Severe front lashes the region

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The South Coast's wild weather was highlighted at Torndirrup National Parks' The Gap Wednesday morning.
Camera IconThe South Coast's wild weather was highlighted at Torndirrup National Parks' The Gap Wednesday morning. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Wild weather has lashed the Great Southern region as the first major storm event of the year brought hail, thunderstorms and massive swells.

Albany recorded wind gusts of 74km/h on Tuesday night, while in Katanning wind speeds were in excess of 90km/h.

By noon yesterday, Albany had received 41mm of rain, while Denmark had received 54mm and Mt Barker 25mm.

Power outages affected almost 1500 homes around Denmark, Gairdner, Amelup, Takalarup, Manypeaks, Youngs Siding and William Bay.

Fortunately, emergency services were not called to a single incident in the Albany district and the rain came at a perfect time for farmers after a dry summer. Swells were forecast to reach 10m off the Albany coast yesterday.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Neil Bennett said that level of weather and swell only happened once or twice a year.

“Fronts are common in winter, and to get them this early is not unusual,” Mr Bennett said.

“The particular severity, though, is something that we usually only see once or twice in the winter season, and that will include up to the later part of autumn.

“We also only see these sort of swells once or twice year.”

Mr Bennett warned surf conditions would remain dangerous after the cold front had passed.

“It is a very, very dangerous couple of days on the coast with these swells,” he said.

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