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Fire Danger in the Midst of a Tropical Cyclone

Hannah Wilson, Sunday March 24, 2019 - 12:13 EDT

As Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica edges closer to the Western Australian coast, Fire Weather Warnings have also been issued for the same region.

Currently Severe TC Veronica is moving slowly towards WA's northwest coast, with the system anticipated to make landfall late Sunday. Already its effects have been felt with Port Hedland having received 179mm and Karratha 106mm of rainfall over the past 24 hours. Damaging wind speeds have also been experienced with sustained wind speeds of 72km/h and wind gusts of 104km/h having been recorded at Port Hedland.

These high wind speeds may pose the added threat of rapidly spreading fire conditions. A Fire Weather Warning has been issued for Extreme Fire Danger for the West Pilbara Coast and Ashburton Inland as well as Severe Fire Danger for the East Pilbara Coast and Exmouth Gulf Coast.

Normally one would not associate these two weather phenomena with one another, however if the rainfall generated from Severe TC Veronica is limited in some regions, conditions may promote bushfire spread. An added ingredient to the deteriorating fire weather conditions in the region are high temperatures. The mercury is forecast to reach upwards of 35 degrees in some areas of the Pilbara today, including Exmouth (39 degrees). These temperatures along with fresh and gusty south to southeasterly winds expected from Severe TC Veronica look to only enhance fire danger ratings.

More information regarding these warnings is available at http://www.weatherzone.com.au/warnings.jsp  

 

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