A strong cold front is approaching southwestern WA, which is resulting in some of the largest rainfall totals in months with potentially damaging winds. The intense frontal system in also creating rough seas with abnormally high tides.
Strong northwest winds ahead of the cold front have already gusted as high as 93km/h at Cape Leeuwin and as high as 83km/h at Cape Naturaliste. Around Perth, the winds have reached speeds of 80km/h at Bickley.
A severe weather warning is in place for an area southwest of a line from Perth to Albany, warning residents that wind gusts may reach 100km/h during this afternoon and evening. Winds of this strength could result in structural damage to property, uproot trees and bring down powerlines.
With the strongest winds expected during this evening, there is the risk of dangerous gusts as high as 125km/h, which could result in significant damage to property in localised areas.
The severe weather also includes the risk for flash flooding as a band of heavy rain spreads through the Southwest Land Division ahead of the front. The heaviest rainfall so far has been recorded over the Lower West and Southwest Districts, with totals of 15 to 30mm falling in just seven hours.
Perth gained close to 15mm in the seven hours between 9am and 4pm, which was its heaviest rainfall in around two months. Similarly, Jandakot received its heaviest rain in two months, gaining 19mm during the same period. Other high totals for today include Bickley with 28mm in seven hours and Dwellingup with 25mm.
A high pressure system will stop the front's inland track, with only light patchy rain to reach the southern fringe of the Central Wheat Belt and Goldfields districts, where no more than 5mm will fall from this system.
On Monday, the front will move into the Bight while a high pressure ridge eases wind and rain over the Southwest Land Division.
Temperatures will remain cool in the wake of the front, with Perth only expected to reach a top of 17 degrees on Monday. This is two degrees below the monthly average and a significant drop from the 25 degrees experienced on Saturday.
© Weatherzone 2012
13:39 EST With 28mm already recorded in the rain gauge this month, Alice Springs is having its wettest May since 2004.