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Southwest WA catching up on rain after dry start to winter

Brett Dutschke, Tuesday August 6, 2013 - 14:19 EST

Western Australia's southwest had a very dry June, a wetter July and is now starting August with some soaking rain, replenishing dams and adding valuable moisture to the soil.

Much of the Lower West, Central Wheat Belt, South West and Southern Coastal are making up some of the winter rainfall deficit. A series of fronts and low pressure troughs are linking up with high moisture to bring widespread rain this week.

Parts of the South West and Lower West have just had decent falls and are closing in on the winter average.

In the last 24 hours Donnybrook picked up 51mm, Karnet 41m and Collie East and Bridgetown both 21mm each.

Margaret River gained 17mm overnight, taking its winter total to 482mm, 78 percent of its long-term average of 621mm.

During the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday a rain band will continue to stream across the southwest corner, bringing a further 30-to-80mm to locations such as Collie and Bunbury.

The rain band will then swing north and east across the whole South West Land Division and Goldfields during Wednesday night and Thursday, bringing widespread five-to-40mm. The heaviest falls will be near the west coast.

By Friday, some locations near the west coast will be well on their way to achieving their winter average with more than three weeks to go.

Unfortunately for places further north and inland of Perth, the coming rain will only minimally reduce the season's deficit.

Mullewa in the Central West has only had 26mm so far this season, only 16 percent of the winter average of 162mm. The 15-to-20mm to come in the next few days will be very handy but only take the running total to about 25 percent.

Another front this weekend will bring further showers to the far southwest of the state but lack the moisture to take significant falls inland.

Between now and the weekend, unseasonably warm weather will continue, most noticeably at night, where temperatures should be four-to-eight degrees above average.

Cloud, high humidity and a warm airmass are contributing to this warmth. Last night was the warmest night since autumn for most of the region and was the warmest August night in 14 years in Pearce, staying above 15 degrees all night.

Perth had an overnight minimum of 15.5 degrees, 7.5 degrees above average and a seven-year high for August.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2013

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