Cyclone Rewa

Cyclone Rewa
Severe Tropical Cyclone Rewa
Category 5 cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHS)
Tropical Cyclone Rewa near its peak intensity
Formed 26 December 1993
Dissipated 23 January 1994
Extratropical after 21 January
Highest winds 10-minute sustained:
205 km/h (125 mph)
1-minute sustained:
230 km/h (145 mph)
Lowest pressure 920 mbar (hPa; 27.17 inHg)
Fatalities 22
Areas affected Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Eastern Australia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and New Zealand
Part of the 1993–94 South Pacific and the 1993–94 Australian region cyclone seasons

Severe Tropical Cyclone Rewa was the longest-lasting tropical cyclone on record within the southern Pacific Ocean surviving for 28 days. It was an erratic tropical cyclone that killed 22 people and affected six countries. The disturbance that became Cyclone Rewa was first identified on 26 December 1994, to the south-east of Nauru Island. Over the next couple of days, the disturbance gradually developed while moving to the south-south-west, and it was named Rewa late on 28 December. During the next day, Rewa continued to move towards the south-south-west, moving through the Solomon Islands before it exited the South Pacific basin. Once in the Australian region, the cyclone continued to intensify and turned southward, paralleling the Australian coast during 31 December. Rewa further intensified over the next two days and reached its initial peak intensity as a Category four tropical cyclone on 2 January. The system maintained this intensity for about 12 hours before it began to weaken due to an increase in wind shear by 3 January. As the cyclone turned south-eastward, it moved back into the South Pacific basin during 4 January.

It continued to weaken and passed around the south coast of New Caledonia during 5 and 6 January. After affecting New Caledonia, Rewa weakened into a tropical depression and moved towards the north-west over the next few days, before re-entering the Australian basin during 10 January and starting to show signs of reintensification. Over the next few days the cyclone moved towards the north north-west and started to affect Papua New Guinea for the second time before it was renamed Rewa during 13 January while it recurved and started to move towards the south-west. Over the next few days the cyclone continued to move to the south-east towards the South Pacific basin, before as it peaked in intensity on 16 January as a Category 5 Severe Tropical cyclone, Rewa turned and started to move towards the south-west. Over the next few days, the cyclone gradually weakened while it moved towards the south-west and a predicted landfall near Mackay in Queensland. However during 18 January, Rewa interacted with an upper level trough and as a result turned and started to move towards the south-east along the Queensland coast. Rewa then degenerated into an extratropical cyclone during 20 January, with its remnants last noted bringing heavy rain to New Zealand on 23 January.

22 people lost their lives in accidents that were related back to Cyclone Rewa, while it affected parts off the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and New Zealand. Nine people who were sailing in a banana dinghy to Rossel Island during the height of the system went missing and later presumed drowned after wreckage of their boat turned up on the island without them. Three of the four deaths reported in Queensland, Australia were due to traffic accidents while the other death occurred when a young boy got trapped in a storm water pipe. One death was recorded within New Caledonia while eight deaths were reported on 29 December, from flooding in Papua New Guinea. After this usage of the name Rewa, it was retired and replaced with the name Rene.

Contents

Meteorological history

Storm path

Early on 26 December, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) started to monitor a tropical disturbance that was located about 575 km (355 mi) to the south-east of Yaren on Nauru island.[1] Over the next couple of days the disturbance moved towards the south-south-west and gradually developed further before early on 28 December the Fiji Meteorological Service's Tropical Cyclone Warning Center in Nadi, Fiji (TCWC Nadi), started to monitor the disturbance as a tropical depression.[1][2] Later that day the JTWC reported that the depression had intensified into tropical storm 05P before TCWC Nadi reported that the system had developed into a category 1 tropical cyclone, and named it Rewa, while it was located about 500 km (310 mi) to the south-east of Honiara on the Solomon Island of Guadalcanal.[2][3][4] During 29 December the system slowly deepened further, while continuing to move towards the south-south-west and passed through the Solomon Islands before starting to affect the south-eastern islands of Papua New Guinea.[5] During that day, Rewa moved out of the South Pacific basin and into the Australian region, with the Bureau of Meteorology's Brisbane tropical cyclone warning centre taking responsibility for the system.[3][5]

