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Perth weather hot and dry in July but wet start to August brings hope to farmers

By Irena Ceranic, Monday August 3, 2020 - 17:25 EST
ABC image
WA has recorded its second-warmest July on record, with rainfall well below average. - ABC

Western Australia has posted its second-warmest July on record and rainfall was 56 per cent below average across the state, the latest data from the Bureau of Meteorology has revealed.



The mean maximum temperature was 2.52 degrees Celsius above average, only slightly lower than the record set in July 2019.

Perth's mean maximum was 19.4C, around a degree above average, and it was the city's driest July since 2012.

"The 83.4 millimetres that fell in Perth was about 60 per cent of the average of 142.3mm, so it was a significantly drier month," Bureau of Meteorology Spokesman Neil Bennett said.

Despite the city experiencing 14 wet days in the month, which is the norm, the rain-bearing systems failed to deliver impressive totals.

"The amount of rain that fell wasn't significantly heavy. We only had a couple of days where we had some decent falls," Mr Bennett said.



"The delivery of the rain from the cold fronts hasn't been as heavy as usual for the month and we didn't get much input from the tropical areas coming down from the north-west.

"We also had long periods of dry weather where the high pressure systems start to dominate and the fronts don't come up as frequently.

"But when they did arrive they didn't really deliver the heavy rainfall that we usually get with them."



A cut-off low brings hope to drought affected areas

After the lacklustre month of July, August has got off to a promising start in southern parts of WA.

A cut-off low pressure system is forecast to bring moderate to heavy falls to the south coast and adjacent areas,

"Certainly in the deficient areas, we would be looking at some high double digit falls … it's definitely welcome rain down there," Mr Bennett said.

"The long term deficit is such that this will help but they will need some follow up rain to really make a difference."



Mr Bennett said the weather system driving the rain was not the common cold front which sweeps in from the west and loses strength as it tracks east.

"Usually the frontal activity [the deficient area] gets pretty weak by the time it gets to them, so this will be a decent fall and for many of them who have been hanging in there this could give them a little bit of hope.

"If nothing else it will put some water into their dams."

Bremer Bay, which is between Albany and Esperance, recorded 48 millimetres of rain in 6 hours on Monday.

The Bureau of Meteorology is warning heavy rainfall could lead to flash flooding along the South Coast and damaging surf conditions could cause significant beach erosion between Albany and Esperance.

Conditions are expected to ease by Wednesday.


- ABC

© ABC 2020

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