Aboriginal affairs

Perth braces for wet winter

TELISSA RYDER AND RHIANNON SHINE

Perth has shivered through its coldest morning in almost 10 months and is heading for a wetter than normal winter, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Bureau of Meteorology Senior Climate Liaison Officer Glenn Cook said Perth’s minimum temperature this morning was 3.7 degrees – the coldest May morning in two years.

Naomi Davey, Keyomi Minzenmay and Tristan Minzenmay rugged up on Murray Street in Perth city.

“It was Perth metro’s coldest morning since July 17 last year, when a minimum of 2.8 degrees was recorded,” Mr Cook said.

A BOM report released today says southern parts of WA, including Perth, are in for a wetter than normal winter.

“The outlook suggests we are more likely to see above average rainfall across southern WA this winter, with up to a 70 per cent chance of above average rainfall for Perth,” Mr Cook said.

He said there were two main climate influences for the outlook.

“Elevated sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean, coupled with warm temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, are tending to enhance rainfall in WA,” he said.

Former BOM climate and forecasting officer, and weather enthusiast, John Relf said Perth had experienced very low rainfall in May, with just four wet days for the month.

“The average rainfall for May was 117.2mL but this month had only produced 83.8mL,” Mr Relf said.

“It’s the equal lowest record for May since 2009.”

He said the weather would be clear for the long weekend but that did not mean the rest of the month would be dry.

“The wettest June on recorded was in 1945,” he said.

“We recorded no rain for the first 10 days but 476.1mL for the month.”

Associate Professor Marion Kickett.

Nyungar woman and Curtin University Associate Professor, Marion Kickett, said June brings on the “first rains” of the year.

Unlike the four seasons which most Australians recognise, Nyungar people observe a calender with six seasons.

According to the Nyungar calendar, southern WA is about to move from Djeran, the autumn months of April and May, and into Makuru, June and July.

Associate Professor Kickett said although the Makuru season generally meant a cool change and increased rain, any unexpected weather does not bother the Nyungar people.

“The Aboriginal people don’t depend on seasons coming at particular times, they just watch what is happening around them in the environment,” she said.

She said that when she was growing up, members of her community tended to “live off the land” and adapted to environmental changes.

“It was okay if it was cooler, or if it was warmer – it didn’t bother us much,” she said.

Associate Professor Kickett said Aboriginal people could use patterns in the weather to gauge what the upcoming season would bring.

“Dad always said: ‘If there was early rainfall and an early winter, there would also be an early spring, and so on’.”

Categories: Aboriginal affairs, News Day, Weather

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