Weather News

Tropical low inundates Kimberley

Ben Domensino, Wednesday January 4, 2017 - 13:58 AEDT

Western Australia's Kimberley is enduring another bout of heavy rain and storms as the second tropical low in three weeks crosses the region.

Storms associated with the tropical low have already caused severe weather in the region this week.

A powerful burst of wind early on Tuesday afternoon caused significant structural damage in Kununurra. It is likely that wind gusts exceeded 125km/h during the storm, based on the damage left behind. This included dislodged roofs, uprooted trees and partial building damage.

Horizon Power reported that customers in the central industrial area of Kununurra were without power on Tuesday afternoon, attributing power line damage to airborne debris whipped up during the storms.

A video of the storm on social media showed debris being lifted into the air and swirled around, indicating a tornado was possible. At the time of writing this article, the presence of a tornado had not been confirmed.

The tropical low is expected to produce heavy rain and squally thunderstorms over the Kimberley until at least Friday, before moving towards the Pilbara over the weekend. Daily rainfall totals are likely to reach 100-200mm in the northern Kimberley during the next three days. A Flood Watch and numerous Flood Warnings are currently in place.

The low is unlikely to develop into a tropical cyclone while it is over land during the next couple of days. If it moves over water to the north of Western Australia later in the week, there is an increased risk that it will form into Australia's next cyclone.

If this low becomes Australia's next tropical cyclone, it will be named Alfred.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2017

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