Weather News

Wild weather strikes Perth and south-west WA with twice-in-a-year storm front

Monday July 26, 2021 - 21:12 EST
ABC image
The worst of the weather was expected to hit in the early evening. - ABC

People in Western Australia's south-west, including the Perth metropolitan area, have been warned about a cold front which has brought intense rain and dangerous winds.

A severe weather warning was issued for people from Geraldton to Israelite Bay as a strong cold front crossed the state's southern and central coasts on Monday between mid-afternoon and early evening.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said this type of weather was only seen once or twice a year, and would continue into Tuesday.

Between 30 to 60 millimetres of rainfall was likely to occur between Perth and Busselton which could lead to flash flooding, especially in low-lying and poor drainage areas.

The system was also expected to bring widespread damaging winds of up to 70 kilometres per hour, with gusts of up to 120 kph for southwest of Bunbury to Bremer Bay, extending from Jurien Bay to Bremer Bay.

Meanwhile, BOM said locally dangerous winds with gusts in excess of 125 kph were possible southwest of a line from Geraldton to Bremer Bay through Monday evening.

BOM senior forecaster Bob Tarr said the front would be windier than a typical front.

"Around the Perth metro area this is one of the stronger fronts of the year so we're seeing about a twice-a-year type of event," he said.

Up to 70mm of rain possible ? records may be broken

The Perth Hills was expected to receive the most amount of rain in the metropolitan region, with 50 ? 70mm possible on Monday

Showers were forecast to last into the night and ease by Tuesday, but another cold front is expected on Thursday.

Dangerous swell conditions will develop with large swells continuing for the rest of the week and total wave heights could reach up to 10 metres tomorrow between Perth to Albany.

Perth has recorded its wettest July since 2000 and another strong cold front bringing more rain later this week could break more rain records.

"If we get 15 [millimetres] out of this system which is very likely, then we'll be the second-wettest and surpass 2000," Mr Tarr said.

"Then the next wettest after that was in 1995 and that's about 60mms away ? there's a slight chance we could get there by the end of the week as it does look like we're going to have another front later in the week.

"If we do get past 24 rain days, that'll be the highest number of rainfall days that we've had at the Perth metro site since 1993."

The BOM also encouraged people to head home from work earlier than usual if possible, to avoid the expected peak of the downpour.

"One of the main issues is the rain is going to be coming in right around rush hour traffic, so if you have the opportunity to head out an little bit early, then it would be a good idea to do so," Mr Tarr said.

"Certainly, with the risk of strong winds, [people] should be tying down any loose objects and probably take it easy tonight, probably not the best night to be out on the roads."


© ABC 2021

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