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Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcus

David Griffin

29 March, 2018

STC Marcus was the strongest tropical cyclone anywhere within the Australian region since STC Monica in April 2006 according to the BoM. It struck Darwin at only category 2 intensity, causing widespread damage, but went on to reach category 5 on 22 March 2018 well away from land. This MODIS ocean colour image (click to expand) shows that Marcus left a distinct trail in the ocean as it tracked west near latitude 15S and turned south near longitude 108E. It appears that the winds (estimated to have reached 325km/h) and waves caused a lot of vertical mixing, bringing nutrients and the deep layer of phytoplankton up to the surface. Apart from coastal storm surge and a slight reduction of sea surface temperature along the path of the cyclone, however, other ocean impacts are not obvious. Weaker, but slower-moving cyclones have had more impact on the ocean. [more]