Weather News

First wet season rains hit northwest Pilbara

Ben Domensino, Friday March 13, 2020 - 13:12 EDT

A small tropical low pressure system brought the first decent rain of the wet season to parts of Western Australia's northwest Pilbara district on Thursday night.

As the tropical low made landfall on Thursday night, precipitation was picked up by rain gauges from Karratha to Learmonth. Rainfall totals during the 24 hours to 9am on Friday reached as high as 65mm on Thevenard Island, while Onslow Airport received just under 40mm.

Image: Composite infrared satellite and radar image showing a tropical low crossing the northwest Pilbara coast on Thursday night.

This is the first significant rain this part of Western Australia has seen since the middle of last year and the best rain in a couple of years for some places.

Australia's northern wet season runs from October to April. During this time, Onslow Airport's average rainfall is 186mm. Prior to this week, the site had only received 1.4mm so far this season.

Last night's rain was Onslow's heaviest rain in just under two years. For Barrow Island (32mm) and Learmonth (9mm), it was the heaviest rain in 8-9 months.

The tropical low also caused wind gusts of 102km/h at Thevenard Island and 91km/h at Barrow Island on Thursday night.

Wind and rain will ease as the remnants of the tropical low move inland over the western Gascoyne district on Friday.

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