Weather

Record-challenging heat in Perth as fire danger spikes in WA

Ben Domensino, 8 November 2019

Perth is forecast to have one of its hottest November days on record this weekend, as fire danger ratings spike across Western Australia.

A large mass of hot air sitting over Western Australia will cause temperatures to soar over the next three days. The hottest places will be the Pilbara and Kimberley, where some inland locations are forecast to reach the mid forties between Friday and Sunday.

Image: Forecast surface temperature on Friday according to the ECMWF-HRES model.

A deepening low pressure trough near Australia's west coast will cause some of this heat to be drawn down the state's west coast on Friday and Saturday, driven by strengthening northerly winds.

Perth is forecast to reach 35 degrees today and 40 degrees on Saturday, with a minimum of 23 degrees in between. This would be the city's warmest November night in nine years and their warmest day (Saturday) in 16 years. 

Image: Forecast surface temperature on Saturday according to the ECMWF-HRES model.

Saturday's heat could challenge Perth's November maximum temperature record of 40.3 degrees, which occurred at the current Metro weather station in 2003 and the old Regional Office station back in 1913.

The low pressure trough will move inland on Sunday, pushing the hot air further east and allowing temperature to drop along the state's west coast.

Image: Forecast surface temperature on Sunday according to the ECMWF-HRES model.

Perth will be around 15 degrees cooler on Sunday, although areas to the east of the trough will feel the heat. Kalgoorlie is forecast to reach 40 degrees on Sunday and Esperance could hit 36 degrees.

The combination of hot, dry and windy weather is likely to elevate fire danger ratings in Western Australia on both Saturday and Sunday. 

Catastrophic fire danger, the highest category, is forecast in parts of the Pilbara and Central West Districts on Saturday, while Perth could experience Severe fire danger ratings.

The fire threat will shift away from the west coast on Sunday as the trough moves inland, with Severe to Extreme fire danger ratings forecast in some northern, central and southern parts of the state.

Visit https://www.emergency.wa.gov.au/ for the latest information on bushfires in Western Australia.