Wintery front blasts Western Australia
In what is shaping up to be the coldest April day in more than four decades for some parts of Western Australia, the Easter weekend will likely remain cold for much of the southwest of the state.
The most significant cold front of the year so far began to move in over southwest WA late on Thursday evening, bringing heavy rainfall and icy southwesterly winds. Perth even recordest its strongest wind gusts in five years, reaching 76km/h in the early hours of Friday morning.
Widespread falls of 15-35mm also fell overnight into early Friday morning over Greater Perth, Central West, Lower West and South West, with Perth recording 23mm, Manjimup getting just over 25mm and Dwellingup receiving 35mm. Cape Leeuwin's 21mm was also its heaviest April rainfall in 12 years.
But the most significant aspect of the front has been the cold it has brought, with places like Narrogin, Ongerup, Ravensthorpe and Merredin likely experiencing their coldest April days in 49 years. Perth Airport could also see its coldest April day in 39 years, with temperatures not expected to exceed 16 degrees.
Cold air in the wake of the system is significant enough for temperatures to remain 5-10 degrees below average on Saturday, and 3-6 below average on Sunday, throughout the southwestern parts of the state. Easter Sunday will be particularly cold, with Perth's expected minimum of 5 degrees its lowest April minimum in 19 years.
Currently the system is making its way over the southern parts of the country, and should move into South Australia by the evening. Ahead of the system, warm and dry northwesterly winds are bringing elevated fire danger over South Australia, and have also led to the hottest day for Adelaide this late in the season in at least 100 years.
There is also a Severe Weather Warning in place for damaging winds and surf for the South West, South Coast and Great Southern. Visit http://www.weatherzone.com.au/warnings.jsp for the latest severe weather warnings associated with this event.