Early on 30 December while the cyclone continued to move westwards, TCWC Brisbane reported that Rewa had intensified into a category 2 tropical cyclone on the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale.[5] Later that day the JTWC reported that the system had become equivalent to a category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale (SSHS) with 1-minute sustained windspeeds of 120 km/h (75 mph).[1] TCWC Brisbane then reported early on 31 December, that Rewa had intensified into a category three severe tropical cyclone, before the system recurved and started to move towards the south parallel to the Queensland coast.[2] Throughout 31 December and 1 January, Rewa slowly intensified further before it started to rapidly deepen further early on 2 January, as it continued to move towards the south-south-east.[5] Both agencies then reported later that day at 1800 UTC that Rewa had reached its peak intensity, with the JTWC reporting that Rewa had peaked with 1-minute windspeeds of 230 km/h (145 mph), equivalent to a category 4 tropical cyclone on the SSHS.[2][1] Meanwhile TCWC Brisbane reported that the system had peaked with 10-minute windspeeds of 205 km/h (125 mph) with a central pressure of 920 hPa, which made it a category 5 severe tropical cyclone on the Australian Scale.[2] However during a subsequent reanalysis of the data, TCWC Brisbane lowered their estimate of the wind speed to 175 km/h (110 mph), which made Rewa a category 4 severe tropical cyclone.[3][6]

Rewa remained at its peak intensity for 12 hours before the system started to weaken during 3 January, as vertical windshear increased over the system.[7] Throughout that day, the cyclone started to move towards the south-east, before it started to take a more eastwards track as it approached 160°E.[5] Rewa then moved back into the South Pacific basin during 4 January, as a weakening category 3 severe tropical cyclone with TCWC Nadi estimating the 10-minute sustained windspeeds at 150 km/h (90 mph).[3] During the next day as Rewa continued to move eastwards, the JTWC reported that Rewa had weakened into a tropical storm, while TCWC Nadi reported that Rewa had weakened into a category 2 tropical cyclone.[1][5] Later that day, Rewa moved around New Caledonia's south coast passing in between the Grand Terre island and the territory of L'Île-des-Pins, before passing over the Loyalty Islands during January 6.[8] As the weakening cyclone then passed near the Loyalty Islands, both the JTWC and TCWC Nadi reported that Rewa had weakened into a Depression, as it started to move towards the north-east.[8][1][5] During the next day, Rewa continued moving towards the north-east before it recurved and started to move towards the north-west.[8] Over the next few days the system moved towards the north-west and out of the South Pacific basin during 10 January.[5]

After moving back into the Australian region during 10 January, Rewa continued to move towards the north-west and over the next few days started to show signs of re-intensification.[5] Early on 13 January, the JTWC reported that Rewa had re-intensified into a weak tropical storm near Tagula Island, while TCWC Port Morseby reported that the system had developed into a borderline category 1–2 tropical cyclone and renamed it Rewa.[1][8][9] After it had re-intensified into a named storm, Rewa executed a sharp clockwise turn of Tagula Island and started to move towards the south-east while gradually intensifying further.[5] Early on 15 January, TCWC Brisbane reported that the system had become a category 3 severe tropical cyclone again while the JTWC also reported that Rewa had become equivalent to a category 1 tropical cyclone again.[1][3] During that day, Rewa started to rapidly intensify as an upper level trough approached the system, the JTWC then reported on 16 January at 1200 UTC, that the system had peaked with 1-minute sustained windspeeds of 230 km/h (145 mph).[5][1] Six hours later TCWC Brisbane reported that Rewa had peaked with 10-minute sustained windspeeds of 205 km/h (125 mph) which made it a category 5 severe tropical cyclone on the Australian scale.[5] After it had peaked in intensity the system recurved towards the south-south-west, and started to gradually weaken.[1] By 18 January the JTWC reported that Rewa had weakened into a tropical storm while throughout that day TCWC Brisbane reported Rewa to be a Category 3 Severe Tropical Cyclone.[5][1] During the next day, TCWC Brisbane reported that Rewa had weakened into a category 2 tropical cyclone as it recurved and started to move towards the south-east about 265 km (165 mi) to the east of Mackay, Queensland.[5][3] Over the next couple of days the system moved towards the south-south-east along the Queensland coast while maintaining its intensity as a Category 2 Tropical Cyclone.[3] TCWC Brisbane then reported late on 20 January, that the cyclone had weakened into a category one tropical cyclone before during the next day both the JTWC and TCWC Brisbane reported that Rewa had degenerated into an extratropical depression.[5][1] As an extratropical depression the system continued to move towards the south-east across the Tasman Sea and entered the South Pacific basin for the third and final time during 21 January.[3] The extratropical remnants of Rewa were last noted on 23 January by TCWC Wellington bringing heavy rain to parts of New Zealand about 400 km (250 mi) to the east of Wellington, New Zealand.[3][5]

