Cool, dry spring tipped for region
There is a 70 per cent chance that we will get less than average rainfall in the South West. - Bureau duty forecaster Callum Stuart
AFTER a generally warm, dry winter, the South West appears on course for a drier but cooler than average spring, the Bureau of Meteorology said on Friday.
According to the bureau, winter days were uniformly warmer than normal in WA, with maximum and minimum temperatures above average and nights were warmer in the South West.
It was a dry winter across much of the State – the 11th driest on record – with the South West recording its driest winter overall since 2014.
Manjimup’s winter rainfall total of 377mm was below the average of 479.6mm but Bridgetown bucked the trend with 417.6mm, well above its average of 350.9mm. “That’s quite a variation for towns that are reasonably close together,” bureau duty forecaster Callum Stuart said.
Bridgetown’s average maximum temperature over winter was 16.4C, 0.1C above average, while Manjimup’s average maximum of 15.8C was 0.9C above average. Minimum temperatures in Bridgetown and Manjimup were also above average, he said.
Bridgetown’s average minimum of 5.2C was 0.3C above the long-term average and Manjimup’s average minimum of 7.3C was half a degree above the longterm average.
Bureau climate prediction manager Dr Andrew Watkins said the rainfall outlook for spring indicated below average falls for the South West. “Warm waters in the central Indian Ocean may result in higher pressures south of Australia, resulting in more easterly winds, keeping the west drier than average,” he said.
Mr Stuart said the outlook for the South West indicated a drier but cooler spring, with only a 30 per cent chance of exceeding mean rainfall forecasts.
“There is a 70 per cent chance that we will get less than average rainfall in the South West.”