Perth has recorded its wettest October since recordings began, after a low-pressure system delivered heavy rainfall and hail to the southwest corner of the state last night.
- BOM says the October rainfall record is remarkable
- Rain has fallen in 13 days, well up to the average of nine
- Farmers are worried that the late rains could damage the crops
According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), which retrieves its official records from its Mt Lawley site, the previous record for the month was 96.4 millimeters, set in 1999.
The Perth site officially surpassed this figure during the night, with a total rainfall for the month of 119 millimeters at the moment, and more is on the way.
BOM forecast master Pete Klegg said it was the wettest October in more than 50 years, considering previous measuring stations.
“It’s the wettest October if we look back at previous places since 1965,” he said.
Tropical boost for precipitation
Sir. Klegg said tropical moisture added to many of the systems had increased rainfall.
“There have been a number of days with rainfall, 13 for the month, and the average is nine,” he said.
“But we’ve had some really strong rainfall systems that have been helped by tropical moisture being added to them, especially that of October 19th and 20th.
“So it increased the rainfall in the system, and it’s really quite remarkable for October.”
Precipitation maps show that much of the west coast of WA had recorded above-average rainfall in October.
Unlike the July rains, which were met with celebration by many in the agricultural sector, the recent rain was not well timed according to the farmers.
Rain delays autumn
Jackie Grylls, who farms in Bulyee in central Wheatbelt, said last night’s downpour had caused some damage to rapeseed crops in the district.
“Our neighbors got a little damaged, they had rapeseed growing in the folds next door,” she said.
“It could have been the really heavy showers that knocked a couple of these bellows around.
“We are grateful at the moment that we have not had too much damage from what happened during the night, but we really do not know the full extent until we get the headers in and see what has happened.”
She said the wet weather had also caused delays in the harvest, but overall the season had been “fantastic”.
“The crops have just been thriving with the weather we’ve had, but now it’s getting into the delicate end where we need the dry, long days to wipe everything off and get it all off and in the trash, ” she said.
This is the second time this year that Perth has recorded markedly high monthly rainfall, with a series of cold fronts contributing to Perth’s wettest July in over two decades.
Much of Australia’s north and east have been tipped for both a wet winter and spring, with a new La Nina and negative dipole phase in the Indian Ocean.
But the two main climate factors typically do not affect precipitation in the southwestern part of WA, according to BOM.