Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Dry July turning a corner in WA

Brett Dutschke, Wednesday July 24, 2013 - 17:04 EST

July has been fairly dry for much of Western Australia, particularly the west but it is turning around with reasonable rain in the southwest overnight and more to come.

Not only has it been a dry July so far, but a dry start to winter. Most of the west and south of the state received less than 20 percent of their average June rainfall. Some places in the wheat belt and central west had their driest June in more than 100 years.

Perth had its second driest June in 130 years of records, only receiving a third of its average.

Despite last night's 19mm the city is still having its second driest winter to date since records began in 1876, with only 134mm so far.

The southwest, from Perth to Augusta to Bridgetown, gained widespread 15-to-50 millimetres, the heaviest so far this winter in many centres.

A front attached to a deep low pressure system slipped south, reducing the rain potential.

Overall, it was not a particularly aggressive system and moisture was not especially high but in the Mandurah-to-Margaret River area rain lasted 12 hours or more.

Donnybrook's 52mm overnight was its heaviest rain since last winter.

Remarkably Harvey gained 66mm, its heaviest rain in more than a decade.

For those that didn't pick up much, they can look forward to a more plentiful system this Thursday night and Friday.

The rain is still badly needed, most notably inland, where wheat crops are regaining some crucial moisture.

Unfortunately, the system will be more intense, bringing brief flash flooding to some parts and also potentially damaging winds.

Widespread 15-to-30mm is likely, although some pockets will only see five millimetres or less.

Regarding wind, gusts of 80-90km/h are possible in the southwest, including the Perth area with potential for 100km/h or stronger, most likely offshore. These winds would be strong enough to bring down trees, possibly powerlines, leading to blackouts.

With further, lighter showers over the weekend and early next week much of the southwest will be back on track to end July close to average.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2013

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Early northern rainfall

16:12 EST

Australia's tropics are acting like it's already the wet season, even though September is technically the final month of the dry.

Adelaide weather: SES distributes sandbags as storm-force winds and heavy rains threaten

15:37 EST

Adelaide residents are preparing for heavy rain, high seas and strong winds forecast to hit later this week, in what the SES says could be one of the most significant weather events it has seen in South Australia.

NSW weather: Forbes declared a natural disaster zone after flooding

12:37 EST

Forbes has been declared a natural disaster zone after the region was hit by flooding over the weekend.