Tropical cyclone could become category 4 in Western Australia – 9News

Tropical cyclone could become category 4 in Western Australia - 9News

The Bureau of Meteorology said the tropical low is moving south off the Kimberley coastline and is at risk of forming a cyclone tonight.

Senior meteorologist Dean Narramore said the full impacts of the tropical cyclone will be felt tonight or in the early hours of tomorrow.

Tropical cyclone forming near Kimberley Coast in Western Australia.
This image shows a dense white cloud in Western Australia’s north which is the tropical low. (Bureau of Meteorology)

The tropical low is driving wind gusts of up to 85km/h while it is 620km north-east of Broome.

It is developing more slowly, the bureau said, but there is still a high risk it will intensify over coming days.

When it does develop, it will be named cyclone Ilsa.

“The tropical low continues to develop at a slow rate but may still become a cyclone tonight,” the bureau said.

“It is then expected to intensify further over the next two days as it moves along a general west-south-west track, parallel to the Kimberley coast.”

Narramore said the tropical cyclone will track parallel to the coast on Tuesday and Wednesday.

But the weather system is forecast to escalate on Thursday as the low turns south to the Pilbara coast and crosses to Port Hedland and Broome where it could become a category 4 system.

“A category 4 system, we’re talking winds in excess of 200km/h and 250km/h in the core,” he said.

“It will cause very heavy rainfall which is expected to cause riverine and flash flooding.

“Very dangerous conditions forming up there on Thursday night through to Friday morning.”

The bureau’s Todd Smith said there will be upwards of 200mm of rain a day as the cyclone tracks inland through the DeGrey River catchment.

“We expect to see strong river rises, we have a flood watch current for those parts,” he said.

Tropical cyclone forming near Kimberley Coast in Western Australia.
The tropical low is expected to become a cyclone today. (Bureau of Meteorology)

Wind gusts up to 90km/h and heavy rainfall may develop between Cape Leveque and north of Broome on Wednesday.

Thunderstorms with heavy rainfall are expected to pass over the northern Kimberley region today and tomorrow.

There are also expected to be abnormally high tides on the Kimberley coast between Kalumburu and Kuri Bay today and tomorrow.

“In some locations, the tide may be close to the highest astronomical tide of the year,” the bureau said.

Communities along the west Kimberley coast should start to prepare for extreme weather conditions, the bureau added.

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said the communities between Broome and Port Hedland need to be enacting their emergency plans now.

“Clean up around home, have your emergency kit, and keep up to date with warnings,” he said.

”Make sure you’re prepared, there is no excuse for not being prepared.”

Klemm said it has been 10 years since a cyclone greater than category 3 hit the north of Western Australia.

”It has been 10 years since we have had a cyclone this large, there are many people who have not experienced a category 4,” he said.

Tropical cyclone likely to form over northern Western Australia coast.
The tropical cyclone will reach a category 4 later this week. (Weatherzone)

Klemm also urged any holidaygoers or people travelling in caravans between Port Hedland and Broome to leave immediately and head south.

”If you’re in a caravan in that area, now is the time to be changing your travel plans,” he said.

The highways in the area are expected to be closed for more than 48 hours as the cyclone tracks inland.

Emergency services are working with remote Aboriginal communities to ensure all the resources are available before the cyclone makes landfall.

Residents in the disaster-stricken Fitzroy Valley are expected to avoid impact from the cyclone.

Residents are urged to keep up with weather warnings on the bureau’s website.

It will be the third cyclone to hit Australia this year after Cyclone Ellie caused chaos in Western Australia’s Kimberley region with intense flooding and destruction and Cyclone Gabrielle sweeping across Queensland’s north.

The first snow of the season also fell at Perisher Ski Resort in New South Wales.With cold temperatures, locals woke up to a fresh dusting of snow.

First snow of season falls over Australian Alps

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