Wet, wild, hot and mild: our 24 hours of crazy weather
What a difference 24 hours can make.
About this time yesterday, Perth was sweltering under a sizzling summer sun, with the mercury topping 42.4C at 3.17pm, just shy of the city’s hottest December day on record, 44.2C on Boxing Day 2007.
At the same time today, Perth was experiencing more comfortable temperatures in the mid-to-late 20s.
Today's maximum temperature was 29.4C recorded shortly before 3pm at Pearce, which was several degrees hotter than suburbs closer to the city and on the coast.
Neil Bennett, from the Bureau of Meteorology, described yesterday as “a day of exceptional weather across the State”. Power and water consumption soared in Perth as people struggled to stay cool and our North West was battered by wind gusts of up to 90km/h and falls of up to 218mm.
Perth residents flooded beaches to try to escape the heat but workers were faced with delays on their way home as the extreme heat slowed trains by 30km/h.
It proved too hot to handle for one unlucky beachgoer who, according to a post on the Poms in Australia (WA) Facebook page, suffered severe burns to the soles of their feet during an ill-fated dash for the surf across scorching sand without thongs.
“It may only be a few metres but that skin under the arch and toes is pretty tender.
Today’s mild turn came as welcome relief to even the most hardened sun worshipper, with the temperature struggling to a more comfortable 26.2, recorded at 2.30pm at the bureau’s Perth weather station — a massive 18C drop from yesterday’s oppressive high.
But as those down south enjoy a more mild summer’s day, spare a thought for people around Siddins Creek, 500km east of Broome, who must have been readying the canoes as 218m fell across the area in just 24 hours to 9am Thursday morning.
Yulmbu recorded 175mm while 157mm fell at Marion Downs and 147mm at Derby Airport.
It wasn’t the only spot in our far north to get a lashing from the tropical low, which brought monsoonal conditions to most of the region, including squally showers, damaging winds and thunderstorms.
The highest rainfall totals for the 48 hours to 9am Thursday were Theda (268mm), Doongan (205mm) and Kalumburu (180mm).
A severe weather warning is still in place and significant stream rises and widespread flooding is expected in river catchments during Thursday and into Friday, with the low lying in the north-eastern parts of the Kimberley and forecast to track south-west over the next few days.
But the deluge has offered local photographers the chance to capture nature at its most awesome and beautiful.
Photographer Benjamin Broadwith captured some stunning aerial footage of Grotto gorge exploding into life near Wyndham as the rain made its way through the catchment.
Again, there will be some welcome relief as the rain eases, with forecasters tipping between 50mm and 100mm to fall over the western Kimberley over the next 24 hours, with isolated totals up to 150mm possible.
Flood warnings are current for the Ord River catchment, North Kimberley catchments and West Kimberley catchments.
DFES advises people and communities to be aware that flooding is possible and be prepared to relocate equipment and livestock.
Travellers need to be aware that road conditions may be adversely affected and travel plans may need to be reconsidered. Do not drive into water of unknown depth and velocity.
Back in Broome and Port Hedland, residents are bracing for a wet and wild Christmas Day as they get ready to welcome Tropical Cyclone Yvette.
The category one cyclone was this morning more than 700km off the North West coast and may intensify into a category two cyclone. It is not expected to make landfall within the next 48 hours.
Meanwhile, on WA’s south coast, thunderstorms brought some spectacular lightning but no rain to Albany overnight.
Some areas of the Great Southern recorded a few millimetres of rain but Albany airport recorded no fall.
Showers are forecast for much of Thursday with the weather set to warm to 22 on Christmas Day.
Looking to the weekend and Christmas, Perth can expect sunny conditions with highs of 33C for tomorrow, Saturday and Christmas Day before a slightly cooler 29C for Boxing Day, with 24C expected next Tuesday.
There are also warnings of prolonged heatwave in SA, also affecting the Eastern States over the weekend.
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