Weather News

Go west. Life is warm there

Jess Miskelly, Saturday May 18, 2024 - 14:36 AEST

Perth is having its warmest start to May on record. With twelve consecutive days above 25.5°C (the average for the month is 22.3°C), it’s the warmest May streak in more than 125 years.

It has also been dry. A couple of days of rain at the very beginning of the month have been followed by persistently dry easterly winds north of a high pressure system that has also been keeping SA dry. Today is no exception, with a dry 29°C forecast. 

Image: Observations from Perth from last Saturday 11th May to now, including temperature (red), rainfall (nil for all days since May 11th) and wind direction (arrows).  


Image: Maximum temperatures (left) and maximum temperature anomalies (right) for the last week, showing the unseasonable warmth over WA and the contrast between west and east. From Bureau of Meteorology. 

Meanwhile, further east over Tasmania, Victoria and NSW, the first significant snow of the season has fallen, with 5cm so far recorded at Perisher and light falls as low as about 1000 metres.

Temperatures are averaging 3-8 degrees below average and gusty southerly winds are making it feel even colder, including for Sydney. With minimal heating time left for the day, many NSW and alpine Victorian locations are so far having their coldest day since last winter. Earlier, parts of Tasmania were colder than all of last winter. Mt Read’s -3.1°C was the coldest May temperature in over 20 years. 

Meanwhile again, even further east over the pond, heavy snow warnings are in force for parts of Canterbury and Otago in southern New Zealand with 15cm-20cm expected to accumulate as low as 500 metres tonight. The ski-fields will be starting to bustle with the approaching season. But, if you’re cold, best to head west.  

Image: Animation of forecast temperature at ~5000ft and MSLP between Friday 17th and Sunday 19th showing waves of cold air affecting southeastern Australia and southern New Zealand while Western Australia remains warm north of a high.   

Header image: Forecast ECMWF (shading) and observed temperatures (numbers) just before 2pm AEST.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2024

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