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Perth heating up late after a cool run

Brett Dutschke, Tuesday April 2, 2013 - 12:46 EDT

Perth is in the midst of a once-in-a-decade warm spell after its coolest March in 16 years.

The city steadily warmed up over the Easter long weekend, reaching 30 degrees on Sunday and Monday. Today will be the third of five consecutive 30-degree days, its warmest spell in about four weeks.

Five days in a row of 30 degrees doesn't happen often this late in autumn. In the past 130 years it has only occurred 12 times.

The most recent occurrence was only two years ago, when the first six days of April reached 30 degrees.

In a typical April there are only three-or-four 30-degree days in the whole month.

At the moment we have plenty of sunshine combining with dry easterly winds blowing around a slow-moving high over the Southern Ocean.

Many residents will lap up this warm, sunny treat, particularly given March cooled down so much after a warm start.

In the second half of the month it failed to reach 30 degrees for 12 days in a row - the most number of consecutive days in March since 2001.

Overall the average maximum for March was 28.0 degrees, almost two degrees cooler than the long-term average of 29.7 degrees. This made it the coolest March since 1997 when the average maximum was 27.8 degrees.

Even combining daytime maximum temperatures with overnight minimums, which averaged 16.1 degrees, it turned out to be the coolest March since 1997.

Cloud and rain was a feature during March, the main contributors to the cool month. On average there was 25 minutes less sunshine per day and there were two more rain days compared to average.

The extra rain days helped Perth have its wettest March in 42 years and fourth wettest March in more than 130 years of records.

It hasn't rained for about a week now, giving residents a taste of what March would normally offer - a week-long warm dry spell.

The next best chance of getting some rain is on Friday, when a cooler change arrives in the form of a weak front. However, with showers only a small chance, residents may have to wait another week for rain.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2013

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