Perth appears to have been spared the full brunt of Cyclone Bianca, with the storm system weakening considerably as it prepares to cross the south-west coast of WA later today.
But the city and several regional centres are mopping up today after being lashed by storms yesterday that hit land ahead of the now ex-tropical cyclone.
Yesterday's thunderstorms in Geraldton claimed the life of a 17-year-old girl after she stepped on a fallen power line on her way home. Two teenagers are also in hospital as a result of the electrocution.
The Bureau of Meteorology has this morning cancelled a cyclone warning for coastal areas from Jurien Bay to Busselton, including Perth, Mandurah and Bunbury after the system weakened overnight.
In its latest update at 11am, the Bureau said Bianca has weakened below cyclone intensity and was now classified as a low pressure system that was not predicted to produce severe weather.
It is expected to further weaken during the day before it crosses the coast between Perth and Bunbury sometime this afternoon.
Bureau of Meteorology regional manager Neil Bennet said damaging winds were no longer forecast for the South-West land division as Bianca was losing power rapidly.
Mr Bennett said the most significant impact Bianca would have would be an increased fire risk and dangerous seas with high tides. A severe fire weather danger has been issued for the Perth Hills area.
"We could see an increase in wind speed with the high temperatures – we are still forecasting a top of 34 degrees ," he said
A severe weather warning for abnormally high tides has been issued for people in the coastal areas from Jurien Bay to Dunsborough, which includes the Perth metropolitan area and also Mandurah, Bunbury and Busselton.
"We will see above higher than normal tides and we could see out on the water some rough seas and some dangerous surf conditions, essentially some coastal erosion to low-lying coastal areas, but it is going to be very marginal," he said.
Heavy rainfall is expected south of a line from Bunbury to Albany this morning, however extensive flooding is not expected.
Mr Bennet said Perth and the South-West had somewhat dodged a bullet as Bianca's impact could have been a lot worse.
"A day ago it was a category three cyclone and at the core of that we would have had wind speeds at over 200km/h," he said.
"It is very unusual to have a tropical cyclone this far south, west of Perth at that time of the year."
The storm system has had the whole state holding its breath over the past few days, but tomorrow it may be all but over.
"It is just going to be absorbed over the land, it might not even appear on the weather chart, we might have a little area of moisture associated with it," Mr Bennet said.
"It is going to be difficult to find it tomorrow."
Strong winds bring bushfire threat
A very high to severe fire danger is likely near the west coast through to the Central Wheatbelt today, possibly reaching extreme across inland areas south of a line from Geraldton to Leonora to Israelite Bay.
A total fire ban has been issued for the south-west land division today - this includes the cities of Perth, Albany, Geraldton, Bunbury and Mandurah. It also includes the South-West, Great Southern, Peel, most of the Wheatbelt and Mid-West regions.
This means residents must not light or use any fires in the open air. "Hot work" such as metal work, grinding or the like is also banned unless an exemption is in place.
FESA has advised anyone ignoring the total fire ban could be fined up to $25,000 or jailed for 12 months.
Residents living in an area with a severe, extreme or catastrophic fire danger rating need to get ready to act.
Only stay with your property if you are well prepared and have a bushfire survival plan. If you are not prepared to the highest level, leaving bushfire risk areas early in the day is your safest option, FESA advises.
Surf Life Saving WA advises the approaching storm is likely to cause dangerous surf conditions, sweeping currents and flash rips.
People should avoid going to the beach during the bad weather because it would place them at high risk and also the surf lifesavers who may need to rescue swimmers that get into trouble.
If you must attend the beach, Surf Life Saving advises that it is essential you attend patrolled locations only where lifesavers are in attendance and can provide information regarding beach conditions and potential beach closures.
The Department of Transport advises boat owners need to ensure boats in pens and on moorings are secure and items above deck removed or secured.
Vessels at marinas with a floating pen system should raft up and tie off on the pile to reduce load on the pen system.
People urged to stay safe
FESA advises to store or weigh doen loose objects around the home. Things like outdoor furniture could be picked up and thrown by strong winds, causing damage of injury.
Trim branches around your home to prevent them falling on your roof or car, clear gutters and downpipes so they do not overflow after heavy rain and prepare an emergency kit with a battery-operated radio, torch, spare batteries and first-aid kit.
FSEA advises to not go boating, fishing, swimming or surfing in affected areas and to be careful of fallen powerlines.
If your home or property has been badly damaged call the SES on 132 500.
In a life threatening situation call 000.
For the latest weather information visit www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 213.
For information about road conditions contact Main Roads WA on 138 138.
To report downed power lines call Western Power on 13 13 51.
- with Liam Phillips and Lucy Rickard