Preparations and impact

22 people lost their lives in accidents that were related back to Cyclone Rewa, while it affected parts off the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and New Zealand.[10] Nine people who were sailing in a banana dinghy to Rossel Island during the height of the system went missing and later presumed drowned after wreckage of their boat turned up on the island without them. Three of the four deaths reported in Queensland, Australia were due to traffic accidents while the other death occurred when a young boy got trapped in a storm water pipe. One death was recorded within New Caledonia while eight deaths were reported on 29 December, from flooding in Papua New Guinea.[11] After this usage of the name Rewa, it was retired and replaced with the name Rene.[12]

Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands

Cyclone Rewa affected the Solomon Islands between 28 December and 30 December and was the first archipelago to be affected by Rewa.[13] As it developed into a tropical cyclone on 28 December, the system passed to the north of the outer lying atolls of Malaita Province in the Solomon Islands. Rewa then passed over the southern tip of Malaita Island, before passing to the south of Guadalcanal Island and the north of Renell Island during 29 December.[1][5] It was estimated by the Solomon Islands Meteorological Service that the cyclone had brought 10-minute sustained windspeeds of between 85 - 120 km/h (50 - 75 mph) to the southern Solomon islands.[13]

Cyclone Rewa started to affect New Caledonia on 4 January, before it passed over Grand Terre Island during 5 January. Rewa dumped over 300 mm (12 in) of rain on parts of the archipelago which made all off the major rivers overflow and burst their banks leaving several roads closed.[11][14] Several landslides and 1 death were recorded in New Caledonia while on the loyalty island of Mare, waves from Rewa partially destroyed the dike at Tadines port.[11]

Cyclone Rewa had no effect on Vanuatu while it passed through the Solomon Islands between 28 - 30 December, however the southern islands of Vanuatu were affected by the cyclone after it had passed through New Caledonia during 5 January.[15] As it moved towards the north-west between 6–8 January, Rewa brought strong winds that were near gale force to parts of the Tafea Province.[15] Rewa also brought strong north-westerly winds and high seas to Efate Island between 8–9 January as it passed about 175 km (110 mi) to the southeast of Port Vila causing damage to the intertidal zone of Port Vila's harbour.[15]

New Guinea

Cyclone Rewa affected Papua New Guinea, on two separate occasions while it was active, with the cyclone first affecting the country between 28 December and 1 January, before grazing the archipelago between 12 and 14 January.[16][5] Ahead of Rewa affecting the archipelago, TCWC Port Moresby issued cyclone alerts for various parts including Sudest, Rossel and Samarai islands, while authorities urged people not to go to beaches.[10][17] As it affected the archipelago, Rewa brought heavy rainfall, high seas, and wind gusts of up to 100 km/h (60 mph) to parts of the archipelago including Sudest, Rossel and Samarai islands.[10][18] The hardest hit areas were communities that lied near major river systems, with the cyclone blocking roads, destroying a church, bridges, homes and gardens with vital crops such as coffee and copra destroyed.[19] In total over 3500 people were made homeless, while 17 deaths were recorded in Papua New Guinea when Rewa was active with 8 of these deaths being caused by flooding.[19] 9 other people went missing while travelling to Rossel island after their boat was caught up in high seas associated with Rewa.[18] They were later presumed dead by the National Disaster and Emergency Service after a local search and rescue mission found wreckage of the boat.[10][18] On 29 December, the automatic weather station at Jingo on Rossel island, recorded a minimum pressure of 999.8 hPa (29.52 inHg) at 0600 UTC, before six hours later it recorded a maximum sustained wind of 55 km/h (35 mph).[20]

