Tropical Cyclone Lua

  • Satellite image of Cyclone Lua as it made landfall. Image: Australian Government , Bureau of Meteorology (2012)

    Tracking map of where Tropical Cyclone Lua has passed and where it is expected to travel. Image: Australian Government, Bureau of Meteorology (2012)

    Image to illustrate wind speeds at 1400 WST as Tropical Cyclone Lua made landfall

  • Tropical Cyclone Lua
    17.03.2012 14:46

    Cyclone Lua is the latest severe weather system to affect the north-west of Australia. The tropical depression developed at the beginning of the week and then gradually strengthened as it moves closer towards the north-west coast of Australia. The storm was upgraded to a category 2 tropical cyclone on Thursday and had strengthened to category 3 by the evening. On Saturday morning it was upgraded to a category 4 storm with wind gusts reaching 100mph, the second most severe system on Australian scales. Many areas along the west coast were put on red alert, especially in the inland areas of the Pilbara.

    Tropical Cyclone Lua made landfall at 1400 WST on the 17th March, just east of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Torrential rain, strong winds and storm surges affected the small communities of Pardoo and Wallal, causing damage to shrubbery and trees as well as damage to mobile homes and similar poorly constructed buildings. Within 2 hours many coastal and low-lying escape routes had flooded before the storm’s centre arrived. In addition to this many areas inland have flooded due to the large amount of water. 

    The eye of the storm passed over Pardoo at 1724 as winds began to weaken. The cyclone was downgraded to a category 2 cyclone at 2055 WST on the 17th March, but was still packing winds of 96mph. Tropical Cyclone Lua is continuing to weaken as it travels in land with winds slowly weakening, although heavy rain still poses a threat.

    By: Sally-Jean Webb