Lincoln expected to strengthen into a cyclone within hours

A satellite image shows ex-cyclone Lincoln poised to veer into inland WA and die.

A satellite image shows ex-cyclone Lincoln poised to veer into inland WA and die. Photo: BoM via AAP

A massive weather system brewing off the Western Australian coast is expected to strengthen into a tropical cyclone within 12 hours.

Then ex-tropical cyclone Lincoln is expected to make landfall as a category two storm near Coral Bay on Saturday, the Bureau of Meteorology warns.

It’s sitting off the Kimberley coast, about 420 kilometres north of Port Hedland and 525 kilometres north-north-east of Karratha, and is forecast to track south-west towards the North West Cape.

“It will start to gain energy and intensity reaching a category one tropical cyclone intensity some time overnight … into tomorrow morning,” meteorologist Miriam Bradbury said on Thursday.

“That’s really when we’re going to start seeing impacts developing for the far west coast of Western Australia.”

A cyclone blue alert has been modified and reissued for the area from Mardie south to Wooramel, with residents urged to prepare for severe weather, destructive winds and potential flooding.

“We expect to see sustained gale-force winds developing within the next 24 to 48 hours,” Ms Bradbury said.

“Damaging wind gusts that may reach 100km/h are also possible and winds of this strength can bring down trees or power lines and also cause quite dangerous marine conditions out on the water.”

The tropical low is expected to strengthen into a category-one cyclone early Friday and become a category-two system by mid-afternoon on the same day, according to a bureau cyclone track map.

“As it makes landfall that’s when we will see the most intense impacts,” Bradbury said.

“Destructive wind gusts up to 140km/h are possible and very heavy rainfall that could lead to flash flooding.”

Multiple flood watches have been issued for catchments along the Pilbara and Gascoyne coastlines and urban search-and-rescue specialists are among the dozens of emergency service personnel deployed to communities likely to be impacted by the cyclone.

Authorities expect the North West Coastal Highway to close at various locations because of flooding and have said some communities could be isolated for days.

Lincoln crossed the Northern Territory coast late last week as a category one tropical cyclone from the Gulf of Carpentaria before moving inland across the Top End and into WA as a storm.

It dumped heavy rain across a wide area triggering flood watches and warnings in north-west Queensland, the NT and northern WA before moving offshore again on Wednesday.


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