For most of the immediate Geelong region in the last month rainfall has been in the bottom 10% of all January rainfalls over the last 160 years. Geelong’s driest January was in 1878 when no rain fell. This January Geelong received around 8mm, and the January average is around 40mm. Further afield, to the south and west, the situation was very similar. Even the famous Weeaproinah received only 31mm (average 87mm). Despite the current La Nina situation most troughs from the west were relatively dry and tropical moisture affecting northern Victoria did not penetrate far enough south to affect us.
The Otways catchments received well below average and total water levels stand at only 33.5%. There were no severe storms although relative humidity levels remained high for much of the month. For example, in the 36-hour period between 2am on the 19th and 2pm on the 20th, relative humidity did not drop below 80%, a remarkable event in summer.
Preliminary figures show Geelong’s mean monthly temperature has been approximately 1.8 degrees warmer than average. Average minimum was 14.6C compared to 12.9C and average maximum was 26.1C compared to 24.2. It was not Geelong’s warmest January by any means, just as December was not Geelong’s warmest as erroneously publicised in another local newspaper. There have been at least ten warmer Januarys since 1957, including the record set in 1981 when the daily maximum average was 28.3 and the minimum averaged 16.1. This year the top January temperature was 40.6C on the 10th and there were 6 days over 30 degrees. The coldest overnight temperature was 8.9C on the 15th and the warmest night was 22.0C on the 1st.
There were 2 windy days with gusts over 60 kilometers per hour with a maximum of 70kph at Mt Duneed on the 11th.