Australia

During the opening days of 1994, Rewa moved southwards parallel to the Queensland coast, however because it was located about 600 km (370 mi) to the north-west of Mackay it was located too far away from the coast for there to be any impact on Queensland.[3][21] The only impacts reported were a higher surf and long surface waves from which several people had to be rescued from before the cyclone started to move towards New Caledonia during 4 January.[14][21] As Rewa affected Queensland for the second time, watches and warnings were issued for various parts of Queensland by TCWC Brisbane, who predicted a landfall near Mackay.[22] On 18 January local disaster committees met to consider evacuating people while people in holidaying in national parks were alerted about Rewa by a helicopter.[22] A military training exercise that was due to take place in Shoalwater Bay had to be cancelled, with army personal evacuated to Rockhampton to avoid being cut off by flood waters.[22] Along the coast several ports including Gladstone had to be shut with large vessels told to head to sea and small vessels told to batten down.[22] On 19 January Rewa started to affect Queensland with torrential rain and storm force windspeeds which caused some damage along the coast.[5] However it did not make its predicted landfall near Mackay, and instead recurved to the south-southeast and came within 100 km (60 mi) of the coast.[23][5] Two men off Yeppoon coast were rescued from a fishing trawler by an army black hawk helicopter after high seas damaged the trawlers propeller and snapped its heavy anchor chain leaving the boat drifting helplessly in the cyclone's path.[24][23] The worst affected island was Lady Elliot as it bore the brunt of the wind, while on Heron Island, several rare trees and bird rookeries were either destroyed or severely damaged. As Rewa interacted with an upper trough of low pressure on 19 January, heavy rainfall and thunderstorms were observed in parts of Brisbane and the Gold Coast.[25] Brisbane received over 144 mm (5.7 in) in just six hours which lead to some flash flooding in parts of the city and four deaths.[24] Three of the deaths were from people crashing their cars, while the other death occurred when a person went surfing Brisbane's flood water and got trapped in a storm drain.[24] Within Brisbane 100 homes and 20 were cars were damaged by the flood waters, while a Sheffield Shield cricket match between Western Australia and Queensland was delayed after The Gabba resembled a small lake.[26]

