February has finally ended, leaving Perth with both its hottest and driest summer on record, according to weatherzone.com.au.
Across the whole summer, from December to February, Perth recorded just 0.2 millimetres, barely a blip compared to the average of 32 millimetres over the same period. Within this time there were 78 days without rain in a row, falling short of the previous record by five days.
Sam Terry, meteorologist for weatherzone.com.au, gave an explanation for the virtually unyielding dry weather.
?Typically summer in Perth is the driest time of year by a long way, so persistently dry weather is not unusual. A ridge of high pressure will generally block any rainfall systems during the summer months.?
?However, it is normal to see at least one system make it through the ridge. We did see a very weak showery change reach Perth earlier in the month, but fresh easterly winds have kept anything else away.?
Perth also had significantly above average temperatures across the summer, linked to the lack of rainfall. There were a total of 59 days on or above 30 degrees, never before seen on record. The previous record was 53 days.
Overall, Perth had an average summer maximum this year of 32 degrees. The combination of this with very warm minimum temperatures has delivered the hottest summer in 16 years of records, using current data.
?Most of the available cloud cover has been staying over northern or eastern Australia,? Terry said. ?This means that Western Australia was able to heat up under the full force of the summer sun. Easterly winds then pushed all this hot air over the west coast.?
?It?s likely that the current Perth records go back even further. We have data for the old observation site which suggests that Perth just had its hottest summer in 30 years.?
According to weatherzone.com.au the spate of hot and dry weather will continue for at least another week.
© Weatherzone 2010
13:12 EDT (Ex) Tropical Cyclone Gillian which formed over the Gulf of Carpentaria has been one of the longest lived systems in the Australian region this season.