A wintry mix of hail, severe thunderstorms and even snow showers is forecast for Western Australia, as the southwestern corner of the state, including Perth, prepares for what could be its coldest day of the year so far.
- Temperatures are expected to drop in southwest WA on Tuesday
- The weather system could also bring strong winds and hail to parts of WA
- Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges could get a light dusting of snow
A gusty cold front reached Perth just before midday on Monday and is expected to sweep across the rest of the South West Land Division, reaching Geraldton in Hopetoun this evening.
While this event is unlikely to be as strong or prolonged as the system that hit WA last week, bringing record gusts of wind to some locations, it is still expected to pack a punch.
Cape Leeuwin and Ocean Reef have already recorded gusts of wind near 90 kilometers per hour.
Hail could impact much of the state
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Caroline Crow said the initial cold front will be followed by a pool of cold air on Tuesday, which will drop high temperatures and bring hail to much of the state. .
“Tomorrow there will be potential hail in the Southwest Overland Division from around Jurien Bay to Lake Grace to Esperance,” she said.
“Generally speaking, this is the coldest outbreak for the Southwest of the state that we are looking at for this season so far, given the region of hail potential which is quite far to the ‘inland.’
She said maximum temperatures would generally be two to six degrees Celsius lower than average on Tuesday, with temperatures in the Deep South region struggling to reach teenagers.
“The Far South and Southern Coastal District is looking at temperatures around 10C to 12C,” she said.
“And from Bunbury in the interior parts of the South West Land Division, to the South East Coast District around this 12C mark.”
Perth is also expected to experience cooler than normal weather, with highs of 15C expected in the city and 14C in Mandurah.
The coldest day of the year so far in Perth was July 17, when the temperature peaked at 14.2C.
In Katanning, the coldest day was July 30 when the mercury only reached 11.1°C, Mount Barker’s coldest day was August 3 (11°C) and Bunbury’s coldest day was July 30 (13.9°C).
Bluff Knoll could have more snow
Ms Crow said the cold wind could mean snow on Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges for the second time in a fortnight.
“It could be cold enough tomorrow to see some snow on Bluff Knoll, early morning around 4 a.m. 5 a.m. until noon,” she said.
“It’s more likely to be showers rather than really settling on Bluff Knoll.”
A weather app, Windy, even predicted the possibility of light snow in the hills of Perth early Tuesday. However, Ms Crow said that was unlikely.
“The darling escarpment doesn’t have a freezing level low enough or cold enough to get a snow cover like Bluff Knoll,” she said.
‘Off-season’ rain for northern parts of WA
It’s not just the downstate expecting a winter blast.
Ms Crow said a band of cloud was starting to thicken over western Pilbara and central WA which would likely bring showers mid-week.
“Come tomorrow, we’ll start to see the potential for showers and patchy rain,” she said.
“And then coming Wednesday, the eastern parts of the Pilbara and inland could experience 10mm falls, with isolated showers of up to 20mm.”
Ms Crow said the downpours were unusual at this time of year, with the upstate currently in the middle of its dry season.
She said there would also be cool temperatures for the area.
“It looks like under this cloud the strip temperatures could be four to eight degrees below average,” she said.
Bad weather for Perth
- Tuesday: Min 7C, Max 15C, Very high chance of rain
- Wednesday: Min 7C, Max 18C, Strong chance of rain near the coast
- Thursday: Min 5C, Max 18C, Partly Cloudy
- Friday: Min 7C, Max 20C, Mainly Sunny
- Saturday: Min 11C, Max 20C, Very high chance of rain
- Sunday: Min 11C, Max 21C, Very high chance of rain