Perth weather: City reaches 40C as severe heatwave brings Christmas Eve scorcher

The West Australian
Juliana Bertoldi and Carla Melone at Cottesloe Beach.
Camera IconJuliana Bertoldi and Carla Melone at Cottesloe Beach. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

Christmas has come early for WA beachgoers, with a severe heatwave sending temperatures soaring above 40C in Perth today.

The Swan Valley, Gooseberry Hill and Perth Airport all hit the 40C mark around 3pm this afternoon, while Pearce had the highest recorded temperature at 41.3C.

In the city, the maximum reached a sweltering 40.2C, while holidaymakers at Rottnest Island are basking in a slightly more forgiving 37.7C.

It was the hottest day recorded in Perth for 10 months, after the mercury reached 40.6 on February 14.

The extreme temperatures are the result of a heatwave affecting parts of WA — including Perth, the South West and the Gascoyne coast.

Cottesloe Beach saw young and old take to the water and soak up the sun.
Camera IconCottesloe Beach saw young and old take to the water and soak up the sun. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

“Low to severe heatwave conditions extend from the Central West district to much of the south-western parts of WA with severe heatwave conditions expected in Perth and surrounding areas,” a BoM spokesperson said.

The heatwave will stick around through Christmas Eve tomorrow, with the temperature again expected to reach a maximum of 40C.

Christmas Day is expected to reach a top of 37C and be mostly sunny, as the west coast trough moves inland, bringing temperatures down with it.

The forecast for Boxing Day will fall again, with a top of 35C and partly cloudy conditions tipped.


Christmas Eve: 40C, very hot and sunny

Christmas Day: 37C, mostly sunny

Boxing Day: 35C, mostly sunny

WA Acting Health Chief Health Officer Dr Paul Armstrong said people affected by the heat wave are advised to take necessary measures to avoid heat stress.

“The effect of hot weather is not always immediate and can build up over a number of days,” he said.

BoM advises people to take the following precautions during a heatwave:

  • Never leave anyone in a closed car;
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids;
  • Limit or avoid alcohol;
  • Stay indoors, in air-conditioning if possible;
  • Take a cool shower or bath;
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing;
  • Apply sunscreen at regular intervals while outdoors;
  • Reduce physical activity;
  • Avoid outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day;
  • If possible, stay in shaded areas when outdoors.

RSPCA WA has also encouraged pet owners to take steps to keep their pets safe and comfortable in the heat.

“If you’re going out for the day, make sure your pets have access to shade and fresh, cool water,” a spokesperson said.

“If it’s going to be really hot, consider bringing pets indoors and running fans or air-conditioning.”

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