Dry spells are not uncommon in the Geelong region in January. In January 1878 no rain at all fell, and very small 1 to 3 or 4 mm totals have peppered the historical record ever since. This January Geelong had 4.2 mm which fell on two days. In 2009 we had 1.2 mm. So the only special feature of this summer’s dry period is that it lasted from 21st December to 26th January – a period of 38 days. The rainless record is still 60 days, from 28-1-1891 to 28-3-1891.
There were no storms and no thunder days.
The Otways were also extremely dry. Beech Forest only recorded 22 mm (average 76 mm) and Wyelangta 39 mm (average 89 mm). The West Barwon Dam only managed 3 mm and Mt Sabine did little better (11 mm), but the catchments are still in very good shape holding 83% of capacity.
Warmer than average temperatures were also experienced across the region. Maximums averaged 26 degrees and minimums 13.6 degrees. The hottest day was the 4th with a maximum of 42.2 degrees. Lowest overnight minimum was 9.6 degrees on the 30th, and lowest maximum was 20.1 on the 13th. The warmest overnight minimum was 19.5 on the 18th. There were 5 days over 30 degrees, a little below normal for January.
There were no very windy days with gusts over 60 kph, but there were at least two days (21st and 24th) on which a smelly, smoky haze from the Gippsland fires reached Geelong. But a local grass fire at Mt Duneed and a suspicious outbreak near the Barwon River at Belmont were the only fire problems threatening the district.