January rainfalls in the Geelong region were generally consistent with long-term established patterns. Rain fell on only a small number of days, and several large falls were associated with thunderstorm activity. Totals varied greatly and there were some locally heavy falls. Most falls in the urban area were between 30-40 mm which is average for January. The Bellarine Peninsula generally fared well with above average falls, and Portarlington amassed the highest total with 71 mm, most of that falling on the evening of the 28th. Meredith, Inverleigh and Werribee areas also received above average rains, but the Otways still gives cause for concern. At West Barwon (Forrest) the total was only 13.2 mm; there is no prospect of the removal of Geelong’s water restrictions with the dam only 11% filled. However Wurdi Boluc, the holding reservoir downstream is now at 88% capacity which means there is no immediate danger of further restrictions.
The signs are still inconclusive. A 50% likelihood of above average rains for the region over the next three months is the best the models can offer.
Temperatures for January worked out to be almost right on average. Average maximum was 23.97 (compared with normal 25.2) but average minimum was 14.77 (compared with 13.6). Only three days exceeded 30 degrees (the average in January is six) and a new record low maximum of 15.6 was created on the 7th.