Cyclone Billy intensifies
TROPICAL cyclone Billy has strengthened to a category four system with hopes that it will continue to travel away from the Western Australia coastline.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has clocked wind gusts of up to 230km/h at the core of the cyclone as it moves away from Broome in a westerly direction.
At 9pm (WDT) Billy was 280km north of Port Hedland and 375km north-northeast of Karratha and moving west at 11km/h out to sea.
If Billy changes direction to a more southwesterly direction, wind gusts up to 100km/h and rainfall may develop between Pardoo and Mardie early on Christmas Day, the BoM said.
A blue alert has been issued for communities from Pardoo to Port Hedland with a BoM warning to people in those areas to take precautions.