Volatile Cyclone Narelle starts to weakenSaturday January 12, 2013 - 16:55 EDT
It appears that Tropical Cyclone Narelle will spare Western Australia's Pilbara coast but forecasters are not ruling out the chance that it could change course.
The cyclone peaked in intensity overnight and was briefly upgraded to a category five system earlier this morning.
The Bureau of Meteorology says it does not expect any storm surges, severe wind or severe rain to today impact the most vulnerable town, Exmouth.
Narelle has slowed to about seven kilometres per hour and was last located 425 kilometres north-west of Exmouth.
The tourist town has so far had only some intermittent rain but there is a possibility that wind gusts up to 100 kilometres per hour could hit North West Cape tomorrow.
State Emergency Service manager Russell Levine says when the category four cyclone was briefly upgraded to category five this morning, comparisons were made to Cyclone Vance, which lashed the cape in 1999.
"It was a bit of a worry there for a while, it was tracking the same as Vance," he said.
Exmouth shop-owner Rusty Ellis says residents have stocked up and bunkered down just in case.
"Everybody's got the plan, everybody knows what to do," he said.
"Most of the local residents have been through it and done it numerous times so it's sort of like second nature to everybody."
Sergeant Ian Gilyead, from Exmouth Police, says he is pleased with the way the community has worked together to prepare for potentially dangerous weather.
"It's actually been rewarding to see how the community have got on board," he said.
"It's very good to see the community has taken it seriously and made every effort to make it easier for the SES and everyone else that's helped.
Sgt Gilyead says extra officers are on deck to help out in the event of an emergency.
"At the moment we have got extra officers in Carnarvon standing by if required," he said.
"And we have just about a full staff of police in Exmouth. We feel we're well equipped to handle anything at the moment."
Narelle is not expected to cross the coast but a blue alert remains in place from Onslow to Coral Bay.
© ABC 2013
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