Tropical Cyclone Joyce (05S)

Tropical Cyclone Joyce made its first landfall just south of Bidyadanga (pop. ~500) as a Category 1 cyclone on the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) cyclone scale, equivalent to a tropical storm on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (SSHWS), at around 18:00 UTC on Thursday January 11 (02:00 local time on Friday January 12). The center of Joyce tracked back out to sea and made a second landfall at around 05:00 UTC (13:00 local time) today, Friday January 12, near Eighty Mile Beach, also as a tropical storm on the SSHWS. Joyce had been forecast to remain offshore and intensify into a Category 3 cyclone on the BoM cyclone scale, equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane on the SSHWS. Instead, the system took a sharp turn and tracked towards the coast earlier than anticipated which prevented it from intensifying. Wind gusts of up to 90 km/hr (60 mph) impacted Broome as Joyce bypassed offshore. Reports suggest Broome has escaped serious damage from Joyce, though downed trees and have caused minor damage to a few homes . Broome recorded 88mm (4.5 in) of rainfall in the past 24 hours, leading to some street flooding. There are no reports of buildings inundated by water. Port Hedland, one of the world’s largest iron ore loading ports, was closed in anticipation of the system, which has caused major disruption to export shipments of iron ore. Joyce is now located over land and is expected to continue weakening as it tracks further inland through central Pilbara and inland Gascoyne . Heavy rainfall is likely to continue near the track of the system over the weekend, particularly in west Kimberley coast and eastern Pilbara, where up an additional 250 mm (9.8 in) could fall. Joyce is the second tropical cyclone to impact the region in just over two weeks. On December 27, Tropical Cyclone Hilda made landfall near Bidyadanga and caused some minor wind damage to some structures in Broome and Bidyadanga.

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