From Temperate to Desert Climates in Western Australia
The state of Western Australia boasts an interesting mixture of climates, from temperate in the South, to semi-arid or desert in the center, to tropical in the North.
The tan area in the lower left corner is the southwest coastal area. It is relatively temperate and was originally heavily forested. This agricultural region of Western Australia has great biodiversity.
In this region there are several national parks, including the Peak Charles National Park and the Stirling Range National Park. The former is located 507 km east of Perth, and is easily identifiable as a dark green area shaped like a perfect square.
The latter is located approximately 337 km south-east of Perth, and has a rectangular shape. It protects the Stirling Ranges, or Koikyennuruff, a range of mountains and hills over 60 km wide from west to east, which is one of the richest areas for flora in the world.
The red area in the upper half is part of the state’s central semi-arid or desert area. This region is lightly inhabited with the only significant activity being mining. Annual rainfall averages about 200 to 250 millimetres (8–10 in), most of which occurs in sporadic torrential falls related to cyclone events in summer months.
There are many salt lakes in this region, including the intermittent Lake Barlee, shaped like the letter “M”. Lake Barlee is more than 100 km wide from west to east, and about 80 km wide from north to south. It is usually dry, though it fills about once every ten years, after which the water persists for a little less than a year.