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Perth weather set to turn ugly with strong winds, damaging swell and heavy rain loom

By Irena Ceranic, Thursday October 3, 2019 - 08:42 EST
ABC image
Perth's sunny spring is coming to an end, with a low expected to lash the south-west on Friday. - ABC

After a stretch of spectacular weather to start the school holidays, spring will switch gears on Friday, delivering a wet and blustery change for WA's south-west, including Perth.

Strong winds, thunderstorms, heavy rain and damaging swells are possible as a low pressure system moves over the region.

"The low will develop out to the west during Thursday and then move over the south-west corner of the state during Friday, bringing some windy conditions and possibly heavy rainfall depending on where you are located," said Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Noel Puzey.

"It will be a change from the quite warm conditions we've had over the past week or so."

The position of the low pressure system will determine which areas feel the brunt of the stormy weather, however there is some uncertainty about exactly which path it will take.

If the current modelling is accurate, rain is likely to be widespread and heaviest near the south coast.

"There's the chance of some isolated falls to 50 or 70 millimetres, but the heaviest rainfall could well be offshore from the south coast," said Mr Puzey.

Rainfall totals in the double figures are on the cards for Perth too and winds strong enough to cause damage to homes and property are possible.

"The winds near the centre of (the low) aren't particularly strong, the strongest winds are to the north of the low itself," said Mr Puzey.

"If the low lies to the south of Perth then we will get some blustery winds from the west during Friday."

Dangerous surf conditions which are hazardous for water-based activities such as swimming, surfing and rock fishing are also expected.

"There could be some strong- to gale-force winds over coastal waters in Perth and northwards along the Yanchep and then Lancelin coast towards Geraldton," said Mr Puzey.

"We'll see some dangerous surf conditions developing through Friday probably even into Saturday as well as the low brings those winds and the swell up a little bit."

But in typical spring fashion, conditions should ease rapidly during Saturday morning.

"These are not unusual conditions, this is quite common for this time of year to go from a period of more summery weather back into winter and back again," said Mr Puzey.

"That's what spring is all about and in fact these sorts of systems can persist right through until the end of November."

The wintry change comes on the heels of Western Australia posting its hottest September on record and Perth's driest since 1977.


© ABC 2019

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