Aug 17

Perth on track for coldest winter this century:

June and July temperatures have been the coldest in years, including several hot-water bottle-bursting mornings that have dropped below zero.

Failing a warmer spell in the next fortnight, the weather bureau predicts Perth will post its coldest winter since 1998.

The mean maximum for June and July was 18.2C, the lowest since 1998 when a mean of 17.6C was recorded for the two months. The mean minimum for June and July was 8.2C, the coldest for three years.

“There have also been three confirmed reports of snow on the Stirling Ranges this winter so far, which is the highest number since 1998,” Bureau of Meteorology spokesman Neil Bennet said.

“On average, snow falls once a year in WA.”

While Perth has shivered, northern WA has been experiencing record heat, with Kalumburu having the hottest July day recorded for Australia with 38.3C and Troughton Island, off the Kimberley coast, recording the hottest June night for Australia with 28.8C.

The June-July rain for Perth was 249mm, the wettest for those two months since 2011 when 332.4mm fell, but still below the long-term mean of 341.2mm.

Water Corporation spokeswoman Clare Lugar said: “With just three weeks left of winter to go and despite the public perception we’ve had a wet winter, we are only now starting to see streamflows into Perth’s drinking water dams.”

She said 10.3 billion litres of water had made its way into the dams – the equivalent of more than 4500 Olympic-sized swimming pools – but the Water Corporation had to supply more than 290 billion litres of drinking water a year.

Last year, dams received the lowest input since records began in 1911 with only 11.4 billion litres.

Perth is set to enjoy sunny skies today but the wet weather is expected to return tomorrow.

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