Australia Weather News

Western Australia has marked the start of Autumn with wild weather, as a slow-moving trough dumped heavy rainfall over Perth, the Wheatbelt and Gascoyne, beating monthly rainfall averages in the space of a day, but forecasters say the heaviest falls are yet to come.

In the space of one day on Monday, Perth exceeded its long-term monthly average rainfall for the whole of March, with 25.6 millimetres recorded along with thunderstorms and power outages to over 1,700 homes.

Meanwhile, areas of the West Pilbara have recorded rainfall peaks up to 100mm since the start of the week, while areas of the central Wheatbelt have had two consecutive evenings of severe thunderstorms warnings with damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall.

On Tuesday evening Northam recorded 39mm in the space of one hour, more than double its monthly average.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Mark Paul said the weather had been caused largely by a slow-moving mid-level trough bringing deep moisture from the tropical north.

More rain on the way

While conditions eased on Tuesday for the city, the wet weather is far from over with Perth likely to double and potentially even triple its monthly rainfall average by the end of the week.

Mr Paul said today would see the heaviest rain as the trough moved back toward the coast.

"We're going to see falls up to 80mm in isolated locations in parts of the Central Wheatbelt and Gascoyne, but generally speaking we'll see 20 to 50mm widespread through those areas," he said.

The city could also receive heavy falls today between 15mm and 30mm and lighter falls between 1mm and 5mm tomorrow.

'It's very exciting'

The rain has been welcome news for grain farmers in the Wheatbelt in the lead up to seeding.

Ryan Miguel, who farms in Beacon, approximately 320 kilometres north east of Perth, said after several very dry years and below average seasons, the rain had given him good confidence going into their program.

"We haven't had summer rain for about three years now, so everyone is pretty excited about the opportunities it brings," he said.

"It gives us an opportunity to have an early start for a change, our average break has been probably late May for the past couple of years, so with that sub soil-moisture there we probably only need a little bit to get us up and going, so it's very exciting."

Mr Miguel said he had recorded about 120mm of rain since harvest time late last year, 50mm of which had fallen this week.