Excellent rain totals, up to 200% above average, were experienced right across the region with well above average falls virtually everywhere.
Breakwater received 51.6 mm and the urban area generally totalled around 60 mm. The latest 30-year Geelong average for January is 39.3 mm.
The major reason for this result was the day-long rains of around 30 mm to 9am on the 14th brought by a tropical system which extended heavy rain bands coinciding with a strong cold front passing over most of the state. Rain fell on 8 days in Geelong, mainly in the first two weeks.
The water catchments are still healthy on 69% of capacity.
There has been a lot of talk that this has been a cool January but this is not true. Daily average maximums were 25.1 degrees compared to the latest 30-year average of 25.0 degrees, and minimums averaged 14.2 degrees compared to the 30-year figure of 13.5 degrees.
So nights were warmer than normal and the days pretty well average for January. What made it seem cool was the lack of extremely hot days: only four days exceeded 30 degrees (the average is six) and there were no heat waves or day over 40 degrees. The maximum was 39.8 on the 2nd. There was more cloud cover due to the moist tropical air of the 13th to 16th – this also kept temperatures down.
The bottom line is that it was Geelong’s 32nd warmest January and the 80th coolest since 1903. No records here!
There were two severe storms for the month, the first at Torquay on the 3rd, when vicious winds caused structural and tree damage – this could have been due to a ‘gustnado’ which is a damaging straight line wind but without the tornado-type circulation.
The second occurred at Ceres on the 7th, when 42 mm was recorded in one hour by locals at Gully Road, where severe erosion and some flash flooding resulted.
There were 3 thunder days (3rd, 7th and 13th) each of which brought at least 8-10 mm to the Geelong urban area.
A funnel cloud which did not appear to touch down was observed at Ocean Grove on the 24th.
There was only one day with a strong wind gust over 60 kph; this was the 3rd when a 76 kph gust was recorded at Breakwater.