Category 3 cyclone warning for north WA

People in Western Australia's north have been warned to prepare for more dangerous weather with a category 3 tropical cyclone to batter the region.

A blue alert was issued for the area between Kuri Bay and Wallal, including the towns of Broome and Derby, in the Kimberley for a tropical low predicted to develop into category 3 Tropical Cyclone Kelvin off the coast on Friday.

A watch zone is in place for communities between Wallal to Whim Creek, including the town of Port Hedland, extending to the inland western Kimberley and eastern Pilbara to Marble Bar.

Flood warnings are in place for the East, West and north Kimberley rivers, including the Fitzroy River.

Heavy rain and strong, squally winds are already lashing the region, with Kununurra recording over 100mm and wind gusts in excess of 80km/h recorded at Wyndham.

The Bureau of Meteorology said although there was no immediate danger, people needed to start preparing.

A tropical low is moving over the north-west Kimberley.

It was about 115km south-southwest of Kalumburu and 175 km east of Kuri Bay on Thursday morning, moving to the west-south-west at about 20km/h.

It is expected to further intensify into a category 2 system before tracking back towards the Pilbara coast and make landfall as a severe category 3 system on Sunday.

Rainfalls of up to 100mm to 200mm with isolated winds from 300mm to 400mm are possible.

Gales with gusts to 100km/h could develop in coastal parts between Kuri Bay and Bidyadanga on Friday afternoon, extending southwest to Wallal Downs and Port Hedland later Friday or early Saturday.

Destructive winds with gusts to 165km/h could develop along the coast between Broome and Pardoo Roadhouse during Saturday or early Sunday.

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