NW on cyclone watch as heavy rain, gusts batter region

Daniel NewellThe West Australian
Email Daniel Newell

As Perth bakes in a bright and blistering 40C, residents in the State’s north are on cyclone watch and have had to cancel Australia Day celebrations or move them in doors.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has issued a cyclone advice for an area stretching from Pardoo Roadhouse to Exmouth, including Port Hedland, Karratha, Onslow and Exmouth.

The Bureau of Meteorology says a tropical low is approaching the north-west Kimberley coast and will move offshore later today.

The low will gradually strengthen and may develop into a tropical cyclone late Friday or during Saturday as it continues to track west, south-west to the north of and parallel to the Pilbara coast.

VideoNorth West residents are being warned a tropical cyclone could reach the Kimberley on Friday.

The BOM says squally thunderstorms are possible along the west Kimberley and Pilbara coasts.

Gales with gusts of up to 100km/h may develop in coastal parts between Pardoo Roadhouse and Mardie from Friday evening, extending to Exmouth from Saturday morning.

Further heavy rainfall and flooding is likely over the Kimberley and a severe weather warning and flood watches and warnings are current. Heavy rainfall will extend to coastal parts of the Pilbara from Friday.

DFES advises residents in the area to prepare their homes and family for a possible cyclone,

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Flash flooding is expected over northern and eastern parts of the Kimberley this morning, with gusty thunderstorms also possible in this area

There is already flooding at Bow Bridge Roadhouse on the Great Northern Highway.

VideoBrave drivers test their skill in crossing flooded roads after heavy rain in the Pilbara.

People in Halls Creek, Kununurra, Wyndham, Lake Argyle, Warmun, Cockatoo Island, Fitzroy Crossing, Kalumburu, Kuri Bay, Mitchell Plateau, Mount Barnett and Troughton Island and surrounding areas have been told to prepare for bad weather.

For updates, go to the DFES alerts website.

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