Kimberley cyclone risk elevated for the weekend as tropical low forms off WA coast

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Tom ZaunmayrBroome Advertiser
A tropical low forming of the North West coast on January 21, 2022.
Camera IconA tropical low forming of the North West coast on January 21, 2022. Credit: Bureau of Meteorology/Bureau of Meteorology

The cyclone risk for WA’s north has been elevated for the first time this year as a tropical low begins to form out to sea off the Kimberley coast.

The Bureau of Meteorology on Thursday afternoon increased the likelihood of a cyclone developing in the Timor Sea to low this Sunday.

A low rating means there is a five to 20 per cent chance of a cyclone forming on the forecast day.

It warned should the system come close to the west Kimberley coast early next week significant rainfall could be possible.

The system is likely to move southwest over the weekend, however it is expected to be slow to develop.

Tale of two Kimberley seasons

Rains would be a welcome relief for the west Kimberley, where weeks of build-ups have failed to deliver more than a few drops and some spectacular lightning shows.

Broome’s wet season has been anything but to date in 2021-22, with just 42.6mm of rain recorded since November, and Derby has not had too much more.

By contrast central and east Kimberley rain gauges tell a different tale — Fitzroy Crossing has recorded nearly 300mm and Kununurra is just shy of 400mm.

With successive good wet seasons Lake Argyle is now at 62.8 per cent capacity, double what it was at this time last year.

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