Residents in northwestern Australia were warned that Tropical Cyclone Ilsa was expected to make landfall as a Category 5 storm late on April 13 or early the following day, with wind gusts powerful enough to lift boats, trailers, and caravans.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said satellite images indicated Tropical Cyclone IIsa was “moving toward the Pilbara coast and expected to cross early Friday morning as a Category 5 system.”
Sustained winds for a Category 5 storm would be 205 km/h (127 mph), with gusts up to 285 km/h. The BOM also warned of “extreme gusts up to 315 km/h”.
“The tropical cyclone warning extends from Broome to Whim Creek and as far inland as Telfer and beyond,” the BOM said, with the storm expected to create “extremely dangerous” conditions with “damaging and destructive winds”.
“Winds of this strength have the ability not only to bring down trees, power lines and damage roofs and houses, but they could also lift large loose items from your yard and home – boats, trailers, caravans,” a BOM forecaster said.
Satellite imagery released by the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere shows a timelapse of the storm forming off the coast.
Credit: CIRA/CSU/JMA/JAXA via Storyful