Severe tropical cyclone impact expected on the central Pilbara coast overnight tonight and during Sunday. Gales will develop this afternoon along the Pilbara coast.
Warning zone: Wallal to Mardie.
Watch zone: extending to the inland Pilbara to include Pannawonica and Nullagine.
Cancelled zones: None.
Details of Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica at 11:00 am AWST:
Intensity: category 4, sustained winds near the centre of 165 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 230 kilometres per hour.
Location: within 30 kilometres of 18.8 degrees South, 117.0 degrees East , 215 kilometres north of Karratha and 240 kilometres northwest of Port Hedland .
Movement: south at 6 kilometres per hour .
Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica, a Category 4 system, is slowly moving towards the Pilbara coast. A severe coastal impact is expected during later Saturday and Sunday with the very destructive winds near the centre of the cyclone likely to affect the coast from late Saturday. The system is expected to cross the coast late on Saturday or on Sunday morning. The crossing is expected to be to the east of Karratha, and may occur close to Port Hedland.
GALES with gusts to 100 kilometres per hour may develop between Wallal Downs and Mardie from Saturday afternoon, extending inland to Marble Bar by Sunday morning.
DESTRUCTIVE WINDS with gusts exceeding 125 kilometres per hour are forecast to develop along the coast between Pardoo and Mardie later on Saturday afternoon or evening.
VERY DESTRUCTIVE WINDS with gusts in excess of 165 kilometres per hour are expected near the cyclone centre as it approaches the coast Saturday night.
On Sunday gales may extend to adjacent inland areas including Pannawonica and Nullagine.
Veronica may be travelling more slowly than a typical system as it crosses the coast during Sunday morning, and as a result communities in the path of the cyclone should prepare to shelter from the destructive winds for an extended period of 12 hours or more.
Widespread very heavy rainfall conducive to MAJOR FLOODING is likely over the Pilbara coast and adjacent inland areas over the weekend. Heavy rainfall is expected to result in significant river rises areas of flooding and hazardous road conditions. Some roads may become impassable and some communities may become isolated. An initial Flood Warning has been issued for the Pilbara Coastal Rivers. Please refer to the warning for further details (http://www.bom.gov.au/wa/warnings/).
People along the Pilbara coast are warned of the potential for a VERY DANGEROUS STORM TIDE as the cyclone approaches the coast late Saturday. Tides are likely to rise significantly above the normal high tide mark with DAMAGING WAVES and VERY DANGEROUS COASTAL INUNDATION.
DFES advises of the following community alerts:
YELLOW ALERT: People in or near communities between Wallal and Mardie, including Port Hedland, South Hedland, Point Samson, Wickham, Roebourne, Karratha, Dampier and inland to Marble Bar need to take action and get ready to shelter from a cyclone.
BLUE ALERT: People in or near communities for parts of the inland Pilbara including Pannawonica and Nullagine need to prepare for cyclonic weather and organise an emergency kit including first aid kit, torch, portable radio, spare batteries, food and water.
|Time (AWST)||Intensity Category||Latitude|
|0hr||11 am March 23||4||18.8S||117.0E||30|
|+6hr||5 pm March 23||4||19.2S||117.3E||50|
|+12hr||11 pm March 23||4||19.7S||117.6E||70|
|+18hr||5 am March 24||4||20.1S||117.9E||95|
|+24hr||11 am March 24||4||20.4S||118.1E||120|
|+36hr||11 pm March 24||2||20.6S||118.4E||155|
|+48hr||11 am March 25||1||20.8S||118.2E||190|
|+60hr||11 pm March 25||tropical low||20.8S||117.6E||230|
|+72hr||11 am March 26||tropical low||20.9S||116.7E||265|
Tropical Cyclone information is also available in MetEye
The next Forecast Track Map will be issued by 12:00 pm AWST Saturday