Weather News

Low pressure system lashes southwest WA

Andrew Casper-Richardson, Sunday February 7, 2021 - 10:22 EDT

A low pressure system off the southwestern coast of Western Australia has delivered gusty winds and heavy rain, with some places having their highest daily February rainfall in decades.

The low has been sitting offshore in recent days, slowly making its way south. Heavy rain to the south of the system has been impacting parts of the Central West, Lower West and South West districts. Between 9am AWST Saturday and 6am AWST Sunday the highest falls were in the Central West where Hill River Springs picked up 80mm, Moora 74mm and Lancelin East 71mm. 

Further south, Cape Naturaliste recorded 39mm in the 22 hours to 9am AWST Sunday which is already the highest daily February total in over 100 years. Elsewhere, Bunbury's 40mm and Wandering's 28mm is the highest daily total of any month in nearly 20 months. 

Along with the rain came gusty winds. Gooseberry Hill recorded the highest gust in the state so far reaching 100km/h early on Sunday morning. Bickley wasn’t far behind with a gust of 94km/h and this was the strongest gust in six months. 

The main weather station at Perth dodged the worst of the conditions so far with 16mm recorded between 9am AWST Saturday and 6am AWST Sunday and wind gusts peaking at 52km/h.

This significant rainfall has gone a long way in suppressing the recent bushfires in the Perth Hills.

Image: Location of the low at 2am AWST Monday and 24 hour rainfall according to the ECMWF HRES model.

The low will continue to march south throughout Sunday, taking the worst conditions with it, before crossing the southwest corner of the state on Monday morning. Rain has largely moved out of the Central West though showers and likely to persist throughout the day. Wind gusts reaching 100km/h remain possible to the south of the system and are most likely for exposed coastal and elevated parts of the Lower West, South West and South Coastal. Rainfall is expected to be heaviest in the South West district where widespread totals of 30-50mm are expected and isolated falls off 100mm are possible.

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