Most of the Geelong urban area and the Bellarine Peninsula received average to above average rain in April. Breakwater Racecourse received the long-term average amount of 45.4 mm, an average derived from many years at the old Airport site. In contrast, most of the Otway Ranges, Golden Plains and Moorabool Catchment were below average. Despite this, the catchments remain at 79% of capacity. This is on a par with last year and is a comforting situation for the citizens of the region.
Weather enthusiasts will be disappointed to learn that the old Weeaproinah site in the Otways is no more, after 111 years of operation. New property owners have closed down the station on the retirement of Frank Minchinton, and the Bureau of Meteorology has not, as yet, provided any resources for an automatic station near the old site. Geelong Weather Services will be attempting to include monthly figures from Beech Forest, Johanna Heights and Lavers Hill for comparisons. The nearby station at Wyelangta still operates but figures are only posted several months later.
April’s average daily temperatures were around 0.7 degree C warmer than the long-term average, given the recent site change. Average daily minimum was 10.6 degrees C and maximum 21.7 degrees C. This compares with 20.2 and 9.5 degrees respectively for the Airport averages. Factoring in the potentially misleading difference made by Geelong’s Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, the overall result was a generally warmer April.
There was one day over 30 degrees – on the 6th the temperature reached 31.8 degrees. The coldest day was the 24th with a maximum of 14.6 degrees. Lowest overnight temperature dropped to 5.2 degrees on the 30th.
There were 3 thunder days (2nd, 22nd and 23rd) and a severe storm on the 6th – the first for the year – characterised by strong wind gusts (up to 76 kph at Breakwater) from Grovedale to Corio. Some structural damage and fallen trees occurred. There were no other occasions where wind gusts exceeded 60 kph, a typically mild autumn month with the occasional thunderstorm.