Storms should ease Top End's sizzle

28 Jan, 2015 01:00 AM
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It was a bit slow starting, but most people had enough rain by Christmas to get them out of trouble.

THE Australia Day weekend was a sizzler for parts of WA's North.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said extreme heat wave conditions continued over the weekend for large parts of the State.

It was a scorcher for the Top End, but the Bureau predicts those living in the Kimberley and Pilbara region should soon see a change in the weather.

The weekly forecast is predicting a chance of showers and thunderstorms and easing temperatures for the northern regions.

BoM duty forecaster Max Strack said some areas had already experienced cooler weather this week.

"We will start to see some moisture in the north and see the thunderstorms kick off," Ms Strack said.

"We had some thunderstorms moving through the Kimberley earlier this week; which is to be expected."

Last week's heat wave was due to a very large, slow moving hot air mass situated over inland WA which caused a build up of heat.

This caused temperatures in the mid-to-high 40s for the Pilbara, Gascoyne and Interior regions.

The severe conditions spread to the east of the State, then towards the Northern Territory on the weekend.

Ms Strack said the hot air mass is due to subside.

"There will be a combination of a cool air mass moving through and some showers and thunderstorms, which will provide some relief," Ms Strack said.

"There is a severe weather warning out for thunderstorms in the eastern Gascoyne and Pilbara regions this week.

"In the north, there will be some isolated showers and some heavier falls due to the thunderstorms. This is expected for this time of year."

Peter Camp, Kalyeeda station, Fitzroy Crossing, said some northern areas were still waiting for the next big rains.

"The rains are still needed, we need that follow up rain from what we've had and we need it to continue on," Mr Camp said.

"It was a bit slow starting, but most people had enough rain by Christmas to get them out of trouble.

"There are certainly a lot of places still waiting for those good falls, but we are off to a reasonable start in the Fitzroy Valley."

The temperature didn't reach record high 40s at Kalyeeda station, nevertheless Mr Camp said rain was definitely welcome.

"If everyone has a good wet season, we will have much more heavier cattle," he said.

The Bureau reported record temperatures were set across WA.

"Nowhere in WA reached 50ºC, however Carnarvon was close," Ms Strack said.

Ms Stack said Mt Magnet recorded 13 consecutive days above the maximum of 40ºC.

"Mt Magnet hit 47.4ºC last week, beating its record January temperature of 47ºC, which was set in 1972," she said.

Carnarvon last week recorded its equal hottest day and hottest January day, with a maximum temperature of 47.8ºC.

The hottest temperature on record in WA is 50.5ºC at Mardie on February 19, 1998.

The Bureau is predicting a drier than normal January to March over parts of western and north eastern Australia.

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