The West

Farmers are bracing for severe weather expected to hit the Wheatbelt and southern parts of the State this afternoon, which could downgrade grain quality and cause canola to break out of pods.

The storm is expected to hit this evening bringing with it the threat of flash flooding, large hail and strong winds, the weather bureau has warned.

The Bureau of Meteorology warns Central Wheat Belt, Great Southern and adjacent parts of the South Coastal, South-east Coastal and south-west Goldfields could be affected.

York farmer Jeremy Marwick, who was planning to start harvesting tomorrow, said any rain right now could delay harvest of his 100 hectares of canola by at least a week.

“If this is heavy rain it could break open the pods on our canola and downgrade the quality of our wheat, barley and lupins,” he said.

“If the rain continues for a week after this we could get sprouting in the crops and could take the colour of the barley. If there is strong wind, it will definitely flatten the crops.”

The storms may be accompanied by very heavy rainfall conducive to flash flooding, large hail and strong winds that could result in damage to property, the bureau said.

The State Emergency Service is advising people to secure loose items, move vehicles under cover and stay inside away from windows.

If there is lightning people are advised to unplug electrical appliances and avoid using landline telephones. If caught outside find shelter away from trees, powerlines, storm water drains and streams. If driving through heavy rain motorists should slow down and turn your lights on or if visibility becomes low or pull over and park until it passes.

In Perth, cloudy conditions with a possible shower or two have been predicted for the coming days.

Today, temperatures are expected to reach a maximum of 28C while the mercury is expected to climb to 31C tomorrow. Cloudy conditions have been predicted for Wednesday with possible showers for Thursday and Friday on the cards.

The West Australian

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