March 22nd was replete with storm warnings, so I stayed home just in case the roof of the crappy rental parted company from the walls during the predicted severe wind gusts. Well - we only copped heavy rain and minor back patio flooding. All of this was a welcome change to the months of drought which Perth had endured that summer.
But the western suburbs of Perth copped a rather more severe beating from The Great Hail Storm, with golf-ball units of hail which managed to smash windows and dent cars, the worst damage being recorded in a line between Osbourne Park to Karrakatta.
The most obvious damage has been to the trees. Extensive stands of trees in Kings Park have been stripped of their leaves - particularly the sheoaks ( Allocasuarina fraseriana), which I can only assume is because they have brittle branchlets and cladodes. The place really looks like it has been whipped around by a giant whipper-snipper. The impact marks of the hail on the burnt trunks of marri (Corymbia calophylla) illustrate the size of the hail stones and force at which these slammed into the trees.
Carnabys cockatoos were killed by the storm, as they remain together in tight flocks and use Kings Park for shelter. The birds that were saved by vets, were released two weeks later back to their shattered homes. This is quite a blow to the species, which is declining overall.
So - something to keep an eye on this winter in Kings Park... recovery after the Great Hail Storm of March 2010.