Christine Still Producing Heavy Rainfall in Western Australia

By Courtney Spamer, Meteorologist
December 31, 2013; 5:10 AM
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Tropical Cyclone Christine (05S) continues to move inland across Western Australia after making landfall just west of Port Hedland, Australia, as an equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane.

Despite being inland for around 24 hours, heavy rain and damaging winds continue near the track of the storm across western and southern Western Australia. Wind gusts up to 130 kph (80 mph) were reported at Port Hedland. Broome, Australia, reported nearly 180 mm (7 inches) of rain through Monday evening, while Port Hedland had over 125 mm (5 inches).

Just offshore, the storm crossed an area of vital interest to the oil-drilling industry. Much more tranquil weather settled into the oil-drilling area Tuesday, allowing for an assessment of any damage.

Damaging winds can continue near the storm track into Wednesday morning before the cyclone weakens further. Areas impacted by these winds will include parts of central and southeastern Western Australia.

A satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Christine making landfall on Monday evening in northwestern Australia. Image courtesy of University of Wisconsin.

Christine will eventually lose tropical characteristics by Wednesday as it tracks across southeastern Western Australia and eventually over the coast of South Australia Wednesday night.

Heavy rainfall with local flooding problems remains a concern into Wednesday along and near the track of the cyclone.

Rainfall of 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) with locally higher amounts will accumulate near Christine's immediate track, which can prompt flash flooding in the region.

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"Eventually, the circulation is expected to turn eastward through South Australia, but the risk of flooding across the southern half of Australia from Christine will be minimal," Meteorologist Eric Wanenchak said. Meteorologists Eric Leister and Andy Mussoline contributed to the content of this story.


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