 and December 27, 1996. The storm then moved westward where it encountered vertical wind shear and dissipated on December 31. It reformed on 9 January 1997 and finally dissipated on 12 January.

Tropical Cyclone Fergus

Fergus was a Category 2 storm that formed in the Pacific Ocean, lasting from 29 December to 31 December, 1996 until becoming extratropical near New Zealand. The storm dropped heavy rainfall across an already saturated area, with totals of over 16.5 inches (425 mm) near Thames. The rainfall led to widespread flooding and forced many to evacuate. Severe road damage occurred, with some roads remaining closed for over a week. Gusty winds from Fergus downed trees and power lines, and caused property damage.

Tropical Cyclone Rachel

The third and last cyclone to affect Western Australia, Cyclone Rachel formed on January 3, 1997. The storm reached Category 2 status as it moved southward. On January 4 the cyclone brushed Troughton Island and Kalumburu Community, Western Australia before making landfall in the north of the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Rachel then swung back out to sea and hugged the coast before making a second landfall near Port Hedland. Moving inland the terran weakened the storm and Rachel dissipated on January 8.

Tropical Cyclone Pancho/Helinda

Pancho formed to the north of Cocos Islands during 20 January 1997. It moved south towards Cocos Islands, then moved southwest, intensifying rapidly to a Category 4 or Category 5 cyclone with an estimated central pressure of 925 hPa by the morning of 22 January. Pancho then was renamed Helinda by the Mauritiaun TCWC and weakened. By 29 January Pancho/Helinda was moving from the northwest towards Cocos Islands again, however again it changed direction to the southwest and reintensified to Category 4. It finally weakened to a tropical depression by 5 February.

Tropical Cyclone Justin

Justin had a long 3½ week life in March 1997. Peaking as a Category 4 cyclone, and making landfall as a Category 2, it caused significant damage in the Cairns region which it approached on two occasions.It was the largest cyclone to hit Northern Queensland in 1997. Houses were undermined by huge waves, a marina and boats were severely damaged, roads and bridges suffered from flood and landslide damage and huge losses were inflicted on sugar cane, fruit and vegetable crops. The death toll in Queensland was seven including five on a yacht which sank. There were 26 who died in Papua New Guinea which was also severely affected. Total estimated costs in Australia were $190 million (1997 values).

Tropical Cyclone Rhonda

This stormed formed in the southern Indian Ocean on 10 May 1997. It dissipated on 16 May.

Other tropical cyclones

The following cyclones also occurred within the Australian region:

  • Gillian, 10 to 12 February 1997, near Queensland

  • Harold, 16 to 21 February 1997, Pacific Ocean

  • Ita, 24 February 1997, near Queensland

South-West Indian Ocean

Tropical Cyclone Lindsay

Lindsay was an unusual out-of-season cyclone that formed on July 9,1996 (which is during the southern hemisphere winter). The short lived cyclone moved south-southwest before being sheared apart on July 13.

Tropical Cyclone Elvina

Elvina formed near 80°E, to the east of Christmas Island on 9 December 1996. It dissipated on 14 December.

Tropical Cyclone Lisette

Tropical Cyclone Lisette struck the east coast of Mozambique killing 87 people.

Other tropical cyclones

The following tropical cyclones also occurred in the Southern Indian Ocean:

  • Chantelle, 24 to 29 November 1996

  • Daniella, 2 to 10 December 1996

  • Fabriola, 2 to 8 January 1997, crossed Madagascar

  • Gretelle, 20 to 31 January 1997

  • Iletta, 23 to 28 January 1997

  • Josie, 8 to 16 February 1997

  • Karlette, 16 to 26 February 1997

South Pacific

The following tropical cyclones occurred in the Southern Pacific Ocean:

  • Cyril, 23 to 26 November 1996

  • Drena, 3 to 10 January 1997

  • Evan, 10 to 16 January 1997

  • Freda, 26 January to 2 February 1997

  • Gavin, 3 to 12 March 1997

  • Hina, 13 to 18 March 1997

  • Ian, 17 to 19 April 1997

  • June, 2 to 5 May 1997

  • Keli, 10 to 15 June 1997

See also

External links

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