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Where has the sea breeze gone? Perth expected to miss out on Fremantle Doctor until Monday

By Irena Ceranic, Friday January 15, 2021 - 11:18 EDT
ABC image
The sea breeze isn't expected to return until early next week. - ABC

Perth's sea breeze, colloquially dubbed the Fremantle Doctor, is the hallmark of the city's scorching summers ? providing a cool relief from the blistering afternoon heat.

But it has been noticeably absent for much of this year.

It stayed away for five consecutive days from January 2-6, for the first time since February 2008, and Perth is expecting another long stretch of days without one.

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) duty forecaster Luke Huntington said after only reaching the coastal suburbs on Wednesday, it was not expected to return until next week.

"Whilst we do get days without a sea breeze, what's most unusual is the number of consecutive days where we won't get one," he said.

"It doesn't look like it'll push through the metro area until Monday."

Mr Huntington said it was being held back by a surge of strong easterly winds sweeping across the metropolitan area.

"It's due to a strong high pressure ridge to the south of the state that's moving very, very slowly, and that's what's keeping the easterly winds strong for a number of consecutive days.

"We've been getting gusts of around 70 kilometres an hour, especially around the hills."

The BOM has issued a severe weather warning for damaging easterly wind gusts around the Perth hills and foothills into Friday morning.

"Gusts could reach up to 90 kilometres an hour ? into Friday morning but then should gradually ease," Mr Huntington said.

The lack of sea breeze has had an impact on Perth's temperatures, which tend to peak in the late afternoon when it is absent.

The city's mean maximum so far this month is about 34 degrees Celsius, which is 3C above average.

The hot trend is set to continue with Perth's maximum forecast to mainly hover in the mid to high 30s over the next week.


© ABC 2021

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