South West experiences a winter taster

Ailish DelaneySouth Western Times

A widespread cold outbreak across southern Western Australia left South West residents shivering through a chilly Tuesday night, as temperatures plunged to 2C in Collie.

The weekend is set to warm back up with maximum temperatures of 23C in Bunbury.

Looking ahead, the South West could be in for a wet winter as Bureau of Meteorology spokesman Neil Bennett said it was looking more likely to have above than below-average rainfall.

“We’re running at a likely chance, about 69 per cent, of being above the average for the period of May to July for Bunbury which is 419mm,” Mr Bennett said.

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For the year so far, January to March, we’ve had pretty much average rainfall in the region.

Neil Bennett

Mr Bennett said rainfall was determined by the climate drivers.

“The one we look at a lot for WA rainfall is the cold fronts — the number of cold fronts we can get and how we can have interactions with warmer air to our north west.

“Warmer air can hold more moisture so it can pull down warm, moist air ahead of the cold front and you can get heavier rainfalls.”

“The outlooks at the moment are suggesting there’s nothing to prevent the cold fronts from moving up, which is something we call the Southern Annular Mode that looks like it’s not going to be a particular hindrance to rainfall.”

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