SEVERE tropical cyclone Christine is expected to intensify further during Monday and cross the WA coast Monday night or early Tuesday morning, most likely between Karratha and Port Hedland.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) reports a cyclone warning is now current for coastal areas from Broome to Exmouth, including Port Hedland, Karratha and Onslow, and extending inland to Paraburdoo.
A cyclone watch is current for areas extending further inland to Newman, Leinster and Meekatharra.
At 2am today the category 3 cyclone was estimated to be 220 kilometres north northeast of Port Hedland and 350km northeast of Karratha and moving south southwest at 12 kilometres per hour towards the Pilbara coast.
Christine lies north of the Pilbara and continues to intensify as it moves towards the coast.
Gales with gusts to 100km per hour, together with heavy rainfall, are expected in coastal communities between Broome and Port Hedland this morning, extending west to Karratha and Onslow during Monday afternoon and evening.
Very destructive winds with gusts in excess of 200 kilometres per hour are likely near the centre as the cyclone crosses the coast.
Widespread heavy rainfall is expected near the cyclone track and flood warnings have been issued for the Pilbara.
A yellow alert has been issued for people in or near coastal areas between Pardoo and Mardie, including Port Hedland, South Hedland, Whim Creek, Roebourne, Point Samson, Wickham, Karratha, Dampier and extending inland to Marble Bar.
A blue alert has been issued for people in or near coastal areas between the Dampier Peninsula and Pardoo including Broome and coastal areas from Mardie to Onslow, including Pannawonica, and extending inland to Tom Price and Paraburdoo. Residents in those areas need to prepare for cyclonic weather and organise an emergency kit including first aid kit, torch, portable radio, spare batteries, food and water.
People needing SES assistance can call 132 500.
For more safety tips visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au
Cyclone advices and State Emergency Service Community Alerts are available by dialling 1300 659 210.