The Geelong Region, in common with much of eastern Australia, has just recorded the wettest spring-summer 6 months period since records began in 1871. Averaged across the urban area, rainfall totalled 521 mm, some 66 mm higher than the previous best (455 mm) in 1992-93.
It was Geelong’s second wettest summer since records began: 260 mm was recorded, compared to 267 in 2004-5. The average for summer is 112 mm. Heavy rainfall across the region to 9am on the 5th February saw falls ranging from just 24 mm at Grovedale to 120 mm at Werribee, and between 50 and 70 mm everywhere else in between, including the Bellarine Peninsula. At Leopold 25 mm fell in 30 minutes in a torrential downpour with hail, causing flash flooding and other damage.
Urban Geelong received between 59 mm (at Waurn Ponds) and 124 mm at Lara for February, in the seventh consecutive month of above average falls. Geelong Airport AWS at Mt Duneed registered 70.4 mm. This time most of the Otways received just on or above average falls as most rain fell further north. Resulting from this, Barwon Water reports a 78% overall storage level with the prospect of a weakening La Nina next month.
TEMPERATURES and OTHER FEATURES
February temperatures were noticeably below the average, by 0.7 degrees. Daily maximums averaged 23.0 degrees (mean 24.9C) and daily minimums averaged 14.2 degrees (mean 13.7C). The hottest day was the 1st with a maximum of 39.6 C and this was the only day over 30 degrees C. The lowest maximum was 17.4 degrees on the 28th.
As far as summer was concerned, this one was warmer than average for December and January, but cooler in February. The cooler maximum temperatures in February took the Bureau of Meteorology by surprise because 24-hour forecast maximums for Geelong were often found to be 2 to 5 degrees higher than what eventuated.
There was just one thunder day with widespread lightning on the 4th associated with severe storm conditions. Wind damage to trees, powerlines, houses and cars also occurred on the 1st and 19th, with severe storms registered on the 4th and 19th. There were 2 days of strong winds over 60 kph. The top wind gust was recorded at 98 kph on the 19th, and 72 kph was reached on the 1st.