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WA records second-warmest October on record and driest month in 40 years

By Irena Ceranic, Friday November 1, 2019 - 20:03 EDT
ABC image
The heat comes on the heels of Perth's hottest September on record. - ABC

Despite a blast of icy air delivering gusty showers and hail to south western parts of WA this week, the state has posted its second-warmest October on record and the driest in 40 years.



The mean maximum temperature was 3.58 degrees Celsius above average across the state, driven largely by blistering heat in northern and eastern parts of WA, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)

"The main areas of heat were up through our north where the lack of cloud and the time of year means that we do start to see temperatures picking up," BOM spokesman Neil Bennett said.

"The driver was our north and any time the winds started swinging out of there then the rest of the state started to warm up … and we had a long run of very warm days through the Goldfields area."

Goldfields swelter through heat record



The Goldfields towns of Laverton, Leinster and Norseman sweltered through their hottest October day on record on October 10, all soaring up to or above 40C.

Meanwhile several towns through northern and central WA including Wiluna, Port Hedland, Meekathara, Telfer and Newman notched up their hottest October on record.

The heat came on the heels of

Rainfall was sparse too, resulting in the state's driest October since 1979.

"Monthly rainfall was below average, especially through the west and the south," Mr Bennett said.

"It was the state's 10th driest October on record and the driest in 40 years."



Gauge blockage muddies rain data

Perth had three days above 30C during October, but overall the city experienced a relatively mild month with its mean maximum of 24C not far off the 23.4C average.

But the rainfall statistics for Perth were not as clear cut, after BOM was forced to estimate the rainfall figures on October 5 due to a "blockage" in the official Perth rain gauge in Mount Lawley.

The blockage was picked up after a low pressure system off the west coast delivered falls in the double figures to metropolitan areas, but the Perth gauge only officially recorded 1.8mm of rainfall.



"The Mount Lawley gauge was noticeably lower than all of the other gauges that we saw," Mr Bennett said.

"We went to have a look at that because it raised our suspicions and we found that there had been a slight blockage in the gauge itself.

"This can sometimes happen, where bits of material get blown in by the strong winds … the hole itself within the gauge where the rainfall goes is quite small, so it's not all that unusual to have these blockages."

The estimated total of 27.8 millimetres made it Perth's driest October since 2015.

"But the year to date total which is from the first of January to the end of October of 571.4 millimetres, that's the driest year-to-date in seven years, so we're in a pretty dry spell at the moment," Mr Bennett said.


- ABC

© ABC 2019

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