Weather News

Perth records wettest July in 20 years, with more rain to come

By Tyne Logan, Tuesday July 20, 2021 - 09:29 EST
ABC image
Storm clouds off the Perth coast at the beginning of July. - ABC

It's taken Perth just 20 days to record its wettest July in two decades, and rain expected this week could put the month among the wettest ever recorded.

Consecutive coldfronts and severe storm systems have dumped more than 184 millimetres on the city this month, making it the wettest July since 2001, when 182mm was recorded.

The Perth metro area's July 2021 tally is now inching closer to July 2000's mark of 231mm.

With a week to go, it's likely this month will rank higher than 90 per cent of all other years on record.

This week, between 20mm and 50mm of rain is expected for Perth metro, as further low pressure systems and cold fronts cross the coast.

The city has experienced rain for 17 days straight, something not logged since 2009.

Falls in agricultural areas have also been healthy, with areas of the Central West, Mid West and Goldfields recording above-average rainfall for the month.

All-time high still a long way off

Perth's rainfall records at the Mt Lawley gauge stretch back to 1993, with the highest July rainfall recorded ? 278 mm in 1995 ? still a way off. 

Longer-term comparison records, taken at previous sites around Perth, show more than 400mm fell in July 1958.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Matt Boterhoven said comparison figures offer an insight into how wet it was several decades ago, but were less desirable to use due to high variation between suburbs.

He said current models indicated it was unlikely Perth would reach its July rainfall record at the Mt Lawley site this month. 

"We're a chance of getting past the 231mm for the year 2000," he said. 

"But it's been a significant year and we had a great June and May as well. 

"I think a few farmers might even like to turn the taps off now."

Perth's July rainfall comes as large parts of Australia were tipped for wetter than average winter and spring conditions, with a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event declared for the first time in five years.

While every event is different, typically a negative dipole brings more rainfall to WA's Pilbara, Gascoyne and Goldfields regions.


© ABC 2021

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