An exciting end to the month of January occurred on the 26th with Geelong’s heaviest summer downpour since records began around 1870. With 6-hour totals above 100mm across most of the urban area, the southern suburbs seemed to record more rain than other areas, and the highest confirmed reading was 128mm at South Geelong.
Owing to the thunderstorms the total monthly rainfall at Mount Duneed was 113mm, and this roughly equates to the total Geelong average rain for the three summer months combined. Certainly it starts the year off with a bang, although farmers were generally unimpressed with the timing and the catchments received only minor runoff.
Despite that, the event has created a lot of interest in the region, not to mention large payouts for insurance companies, possible litigation against certain public bodies and a surge of work for contractors.
Such an event is at the extreme top end of the “normal” scale which meteorologist would expect in this area in summer, but it was by no means off the scale.
There were 5 days with strong wind gusts over 60 kph, 4 days of thunder including one day of hail -the 26th, when stones up to 10-cent size fell across the city in numerous places.
As far as temperature is concerned, preliminary figures show that January was almost a degree cooler than the long-term normal. Despite 6 days over 30 degrees, including one over 40 (40.4C on the 11th) average daily maximum temperature was 24.5, or 0.7 below normal. Daily minimums averaged 12.6 which is 1.0 degrees under normal.