26 September 2023

BoM warns WA to ready for storm season

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Western Australians are being urged to prepare now for storm season, with the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) advising that the first severe cold front of the season could hit parts of the State as early as this week.

Western Australia Manager at BoM, James Ashley said the Bureau was forecasting a cold front would reach western parts of the State during the middle of the week and may bring wet and windy conditions to all but the northeast of WA.

“Every year from May to October, storms including tornadoes, lightning, hail, flash flooding and gale force winds cause significant damage across the southern half of WA, with the State Emergency Service receiving more than 2,000 requests for assistance during the last two winters,” Mr Ashely said.

“Common damage reported includes heavy tree branches falling on cars, water damage from blocked gutters and strong winds picking up items as large as trampolines and hurling them through windows, doors and garages.”

He said the southwest of WA typically saw four to six cold fronts each month through the cool season (April to October), with around one to two severe cold fronts each month.

He said Southwest WA, which includes the metropolitan area, could see the first severe cold front of the season as early this week, “which is a timely reminder for all of us to follow the advice of local emergency services before, during and after severe weather.”

“Severe cold fronts can bring a variety of extreme weather conditions including dangerous wind gusts, flooding, high tides and dangerous surf conditions,” Mr Ashley said.

“The Southwest of WA also sees five tornadoes with passing fronts each year on average, including two typically impacting the Perth metropolitan area.”

WA Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said preparation was the first line of defence against unpredictable weather and could help the public avoid expensive repairs to their homes.

“While most of the State is still experiencing sunny and mild weather, now is the window of opportunity to prepare before the full force of storm season hits,” Commissioner Klemm said.

Commissioner Klemm urged all Western Australians to prepare their homes by clearing debris, tying down loose items, cleaning gutters and trimming any overhanging tree branches.

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