There were several interesting features of the Geelong region’s February rainfall.
Firstly, the urban area averaged 30 mm, close to the long-term February normal 31.5 mm. But the geographical distribution was far from uniform. Most of the Otways region received less than 80% of normal February rainfall, and some partsless than 50%. But north of Geelong, from Lara right through to the Central Highlands, was well above average. Fiskville, near Ballan, reported an amazing 94 mm,owing to extremely heavy downpours on the 26th and 27th.
Secondly, most of the rain fell on the first three and last three days of the month. The remaining 22 days were almost completely dry. High humidity levels were a characteristic of much of February but only the more northerly areas saw the heavier falls which included thunderstorms and minor flashflooding. The whole summer pattern showed similar below average characteristics, but we should remember that less than 20% of the region’s total annual rain normally falls in the summer anyway, so there is nothing really unusual about any of this. No new records were created. Normally Geelong would expect to receive an average of 109 mm across summer. This time we registered only around 60 mm in total. But as every local knows, the difference between a wet and a dry summer is often just a matter of the timing of a cold front, or the positioning of a low pressure centre, or the existence of a trigger mechanism to set off just one thunderstorm – and Geelong’s sea level location behind mountain ranges to the southwest and north always puts us behind the 8-ball to start with.
TEMPERATURE & OTHER FEATURES
February temperatures were higher than average, but nowhere near records. Although there were 10 days where maximums exceeded 30 degrees – the top being 38.4 C on the 18th – the daily high and low averages were 27.2 C and 15.0 C respectively. This equates to around 1.4 degrees (adjusted) warmer than the long-term February figurefor the urban area. Overnight minimum temperatures ranged from a low of 9.6 C on the 2nd to 19.1 C on the 22nd. Maximums ranged from 19.3 C on the 1st, 19th and 28th to 38.4 C on the 18th.
Summer overall was warmer than the long-term normal by an adjusted 0.8 C. This helps to explain the lower rainfall. It was the warmest summer since 2001.Catchments are at 78.2% of capacity, being no cause for concern. There were 3 thunder-days, no strong wind gusts over 60 kph, and no storms in the urban area.
|Barwon Heads Golf Club||32.4||41.0|
|Colac (Mt Gellibrand)||17.0||43.8|
|Clifton Springs (BoM)||na||39.4|
|West Barwon Dam||16.6||44.8|
|Mt Duneed West||26.7||31.0|
|Urban Area Average||30.0||31.0|