Cold front to bring ‘significant strain’, DFES warns

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for an approaching cold front.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for an approaching cold front.

WESTERN Australia’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services has issued an internal warning about significant strain on operational resources, planning and response as a wintry cold front blows into the region.

The Western Australian DFES Weekly Intelligence Briefing states that the region is likely to be susceptible to flash flooding, storm damage and coastal inundation amid the first potential heavy rainfall of the winter season.

Forecast weather conditions will “certainly alter the operational focus” for the coming seven days, DFES warns, amid a diversity of hazards anticipated from a succession of trough and cold fronts.

Rainfall, with possible thunderstorms and hail is expected to peak by Saturday.

“It is certain the region is most vulnerable to coastal inundation from gusty winds and isolated, sustained heavy rainfall, with Thursday currently subject to a severe weather warning,” the Intelligence Briefing says.

“Forecast conditions certainly signal a shift in seasonal hazards, with storm damage, flash flooding and road crash rescue (RCR) requirements likely to be the primary hazards for the reporting period.

“Gusty winds along the littoral area of the region will likely impact operational planning, given a possible increase in sea rescue requirements.”

The DFES assessment coincides with a Bureau of Meteorology severe weather warning that the approaching “vigorous cold front could” produce damaging winds, abnormally high tides and damaging surf at parts of South West and South Coastal districts.

“A strong cold front is expected to approach the southwest during Thursday, arriving at the Capes around 11pm,” the BoM warning stated.

“As the cold front approaches the Capes, northerly winds are expected to strengthen.

“Average winds may reach 50 to 60 kilometres per hour with damaging gusts, possibly to 100 kilometres per hour at times, from Thursday morning.”

Tides are expected to rise significantly above the normal high tide mark with the potential for flooding of low-lying coastal areas.

Damaging surf conditions are also possible, which could cause beach erosion between Bunbury and Cape Leeuwin.

Rainfall, with possible thunderstorms and hail is expected to peak by Saturday, with showers continuing across the South West into early next week.

Meanwhile, the Midwest Gascoyne and Goldfields regions are certain to experience elevated fire danger in line with gusty winds and continued dry conditions.

Possible thunderstorms and hail are expected by Saturday. Picture: File image

 

WHAT TO DO:

DFES has these tips to help you and your family get ready now:

  • Store or weigh down loose objects around your home like outdoor furniture that could be picked up and thrown by strong winds, causing damage or injury
  • Ensure your emergency kit is complete including a battery operated radio, torch, spare batteries and first aid kit
  • Ensure pets and animals are in a safe area
  • Move vehicles under cover
  • Boat owners should securely moor their boats
  • Campers should find safe shelter away from trees, powerlines, storm water drains and streams
  • Unplug electrical appliances and avoid using landline telephone if there is lightning.

If you are away from home contact family or friends to prepare your property