Veronica has continued to intensify and now is a Severe Category 4 tropical cyclone as it heads towards the Pilbara coast. A severe impact along the Pilbara coast is likely over the weekend.
Pardoo to Mardie, including Port Hedland and Karratha
Details of Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica at 8:00 am AWST:
Intensity: Category 4, sustained winds near the centre of 185 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 260 kilometres per hour.
Location: within 30 kilometres of 16.4 degrees South 117.7 degrees East, estimated to be 445 kilometres north northwest of Port Hedland and 490 kilometres north of Karratha.
Movement: south at 9 kilometres per hour.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica has rapidly developed into a Category 4 system well north of the Pilbara coast. The cyclone is expected to track south to southwest today and intensify to category 5. While it is possible the cyclone may weaken before reaching the Pilbara coast, a severe impact is likely.
GALES with gusts to 100 kilometres per hour may develop between Pardoo and Mardie from as early as Friday evening. DESTRUCTIVE WINDS with gusts to 130 kilometres per hour are forecast to develop along the Pilbara coast during the weekend with a period of VERY DESTRUCTIVE WINDS with gusts in excess of 165 kilometres per hour possible as the cyclone approaches the coast.
Widespread very heavy rainfall conducive to MAJOR FLOODING is likely along parts of the Pilbara coast over the weekend.
People along the Pilbara coast are warned of the potential for a VERY DANGEROUS STORM TIDE as the cyclone approaches the coast over the weekend. 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:
BLUE ALERT: People in or near communities between Mardie and Pardoo, including Port Hedland, South Hedland, Wickham, Roebourne, Point Samson, Karratha and Dampier need to prepare for cyclonic weather and organise an emergency kit including first aid kit, torch, portable radio, spare batteries, food and water.
The next advice will be issued by 3:00 pm AWST Thursday 21 March.
Cyclone advices and DFES Alerts are available by dialling 13 DFES (13 3337)