See also

  • Cyclone Katrina 1997–98 – another erratic tropical cyclone that took a similar path.
  • Hurricane John 1994 – the longest tropical cyclone on record.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Unattributed (2002-12-17). "JTWC Tropical Cyclone 05P (Rewa) Best Track Analysis". Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Center, Joint Typhoon Warning Center. United States Navy. http://www.usno.navy.mil/NOOC/nmfc-ph/RSS/jtwc/best_tracks/1994/1994s-bsh/bsh051994.txt. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Hanstrum, B.N.; Smith K.J.; Bate P.W.. "The South Pacific and Southeast Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclone Season 1993–94". Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal (Bureau of Meteorology) (45): 137–147. http://www.bom.gov.au/amm/docs/1996/hanstrum.pdf. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Unattributed (2009-05-22). "TCWC Wellington Best Track Data 1967–2006". Fiji Meteorological Service, Meteorological Service of New Zealand Limited, Bureau of Meteorology. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. ftp://eclipse.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/ibtracs/original-bt-data-files/wellington/TC_BT_1967_2006.xls. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  4. ^ Unattributed (1995). "1994 Annual Tropical Cyclone Report". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. http://www.usno.navy.mil/NOOC/nmfc-ph/RSS/jtwc/atcr/1994atcr.pdf. Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Unattributed (2009). "Tropical Cyclone Rewa". Bureau of Meteorology. http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/history/rewa.shtml. Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  6. ^ Unattributed (2007). "BoM Tropical Cyclone Rewa Australian region Best Track Analysis". Bureau of Meteorology. Archived from the original on 2011-08-21. http://www.webcitation.org/616YW2noN. Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  7. ^ Paterson, Linda A.; Hanstrum, Barry N.; Davidson, Noel E.; Weber, Harry C. (2005). "Influence of Environmental Vertical Wind Shear on the Intensity of Hurricane-Strength Tropical Cyclones in the Australian Region". Monthly Weather Review 133 (12): 3644. doi:10.1175/MWR3041.1. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/MWR3041.1. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Tropical Cyclone Rewa". Vanuatu Meteorological Service. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2011. ftp://dossier.ogp.noaa.gov/GCOS/TC-RESEARCH/MAPS/VANUATU/1993_2.jpg. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  9. ^ Dolan, Chris; May. Peter, (1995). "Rewa: Diary of a tropical cyclone". Hazard-Wise. Emergency Management Australia. pp. 59. ISBN 0642224358. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=vHkt7iGw4BUC&pg=PA59&lpg=PA59&dq=Cyclone+Rewa&source=bl&ots=Cd3uL5ebnd&sig=bztLVvoGuR9va8bW0Gube2yBDls&hl=en&ei=ijGvTvCbF42V8gPohIXSAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CEoQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Cyclone%20Rewa&f=false. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Cyclone ravages Australia". Australian Associated Press (Reading Eagle). 1994-01-20. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ZoIuAAAAIBAJ&sjid=TKEFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4299,2800343&dq=cyclone+rewa&hl=en. Retrieved 2011-09-11. 
  11. ^ a b c Unattributed (2011). "Cyclone Passes Entre 1950 et 1995: Rewa". Meteo France New Caledonia. http://www.meteo.nc/cyclone/cyclones-passes?view=cyclones. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  12. ^ Unattributed (2011-05-23). "Tropical Cyclone Operational Plan for the South-East Indian Ocean and the Southern Pacific Ocean" (PDF). RA V Tropical Cyclone Committee. World Meteorological Organization. http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/tcp/documents/TCP-24_RAVOpPlan_2010.pdf. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  13. ^ a b Unattributed (2009-09-13). "Tropical Cyclones/Depressions that passed through Solomon Islands Region". Solomon Islands Meteorological Service. http://www.met.gov.sb/tcnames.pdf. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  14. ^ a b Newmann, Steve (1994-01-09). "Earthweek: a diary of the planet for the week ending 7 January 1994". The Sunday Gazette. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=WNtQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=n-kMAAAAIBAJ&dq=cyclone%20rewa&pg=5914%2C1965524. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  15. ^ a b c Unattributed (2010-03-13). "Tropical cyclones in Vanuatu: 1847 to 1994". Vanuatu Meteorological Service. http://www.pacificdisaster.net/pdnadmin/data/original/VUT_TC_1847_1994.pdf. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  16. ^ Terry, James P. (2007). Tropical cyclones: climatology and impacts in the South Pacific. Springer. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-387-71542-1. http://books.google.com/?id=CUh3FXQFiDMC&pg=PA47&dq=%22Cyclone+Rewa%22#v=onepage&q=%22Cyclone%20Rewa%22&f=false. 
  17. ^ "Nine Missing In Cyclone". Associated Press World stream. 1993-12-31. 
  18. ^ a b c "nine missing after cyclone hits png". Xinhua News Agency. 1994-01-19. 
  19. ^ a b "Floods Kill at Least 8, More than 1,000 Homeless". Australian Associated Press. 1993-12-30. 
  20. ^ Beven II. John L, (1994-01-07). "Tropical Cyclone Weekly Summary #126 (December 26, 1993 - January 2, 1994)". http://groups.google.com/group/sci.geo.meteorology/browse_thread/thread/56af3e8927a7cf84/125ddad9230b3f4c?. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  21. ^ a b Smith, A (1994-01-05). "No relief near for heat-weary state". Courier-Mail. 
  22. ^ a b c d "Queensland on Cyclone Rewa alert". The Advertiser. 1994-01-19. 
  23. ^ a b Tom. Emma, (1994-01-20). "QLD battered as cyclone eases". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  24. ^ a b c Callaghan, Jeff (2004-08-12). Tropical Cyclone Impacts along the Australian east coast from November to April 1858 to 2000. Australian Severe Weather. http://australiasevereweather.com/cyclones/impacts-eastcoast.pdf. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  25. ^ Unattributed (2010). "Queensland Flood Summary 1990 – 1999". Queensland Hydrology Section. Bureau of Meteorology. http://www.bom.gov.au/hydro/flood/qld/fld_history/floodsum_1990.shtml. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  26. ^ "Disasters Database: Disaster Event Details: Cyclone Rewa". Attorney-General’s Department. Australian Government. 2011-05-05. http://www.disasters.ema.gov.au/Browse%20Details/DisasterEventDetails.aspx?DisasterEventID=549. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 

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