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1/03/2007

Weather bureau warns of 'perfect storm' in Western Australia

Breaking Tropical Storm News: Australia
Cyclone Alert

Wednesday, 3 January 2007. 09:30 (AWDT)
Forecasters are predicting Western Australia's first cyclone of the season will create a once-in-a-generation summer storm that will hit inland areas in the south of the state tomorrow.
Cyclone Isobel is expected to generate winds up to 120 kilometres an hour but little damage as it crosses the coast between Port Hedland and Broome in the north-west later today.
But the cyclone is predicted to weaken rapidly and be drawn in a low pressure trough over the Goldfields and Gascoyne, creating a massive 'perfect storm' that will move south.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Grant Elliott says areas such as Lake Grace, Raventhorpe and Esperance should prepare for severe storm conditions tomorrow.
"Very heavy rainfall - 100 to 150 millimetres near the south coast," he said.
"We're expecting some quite exceptional winds on Thursday, perhaps reaching 100 to 120 kilometres per hour, so there'll be localised damaging winds and the risk of quite significant livestock losses with the combination of rain and wind producing hypothermia."
It has been the driest year on record in WA and farmers in the state's inland areas are being warned of the risk of torrential rain and flooding by the giant storm.
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