Cyclone Christine is picking up speed as it heads towards Western Australia’s Pilbara coast, authorities say.
The category 2 system was 290 kilometres north northeast of Port Hedland at 8pm (WST) on Sunday and moving towards the Pilbara coast about 14 kilometres an hour, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said.
Earlier in the day BoM tracked the cyclone at 10km/h.
The bureau says the cyclone is expected to intensify as it moves towards the coast.
It has issued a cyclone warning for coastal areas from Cape Leveque to Exmouth, including Broome, Port Hedland, Karratha and Onslow, and extending inland to Paraburdoo.
BoM forecast late on Sunday that the cyclone would bring heavy rain and gales with gusts up to 100km/h between Broome and Port Hedland and extending west to Karratha and Onslow during Monday.
The bureau says Christine is expected to intensify further during Monday and cross the coast later in the day or overnight as a severe tropical cyclone, most likely between Karratha and Port Hedland.
It says it could bring “very destructive” gales with heavy rain and winds possibly reaching 165km/h.
Coastal communities between Pardoo and Mardie have been warned of the potential for a dangerous storm tide late on Monday or early on Tuesday.