Perth has copped an almighty drenching.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Neil Bennett, we’re seeing a touch of what winters were like 40 years ago.
Yesterday afternoon, it was hail. With 113 millimetres of rain, it’s our wettest start to August since 1945.
We’re just nine millimetres below the monthly average, ten days into the month.
“Another front to arrive early next week does suggest that we could probably get through the average by the middle of next week,” Mr Bennett said.
For Rod Mifflin, Herdsman Lake is his office. He says it is as high as he’s ever seen it.
“WA Gould League has been here since 1984 and it’s incredibly high the level of the water at the moment,” he said.
“I asked some people and they said it’s as high as it’s ever been.”
With the lake overflowing, access to the swollen boardwalk has been cut off for the first time in years.
“The access track to the boardwalk goes under water when we get a lot of rain like we have. The boardwalk itself has still got parts you can walk on but you just can’t get on them,” Mr Mifflin said.
At nearby Lake Monger, wellington boots are also required.
“The catchments are soaked, the rainfall now has nowhere to go,” Mr Bennett said.
“It will go into the ground initially, it soaks it up like a sponge to begin with, but once that’s full, once those catchments are full, it then starts to really charge the streams, charge the lakes.”
If you’re in catchment areas for the Swan River, Avon River, the Murray, Harvey, Collie, Preston and Blackwood rivers, emergency services are warning to take care, with rising water levels.
“This is really the sort of winter that was probably experienced in the 50s and 60s,” Mr Bennett said.
“Since the 70s though we haven’t seen so many of these winters because the ground has been very very dry and prolonged dry spells.”
Our dams don’t rely solely on the rain but in the first week of August storage levels increased from 180 billion litres to 199 billion. Dam levels now sit just under 50 per cent.
“Some people though may think ‘well this is unusual’ but just last year we had falls over 150mm in August so August can be quite wet,” Mr Bennett said.
“But the first nine days, 10 days, have been very wet so far.”
As for this morning’s three degree minimum temperature, Mr Bennett said tomorrow could be colder before temperatures pick up with increased winds brought on by the front coming late on Monday.