Less than two weeks after Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica wreaked havoc along the Pilbara coast of Western Australia, a new cyclone has taken shape north of Western Australia. Cyclone Wallace poses the risk of heavy rain and rough seas with the risk of flooding. The impact of the storm will depend on its exact track, either passing by or barrelling right into the coast.
Seas have gathered intensity north of Western Australia as the cyclone intensified over the weekend, bringing heavy rain.
The latest forecasts show the chances of Wallace making direct landfall along the Pilbara Coast are less likely than previously thought.
However, downpours still pose a risk of flooding in the area and residents are urged to take caution.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued a High Seas Warning off the coast of Western Australia.
AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Houk said: “The main question is how close will the cyclone be to clipping the coast in the vicinity of Exmouth as we head into the middle of the week.
“Overall, we are leaning toward a track far enough to the west and with a less intense storm such that the danger from wind damage and flooding rain over land should be much less than what we saw from Veronica.”
The storm is expected to have passed its peak intensity when it makes its closest approach to Western Australia.
While the dangers may not be as severe as during Veronica, residents from Onslow and Exmouth to Minilya and Carnarvon are still being put on alert for potential areas of flash flooding around midweek.
Rough seas would still be stirred along the Pilbara coast from east to west through the first half of the week.
If Wallace tracks close enough, downpours may also graze coastal communities.
Moisture from Wallace can then get drawn onto the Gascoyne coast later in the week, triggering downpours and localized flash flooding.
If the storm does end up striking the coast, it would have past its peak strength.
However, strong coastal winds and pounding seas could also hammer the coast in this scenario.
Entering the water may become too dangerous for swimmers and boaters while coastal flooding may occur near and east of where the cyclone targets the coast.
All residents are urged to review what preparations would need to be taken should the cyclone threaten.
Hot on the heels of Wallace, the waters north of Western Australia will continue to be monitored for another system to follow.
AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said: “Conditions may not be as conducive for development in the wake of Wallace, so any storm likely remains weak.
“However, there is still a small concern that any low could strengthen into a weak cyclone.”