Perth Weather

We're blessed with spectacular summers here in Perth - plenty of hot sunny days to enjoy at the beach. But can we have too much of a good thing? Experts say we can and they warn our climate is set to get a whole lot hotter.

2013 sure was a warm one, "it looks as if Australia could be on track for one of the warmest, if not the warmest year on record, so there is a possibility that Perth could break that record as well."

If this makes history as Perth's hottest year, it will join a run of recent record-breakers. Currently 2012 and 2011 are the joint record-holders with average temperatures of 25.7 degrees. Then it was 2010 at 25.3, 1978 at 25.2 and 2009 at 25 degrees.

The Weather Bureau's Neil Bennett believes that Climate Change is to blame and predicts this warmer weather will bring more heatwaves. "One of the worrying aspects about a warming atmosphere as you go into the future is that will tend to move temperatures up, which means your extreme temperatures will increase as well. That will also increase the incidence of heatwaves and I don't think many people are really aware of just how deadly heatwaves can be."

It's a concern not lost on WA's chief health officer Dr Tarun Weeramanthri. "Over the last couple of hundred years, heatwaves probably caused more deaths than any other natural hazard in Australia, including cyclones and bushfires."

Australia was rocked in 2009 with the deaths of one hundred and seventy people in Victoria's Black Saturday Fires. But that's still less than half the lives lost in the heatwave leading up to those fires, which killed three hundred and fifty people.

Dr Weeramanthri says there are simple ways people can spot the signs of heat-stress. "Initially people may just feel a little dehydrated. Then they might get a headache, feel nauseated, feel tired, and you can get palpitations at that stage. The body can stop sweating altogether that means that you lose your natural defence against heat and the internal body temperature rises. So that's a medical emergency and can cause death very rapidly."

With heatwaves now officially recognised as a hazard in WA, the Government is able to release early warnings. But it's not just our health at stake. More heatwaves could spell disaster for future bushfire seasons, explains Russell Jones from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services. "With extended heatwaves, and summer months, you would have to expect that it's gonna increase those fire danger ratings into an area where the average home is just not rated to withstand a fire under those conditions."

Fire-fighters are bracing for a bad bushfire season. Our very wet start to spring has led to more plant growth than normal. The rain stopped, the temperatures rose and this vegetation is now bone dry. The perfect fuel for bushfires.

Russell says "if a fire does get started it's going to really take off very quickly and move extremely fast through that dead and dying grass. The average person probably wouldn't expect just how fast a fire can actually move under these hot dry conditions."

Meanwhile, the state's north could be menaced by five cyclones this summer, one of which paid us an early visit last month.

And the one question everyone is asking.. is what the forecast is for Xmas day? Last year we sweltered through 39 degrees, so what can we expect this year? The Weather Bureau has given us a sneak-peek ahead of tomorrow's official Christmas Day forecast. Predictions are the big day will see Boxing Day will be 33.6. And we'll ring in the New Year, with an overnight minimum of 17.4 and a 31.6 degree start to 2014

And now, for the first ever festive season, you can see exactly what the weather will be like your house and when. "You just type in your postcode, or you type in the town, and you're gonna get a forecast for seven days for that particular location."

The Weather Bureau recently launched Met Eye, a state-of-the-art program that can fashion the forecast for exactly where you live, work or play. "But the really beaut thing is when you can go in and you can get that three hour time step and see exactly when the rain's gonna fall, or where the thunderstorm's gonna be. Absolutely perfect. That's right, do we sit inside or do we go outside. Do we go to the beach, what time's the sea breeze coming in."

So whether it's a backyard barbecue or cricket on the beach. It's hard to top a Christmas Day in Perth. Neil says "It's one of the best places to spend Xmas - there are great beaches, the weather's fantastic and if you've got visitors over here I don't think you're going to be getting rid of them very quickly. Cos they'll realise just what a great city it is to have Xmas in."

And if you want to see what the weather will be doing in your suburb on Christmas day, visit

MetEye - Weather Bureau

http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye/