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Perth enduring 2nd longest dry spell on record

Rob Sharpe, Thursday February 27, 2014 - 13:41 EDT

Perth is now closing out one of its hottest and driest summers on record.

The western capital is no stranger to hot and dry summers, with an average rainfall of 35mm and an average maximum of 30 degrees. But this summer has been exceptional. The last time there was any significant rain was on December 1st, with 1.8mm recorded. Since then there has only been 0.2mm, making it the second longest dry spell in 132 years of records. The longest dry spell, with 0.2mm or less, was the 122 days from 21st November 2009 to 22nd March 2010.

Temperatures have consistently soared beyond 30 degrees in Perth this summer, leading to an average maximum of 32 degrees. This is likely to be the fifth hottest summer on record. In terms of combined minimum and maximum temperatures Perth will come out with the 9th hottest summer on record, with slightly above average minima.

Looking ahead and there is no rain in plain sight. The dominant dry easterly flow over most of Western Australia is set to linger this week with just the occasional weak trough setting up near the coast and causing inland thunderstorms. There is only a moderate chance of getting any measurable rain next week.

The long dry spell should be broken later in March as a stronger cold front should bring showers. Autumn is the transition season, with generally increasing rainfall towards the winter months. This time around long term models are suggesting that rainfall is likely to generally be near to, or slightly above, average for the Perth area and much of the southwestern quarter of WA.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014

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