Tropical Cyclone Brings Heavy Rain to Western Australia

By Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel
January 26, 2011, 4:17:44 AM EST

A tropical cyclone will continue to affect northwestern Australia over the next few days. The cyclone formed Sunday over the Timor Sea and quickly moved inland across the Kimberley area of Western Australia. It is expected to reemerge offshore, gain strength, and brush much of the northern coast of Western Australia over the next few days.

Heavy rainfall has affected areas along the track of the cyclone. Kalumburu had 6.42 inches Monday, and Theda had nearly 7 inches.

The cyclone is maintaining good organization despite being over land. It will emerge back into the Indian Ocean early Tuesday, local time. It should quickly gain tropical storm strength, then parallel the Kimberley coast through Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are most likely in the communities of Beagle Bay, Cape Leveque, and Kuri Bay. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the towns of Port Hedland and Exmouth Wednesday and Thursday.

Port Hedland is Australia's busiest port. It serves as an export point for iron ore, and other minerals mined across Western Australia. However, Port Hedland should not suffer a direct hit by the cyclone.

Fortunately, Western Australia has been spared the devastating flooding that has affected much of the rest of the country.

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