Australia has four seasons and they are defined by grouping the calendar months in the following way: Spring – the three transition months September, October and November. Summer is the three hottest months December, January and February, Autumn is from March to May while Winter the coldest months are from June to August.
January is the hottest month in Perth with an average temperature of 76°F (25°C) and the coldest is July at 55°F (13°C) with the most daily sunshine hours at 13 in January.
An Indigenous Perspective on WA’s Weather
Many things can be learnt from the local Noongar Aboriginal people of Western Australia, who traditionally followed a calendar of six seasons.
The flowering of different plants, the hibernation of reptiles and the moulting of swans were all indicators that the seasons were changing. This knowledge was used to inform hunting and gathering strategies, including how and where to find food. With each season, the Noongar diet would change to match what was available.
The Noongar Seasons
Birak (approx. Dec-Jan): First summer
It is dry and hot. The afternoons are cooled by the sea breezes that abound from the southwest. Birak is also known as the season of the young.
Bunuru (approx. Feb-Mar): Second summer
It is the hottest part of the year with little to no rain. Hot easterly winds continue with a cooling sea breeze on most afternoons close to the coast. It is also known as the season of adolescence. Bunuru is a time of white flowering gums in full bloom.
Djeran (approx. Apr-May): Cool and pleasant
The winds lessen in their intensity to generally light breezes swinging from the southern direction. It is also known as season of adulthood. Djeran is a time of red flowers especially from the Red Flowering Gum.
Makuru (approx. Jun-Jul): The first rains
Makuru is the coldest and wettest time of the year with frequent gales and storms. It is also known as the fertility season. Traditionally, this was a good time of the year to move back inland from the coast as the winds turn to the west and south.
Djilba (approx. Aug-Sept): The second rains/Growing season
Djilba is a mixture of wet days with an increasing number of clear, cold nights and pleasant warmer days. Djilba is a transitional time of the year, with some very cold and clear days combined with warmer, rainy and windy days. It is also known as the season of conception.
Kambarang (approx. Oct-Nov): Wildflower season
Kambarang is associated with long dry periods and a warm change. There is an abundance of colorful flowers, the reptiles start to awaken from their hibernation, and Magpies protect their nests. It is also known as the season of birth.
Traditional Knowledge Used Today
The Bureau of Meteorology recognizes the value of the knowledge gained over thousands of years and collects climate information from Indigenous people around Australia. The Noongar seasons are also thought to be helpful when considering the effects of climate change on our environment.
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