Geelong received average rain across the district for February, apart from the Bellarine Peninsula and some areas to the west in the long-suffering Moorabool catchment. The Otways catchment recorded well above average, with West Barwon Dam at Forrest receiving 79 mm compared to its average 45 mm. Water supplies are not increasing greatly however, owing to the relatively dry condition of topsoils. Storages remain at 32% of capacity.
TEMPERATURES and OTHER FEATURES
February was 1.2 degrees C warmer than normal. Maximums at Geelong Airport averaged 25.9 degrees (mean 24.9) and minimums averaged 15.2 (mean 13.7). Despite being above average, it was nowhere near our warmest February, which occurred in 2000.
Despite the chest-beating of a prominent warming alarmist recently who prematurely claimed this would be “Melbourne’s second hottest February”, and conveniently forgetting that Melbourne’s CBD weather station is at the mercy of its growing urban heat island effect, Geelong Airport’s figures show a much less exciting scenario. In fact, most of the last 12 Februarys at Geelong show a cooling trend, with this February’s mean temperature below those of 2007, 2001, 2000 and 1999.
Highest maximum this month was 36.1 degrees on the 20th, and the highest minimum was 20.0 C on the 4th. The coolest day was the 28th, with a maximum of just 19.0 C. Days over 30 degrees numbered six (average 5).
And in spite of other claims that the last 12 summers across Victoria have been getting hotter, the official BoM figures from Geelong Airport actually show a different picture with none warmer than 2000-01. Much earlier than that, Geelong’s hottest summer was that of 1980-81 when the average at the North Geelong weather station was 20.99 C. This year’s mean summer temperature was 19.08 C.
Other features of the month include: 2 thunder days, no severe storms but large hail at Torquay on the evening of January 31st, which is reckoned as falling in February. There was only one windy day when gusts exceeded 60 kph at Mt Duneed – 72kph on the 22nd. An unseasonal fog on the 8th was caused by advection of moist warm sea air onto cooler land across the urban area. Finally, another willy-willy was responsible for structural damage in a backyard at Norlane on the 26th. Since November last year there have been three such recorded events in Geelong, all of which occurred on calm, hot and sunny days.