At 3:30 PM local time, Tropical Cyclone Rusty was about 200 miles north of Port Hedland, moving southward at a speed of 3 knots. Winds were sustained at 60 knots. Some outer rain bands and squalls have been affecting coastal locations from Port Hedland to Broome.
The worst of the storm will begin tonight and persist through Wednesday as the storm continues its slow southward track. The region where landfall looks to take place is near or just east of Port Hedland, but remember that this is a very large storm and severe impacts will be felt a long distance from the storm's center.
Early Sunday afternoon local time, Tropical Cyclone Rusty was born in the waters of the northeastern Indian Ocean, about 800 miles north of Port Hedland.
As Rusty moves slowly to the south, gale-force winds are expected to commence on the coast between Whim Creek and Wallal late on Sunday night or early on Monday.
Rusty will gradually strengthen through the early part of this week, and become a severe category 4 cyclone before making landfall between Karratha and Wallal on Wednesday.
Rusty is an unusually large and slow-moving system, and rainfall over a large part of northwest Australia will result even after the cyclone moves inland and weakens, lasting well into Friday.
Widespread very heavy rainfall is expected to lead to major flooding in the De Grey catchment. Significant flooding in the Fortescue is also likely. Amounts in excess of 250 mm (10 inches) will fall across this area.
Communities from Broome to Whim Creek and even Mardie need to prepare for dangerous high winds, flooding, and coastal storm surge inundation.
The Government of Western Australia and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DEFS) is recommending that residents in these areas organize emergency supplies, including a first aid kit, torch (flashlight), portable radio, spare batteries, food and water.
In addition to the tremendous threat to life and property, Rusty will also threaten an area of vast economic value to Australia. The Northwest coast is among the world's major oil, natural gas and mining regions.
Australia and its economy have already been impacted by several tropical cyclones in the past year, the most recent of which was Oswald, which slowly crawled along the east coast drenching croplands and major coal facilities for nearly twelve days.
Although the worst of Rusty will miss major gas and oil refining areas, powerful winds and massive ocean swells will still lead to delays or brief shut-downs.
The biggest impacts to the economy this time are more likely to come from immense flooding over key metallurgical mining facilities south and east of Port Hedland.
A storm of this magnitude is capable of causing long-term delays to plant operation, which would, in turn, affect the prices of commodities such as iron, copper and manganese.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
A damaging tornado moved through Prairieburg, Iowa late Wednesday afternoon as severe storms tracked through the region.
Last week’s record-breaking Southwest heat wave turned hellish at Denver International Airport when a toddler overheated aboard a grounded United Airlines flight.
Following an unsettled week across the United Kingdom, more tranquil weather will prevail early next week just in time for Wimbledon.
Weather more appropriate for early July will return to the eastern United States into this weekend.
A new forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicates that the global coral bleaching event, which has jeopardized coral reefs around the world for the past three years, is nearly over.
On the heels of violent thunderstorms which lashed parts of Germany on Wednesday, additional weather threats are expected into Thursday night.
Following a period of volatile weather across the Upper Midwest on Wednesday, the threat for severe storms will shift southward for Thursday.