Update: 6.30pm Stormy weather, expected to continue across the south-west of the State tonight and tomorrow morning, is causing traffic chaos.
Traffic is congested on the Mitchell Freeway northbound, Kwinana Freeway southbound and in the Northbridge Tunnel. East Parade northbound at Kensington Street in East Perth, Wellington Street westbound at Bennett Street in East Perth, Great Eastern Highway eastbound through Belmont and Thomas Street northbound at Bagot Road in West Perth are also experiencing delays.
The cold front is expected to bring heavy showers, thunderstorms to people in parts of the south-west in a line from Denham to Hopetoun.
The warning includes people in or near Geraldton, Northampton, Kalbarri, Dalwallinu, Jurien Bay, Perth metropolitan area, York, Mandurah, Narrogin, Bunbury, Busselton, Bridgetown, Margaret River, Katanning and Albany.
Shipping delays are expected at the commodities port of Geraldton as authorities prepare to shut down operations before the storm buffets the area.
Geraldton Port chief executive Peter Klein said the only ship in the harbour would be sent to deeper waters and the port would be closed to all shipping movements late today in anticipation of a storm surge.
“At this stage we’ll be closing the port until it subsides,” Mr Klein said.
“It’s big enough to be concerned about the safety of vessels alongside the port.”
Geraldton port is still operating, but all six berths will be closed and incoming ships will have to wait until the storm has passed before entering the port.
“The port will be empty, but it won’t be until later tonight that we start to clear the port,” Mr Klein said.
A spokesman for Mount Gibson Iron Ore, which operates the Tallering Peak mine 175km east of Geraldton, said the company was not expecting the storm to affect operations.
A cold front is currently located from Geraldton to Narrogin to Albany. The front will move east and be near Kalbarri to Dalwallinu to Bremer Bay by 8pm and then be near Denham to Merredin to Hopetoun by 11pm. Within about 100km of the frontal band expect widespread showers, isolated thunderstorms and squally conditions. Squalls may produce damaging winds to 100km/h that could result in damage to homes and property. In localised areas dangerous gusts in excess of 125km/h could cause significant damage or destruction to homes or property. The front is expected to weaken as it moves inland overnight.A wind gust of 102km/h was reported from Mandurah at 3.56pm, and 96km/h from Rottnest Island 1.36pm.A Fire and Emergency Services Authority spokesman said about 20 calls for help had been received throughout the State.A deep low moving south of the State is expected to affect the south-west Tuesday morning.The weather warning has been issued people south-west of a line from Mandurah to Katanning to Albany and includes people in or near Mandurah, Bunbury, Busselton, Margaret River, Bridgetown, Katanning and Albany.The low is expected to cause widespread damaging winds to 100km/h which could result in damage to homes and property from about 6am. During Tuesday afternoon and evening the area affected will extend along the south coast towards Esperance.Higher than normal tides may result in flooding of low-lying coastal areas. Dangerous surf conditions are likely which could cause significant beach erosion.For SES assistance call 132 500. This warning is also available through TV and Radio broadcasts; the Bureau’s website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 213.