Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

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Flooding impacts continue in Western Australia as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie moves to the southern Kimberley region


Issued: Thursday 5 January 2023

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie remains slow-moving near Broome and will start to move east to southeast this evening.

Rainfall impacts from the system will ease over Broome and the Dampier Peninsula from Friday morning, with gale force winds easing tonight.

A Severe Weather Warning continues for parts of the Kimberley, North Interior and eastern Pilbara for heavy and locally intense rainfall and damaging winds.

The tropical low is expected to move over the southern Kimberley and north interior on Friday, reaching the Western Australia and Northern Territory border on Saturday.

As the system moves eastwards it will bring a further round of heavy rainfall and strong winds to some areas already impacted however forecast rainfall is not expected to increase the severity of flooding in the Fitzroy River catchment. Communities in the Fitzroy catchment have become isolated. Roads have become impassable with primary and secondary roads cut.

Flooding Impacts around Roebuck Plains are expected to be similar to those experienced in February 2018, with the potential for rainfall totals to exceed those recorded in 2018.

Daily rainfall amounts of 100 – 200 mm with isolated falls 250 mm are still possible, but these large totals will ease from Friday.

Broome Airport has reported 402 mm in the last 48 hrs.

The Fitzroy River at Fitzroy Crossing peaked around 15.81 m Wednesday, exceeding the 2002 record flood event of 13.95m. Flooding downstream of Fitzroy Crossing is expected to exceed all previous flood records levels at Noonkanbah, Looma and Willare.

A major flood warning remains for the Fitzroy River and a generalised flood warning is current for the West Kimberley District along. A flood watch is also current for the Sandy Desert, Western Desert and Tanami Desert.

The Bureau will continue to monitor the situation and update warnings and forecasts as required.

Communities are encouraged to keep up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings through the Bureau's website and BOM Weather app and follow the advice of DFES (Department of Fire and Emergency Services) at Emergency WA.