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Record rain and chill hit drought country

Where there are normally hot, dry easterlies there have been spectacular rain storms, where there are normally dry paddocks there has been heavy rain and where there is normally air-conditioning there have been heaters at full blast. The usually red dirt of the eastern Goldfields was blanketed in white hail, with workers from the Cawse nickel mine near Kalgoorlie treated to a RARE sight. Workers were amazed to find a blanket of hail covering the usually dry red earth. “It was the most amazing thing, I’ve never seen hail like that before.” In the north-eastern Wheatbelt the chilly December delivered RECORD FALLS and low temperatures to more than two dozen places across WA. Bunbury recorded its LOWEST DECEMBER MAXIMUM of 16.8C while Wandering and Collie residents shivered through their LOWEST MONTHLY TOP of just 15.3C. There were RECORD ONE-DAY FALLS FOR DECEMBER at places including Moora with 76mm, Dalwallinu 48mm and Kokardine 102mm. The BIZARRE cold and wet snap came after Perth had sweltered through its HOTTEST NOVEMBER ON RECORD. The deluge was a mixed blessing - it helped fill empty dams but damaged roads and stopped the harvest. Farther east into drought country, rainfall in the Dalwallinu region had ranged from 25mm to 98mm and many farmers had recorded their highest fall for the year. The Weather Bureau predicted a La Nina pattern would increase the likelihood of above-average rainfall in the South-West from January to March.
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