December 1997


Rainfall was a return to drought conditions, according to Geelong Weather Services Manager, Lindsay Smail.

Although summer rainfall was always notoriously erratic, he said, the December average was 43 mm and this year Geelong only recorded 4.6 mm at the Mt Duneed airport. Even at the other stations across the urban area, reported falls were similarly low, down to only 1.8 mm at Avalon.

“This was our driest December since 1973 (2.6 mm) and before that you have to go back to 1904, when none fell,” he said. “It means our accumulated rainfall deficiency for the year has been about 100 mm; we have only received about 80% of our normal precipitation. The spring rains were average, but we’ve now got a dangerous situation regarding fire and the water supply.

“Whether this “new drought” would continue was a subject of great conjecture, Mr Smail said. The El Nino signs were still not good, but a couple of heavy summer thunderstorms from the southeast could make a lot of difference.

“The whole Geelong region as far down as the eastern Otways is suffering from a serious rainfall deficiency, and in eastern Victoria it is even worse,” Mr Smail said.


Temperatures for December were cooler than normal. The average maximum was 22 degrees compared to the average of 24, and the average minimum was 11.1 compared to 12.

It was therefore a drier and cooler December than normal. Only twice did the temperature reach 30 degrees, and the predicted scorcher on Christmas Day did not eventuate.


Location Total for
Aireys Inlet 13.8
Anglesea 9.2 (48)
Apollo Bay 32 (64)
Bacchus Marsh 4 (43)
Ballan 7.2 (46)
Ballarat 5.2 (53)
Bannockburn 3.6
Barwon Heads 9.4
Bellbrae 5
Beeac 11
Birregurra 13.8
Cape Otway 37 (53)
Colac (Elliminyt) 22.2 (74)
Colac (Town) 21.5 (47)
Forrest 11 (61)
Gellibrand 11.4
Inverleigh 8
Laverton 3 (48)
Melbourne (City) 6.2 (60)
Meredith (Darra) 4.2
Modewarre 13.2
Queenscliff 5.5 (43)
Sheoaks 5.6
Skipton 6
Teesdale 6.8
Warrnambool AP 21.2 (69)
Warncoort 12
Werribee 5
West Barwon Dam 28.2
Winchelsea 11
Location Total for
Avalon 1.8
Belmont 4.1
Clifton Springs 6.5
Connewarre 2.3
Corio 3
Grovedale 4.5
Highton 4
Manifold Heights 2
Mt Duneed AP 4.6
Mt Duneed West 9
Lara 2.5
Serendip 3.7
Waurn Ponds n.a.
Whittington 4