Perth is welcoming in 2013 with a cooler change, bringing an end to its record heat wave.
The city is forecast a maximum of 33 degrees on New Years Day, two degrees above the January average but its coolest day in over a week. The rest of this week will be even cooler, only reaching the mid-to-high 20s. There is even a chance of a shower on Thursday.
For many this comes as a great relief from the week-long heat wave which ended with a scorching 42.1 degrees on New Years Eve, 13 degrees above the December average. It was still about 30 degrees at midnight.
The last seven days of 2012 averaged a maximum temperature of 39.3 degrees, making it the hottest week in 34 years. In January 1978 there was a week which averaged a maximum of 39.7 degrees. The hottest week on record was in February 1933 when the average maximum was 41.0 degrees.
The last week of 2012 was also Perth's hottest December week in 116 years of records.
Each of these last seven days exceeded 37 degrees, which also equals the record, set in February 1988 and December/January 1961/1962.
The cooler change affecting Perth and southwest WA is pushing the heat further east. It is forecast to reach 40 degrees in Albany and 46 in Esperance on New Years Day, both within two degrees of January reocrds.
Heat will return to Perth and on the weekend with the city reaching the mid-to-high 30s on both days but this will only be a short burst. A cooler change will arrive late on the weekend, dropping temperatures by five-to-10 degrees.
© Weatherzone 2013
17:37 EDT Much of western New South Wales has begun a heat wave, reaching at least five degrees above average for at least five days, averaging a maximum of 35 degrees or more.