1979–80 South Pacific cyclone season

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1979–80 South Pacific cyclone season
1979-1980 South Pacific cyclone season summary.jpg
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formed December 9, 1979
Last system dissipated April 8, 1980
Seasonal statistics
Total depressions 8
Tropical cyclones 7
Severe tropical cyclones 2
Total fatalities Unknown
Total damage Unknown
Related articles
South Pacific tropical cyclone seasons
1977–78, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1982–83

The 1979–80 South Pacific cyclone season saw mostly weak systems.

Seasonal summary[edit]

Tropical cyclone scales#Comparisons across basins

Systems[edit]

Tropical Cyclone Ofa[edit]

Category 2 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Ofa Dec 10 1979 0355Z.png Ofa 1979 track.png
Duration December 9 – December 15
Peak intensity 100 km/h (65 mph) (10-min)  980 hPa (mbar)

Ofa was classified on December 9. For several days it slowly deepened and on December 12 attained peak intensity while moving eastward. Three days later Ofa was no more.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Peni[edit]

Category 3 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone south.svg Peni 1980 track.png
Duration January 1 – January 6
Peak intensity 120 km/h (75 mph) (10-min)  970 hPa (mbar)

Peni existed from January 1 to 6.

Tropical Cyclone Rae[edit]

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone south.svg Rae 1980 track.png
Duration February 2 – February 5
Peak intensity 65 km/h (40 mph) (10-min)  998 hPa (mbar)

Rae lasted five days from February 2 to 7. It remained weak.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Sina[edit]

Category 3 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Cyclone Sina 1980 1.png Sina 1980 track.png
Duration March 9 – March 16
Peak intensity 120 km/h (75 mph) (10-min)  970 hPa (mbar)

During the opening days of March 1980, a broad trough of low pressure, extended from Vanuatu to Queensland, Australia.[1] A tropical depression subsequently developed, along this trough during March 9, near Rennell Island in the Solomon Islands.[1][2] Over the next few days the system initially moved south-eastwards into the Australian region, as it gradually developed further before it turned south-westwards towards the South Pacific during March 10.[1] The Australian Bureau of Meteorology, subsequently reported that the depression, had developed into a tropical cyclone and named it Sina during March 11.[1] The system subsequently moved south-eastwards and back into the South Pacific basin, where it continued to intensify and move south-eastwards. During March 13, the system peaked as a Category 3 severe tropical cyclone with 10-minute sustained wind speeds estimated at 120 km/h (75 mph), as it passed about 200 km (125 mi) to the southwest of New Caledonia.[1][3] After the system had peaked, it accelerated south-eastwards while gradually weakened and transitioning into a cold cored low.[1][3] The system impacted northern New Zealand during March 15, before it was last noted during the following day.[1][3]

Tropical Cyclone Tia[edit]

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone south.svg Tia 1980 track.png
Duration March 22 – March 27
Peak intensity 85 km/h (50 mph) (10-min) 

Tia affected Fiji and Tonga.

Tropical Cyclone Val[edit]

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone south.svg Val 1980 track.png
Duration March 25 – March 28
Peak intensity 75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min) 

Val affected Wallis and Futuna between March 25 - 29.

Tropical Cyclone Wally[edit]

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone south.svg Wally 1980 track.png
Duration April 1 – April 8
Peak intensity 65 km/h (40 mph) (10-min)  995 hPa (mbar)

Wally lasted in the southern Pacific from April 1 to 7 and was a category one cyclone on the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale with a peak pressure of 990 HpA/mbar. During its lifetime it made landfall on the second biggest island of Fiji – Viti Levu.

Other systems[edit]

During January 9, the extratropical remnants of Tropical Cyclone Paul briefly moved into the region, before they moved back into the Australian region during the next day.[3][1] The remnants subsequently moved back into the region during January 12, when they were last noted to the south of New Zealand's South Island.[3] The precursor tropical depression to Severe Tropical Cyclone Simon, developed within the monsoon trough, to the northeast of New Caledonia during February 20.[1] Over the next day the system moved eastwards and into the Australian region, where it ultimately developed into a severe tropical cyclone and impacted Queensland.[3][1] During February 28, Simon's extratropical remnants moved back into the basin and impacted New Zealand, before they were last noted during March 3.[3][1]

Season effects[edit]

This table lists all the storms that developed in the South Pacific to the east of longitude 160°E during the 1979–80 season. It includes their intensity on the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale, duration, name, landfalls, deaths, and damages. All data is taken from the archives of the Fiji Meteorological Service and MetService, and all of the damage figures are in 1980 USD.

Name Dates active Peak classification Sustained
wind speeds
Pressure Land areas affected Damage
(USD)
Deaths Refs
Ofa December 9 – 15 Category 2 tropical cyclone Wallis and Futuna
Peni January 1 – 6 Category 3 severe tropical cyclone Fiji Minor [4]
Rae Category 1 tropical cyclone Vanuatu
Sina March 9 – 16 Category 3 severe tropical cyclone 120 km/h (75 mph) 970 hPa (28.64 inHg) New Caledonia, New Zealand
Tia March 22 – 27 Category 1 tropical cyclone Fiji Moderate 4 [4]
Val March 25 – 29 Category 1 tropical cyclone
Wally April 1 – 8 Category 1 tropical cyclone 75 km/h (45 mph) 990 hPa (29.25 inHg) Fiji $2.26 million 18 [5][4]
Season Aggregates
10 systems December 9 – April 8 120 km/h (75 mph) 970 hPa (28.64 inHg)


See also[edit]

  • Atlantic hurricane seasons: 1979, 1980
  • Eastern Pacific hurricane seasons: 1979, 1980
  • Western Pacific typhoon seasons: 1979, 1980
  • North Indian Ocean cyclone seasons: 1979, 1980

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Crane, Geoff D. "The Australian tropical cyclone season 1979–80" (PDF). Australian Meteorological Magazine. 29: 41–53. Retrieved May 1, 2016. 
  2. ^ "The Australian Tropical Cyclone Database" (CSV). Australian Bureau of Meteorology.  A guide on how to read the database is available here.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g MetService (May 22, 2009). "TCWC Wellington Best Track Data 1967–2006". International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship. 
  4. ^ a b c Summary of cyclones affecting Fiji 1977 – 1987 (incl) (PDF) (Report). Fiji Meteorological Service. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. "EM-DAT: The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database". Université catholique de Louvain. Retrieved April 24, 2017. 

External links[edit]