Record cold hits WA Kimberley

29 May, 2012 06:22 AM
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WESTERN Australia's Kimberley has been shivering during the last few nights as record-breaking cold hits the region.

On Saturday and Sunday night much of the region experienced its lowest May temperatures in more than a decade.

Broome has broken the record twice in two nights, dipping to 8.1 degrees on Saturday night then 7.7 last night, both more than 10 degrees below average.

On Sunday night Fitzroy Crossing was one of the coldest centres, getting as cold as 6.0 degrees, also 10 below average. This is its coldest May night in at least 15 years.

West Roebuck dipped to 6.2 degrees on Sunday night after a chilling 5.5 on Saturday night, which was its coldest May night in at least 13 years.

Saturday night was also the coldest for May in more than a decade for Mt Elizabeth and Wyndham airport, cooling to 0.5 and 9.6 degrees respectively.

Dry southeasterly winds have been affecting the Kimberley and much of WA for a week now and have combined with mostly clear skies to bring colder-than-average nights.

Nights have also been noticeably cold in the south of the state, where Perth had its equal coldest May night in more than 100 years of records. It got as low was 1.3 degrees last Thursday night, equalling the record May low, set in 1913.

Sunday night was Esperance's coldest May night in five years, recording a minimum of 6.5 degrees, five below average.

Looking ahead, the next few nights will get progressively warmer starting from tonight, although the north of the state should still be about five degrees colder than average as we enter the first week of winter. Skies will stay mostly clear in the north and winds will stay dry.

In the south of the state, the Esperance area will have one or two more cold nights due to clearing skies, but the Perth area should warm up significantly with help from increasing cloud. This cloud will bring a few showers to the southwest on Thursday, including Perth. However, these showers are not likely to reach as far inland as the wheat belt, maintaining its lengthy dry spell.

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