A disappointing August has seen less than half of the average rainfall, according to Lindsay Smail, manager of Geelong Weather Services. Ongoing low falls in the Otways water catchment areas have meant that the West Barwon Dam is still less than one quarter full, and restrictions are likely to continue for several months. West Barwon at Forrest received only 60.8 mm of its average 127 mm for August.
Closer to Geelong – from Bellbrae through to Queenscliff – the region has received just around average winter rains – but a large part of this fell in June. The sub-soil is still very dry as most farmers and gardeners know. In fact, Queenscliff has just recorded its driest August for 103 years, recording only 17.0 mm. In Geelong it was the driest August since 1994.
Rainfalls in August across the region varied from a low of 10.0 mm at Wallington to 35.0 mm at Inverleigh. Within the Geelong urban area, it was driest at Lara (11.0 mm) and wettest at Mt Duneed West with 32.7 mm.
There is still a high chance of above average rains in spring, according to Mr Smail. Prediction models indicate a 60 to 80% chance of good falls in the Geelong region between September and November, he said.
Minimum temperatures at Mt Duneed were slightly higher than normal: 6.0 degrees compared to 5.7, and a few warm days in the last week of August have brought the average maximum up to 14.1, but this is still a full degree lower than average (15.1).
The lowest overnight minimum was 1 degree on the 6th and 28th, but in the more sheltered urban area the temperature did not fall below 3 degrees. Urban Geelong’s highest temperature was 20 degrees on the 28th. Avalon recorded a low of minus 1 on the 28th.
Two very persistent fogs blanketed most of the urban area on the 19th and 20th, not lifting in many suburbs until after noon. The moisture associated with these fogs contributed 0.2 mm to the rainfall figure.
Very strong winds were recorded on the 22nd, when a gust of 87 kilometres per hour struck Leopold at 2.05 pm, causing only minor damage to some trees. In the city some gusts reached 60 to 70 kph on the Deakin woolstores campus roof on that day.