Cold nights and dry May bring autumn to a close

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
A lack of cloud cover caused temperatures to frequently drop to record levels in Bunbury during May.
Camera IconA lack of cloud cover caused temperatures to frequently drop to record levels in Bunbury during May.

A dry May with record cool nights brought autumn to a close as hopes remain high that significant rainfall is just around the corner.

Just 72.2mm of rain was recorded in Bunbury over the three months, half the autumn average.

Bureau of Meteorology spokesman Neil Bennett said a number of factors had led to the low rainfall.

“In previous years we would have seen the tail-end of tropical lows or the impacts of decaying tropical cyclones which produce good falls of rain into March – we didn’t get any of that at all,” he said.

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Despite that, rainfall was slightly above average during the month before things became drier than average during April and May.

Just 16.2mm fell in April and 34.8mm was recorded in May, which was more than 20mm and 64mm below average respectively.

“As you move into the transition period moving from the summer you normally start to see the fronts arriving,” Mr Bennett said.

“Apart from the Easter period we didn’t see any significant rainfall through the region because high pressure systems held sway.”

Overall maximum temperatures were also slightly below average but Bunbury residents felt an extra chill at night in the past month.

The average May minimum temperature was a record low 6.5C

“There were certainly some cold nights; again, that comes from the lack of cloud cover brought on by those high pressure systems that have been the dominant feature.”

Mr Bennett said it was difficult to predict if Bunbury would reach its average winter rainfall mark of 470mm.

He said the bureau calculated the chance of getting more then 400mm was at 50 per cent, while the chance of getting more than 300mm is 86 per cent and there is only a 15 per cent chance of more than 500mm.

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