Australia’s strongest cyclone in a decade is brewing off the coast

It's been a decade since the impacted Australian coastline has braced for a storm this powerful.

The same warm water region that produced the worldwide, record-breaking Freddy is brewing yet another strong tropical cyclone. It's been a decade since the impacted coastline has braced for a storm this powerful.

A third landfall in Australia is in the forecast later this week, and this one could be the strongest so far this season.

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Brewing just offshore of Australia’s northwestern coast, Cyclone Ilsa is rapidly strengthening. The projected path targets the Kimberly coast, between Port Hedland and Broome, as a possible Category 4.

Recently, a bit farther north, the Category 1 Cyclone Ellie hit Australia in January earlier this year. Many experts warn residents to prepare alternate travel plans and emergency kits now because it will be more severe this time around.

Ilsa’s strength, track and impacts appear to be more similar to the memorable Cyclone Rusty that made landfall just east of Port Hedland in 2013. Rusty sustained gales for a record-breaking 39 hours straight, and the name was later retired after extensive flooding and severe economic loss (about US$510 million).


The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is on high alert for Isla’s landfall, warning regions to brace for impactful storm surge, flash flooding from in excess of 200 mm of rain, and damage from expansive, gale-force winds.

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The Southern Hemisphere cyclone season is nearing its end, on April 30, slowly closing out with a bang.