Highlight of the month was the incredible severe storm of the 27th, including 39.4 mm at Breakwater, with large hail and flash flooding from 24 mm in 20 minutes. Western suburbs had much heavier falls, including 91 mm at Montpellier, 81 mm at Manifold Heights, 79 mm at Highton and 65 mm at Herne Hill and Hamlyn Heights. There were several casualties including a lightning strike which burned a man and numerous accounts of flooding and building damage.
Despite being labelled a “one-in-50-year storm” by the Bureau of Meteorology, and a “one-in-100-year storm” by the press, anyone can check in “Weather Wonders of Geelong” that these sorts of summer storms are much more common than that. In fact, on 27th January 2005, Geelong had over 100 mm in a day with severe flash flooding and consequent damage.
On Friday, 29th, a light plane crashed into the sea off Pt Lonsdale, killing all four on board, presumably caused by thick drizzle and low cloud at the time.
The combination of a slow-moving low pressure system and a trough brought about the rain in the final week. Unfortunately, the Otways catchment missed out on most of it so remained around 44% of capacity.
Geelong was 1.2 degrees C warmer than the 30-year (1986-2015) normal. Minimums were 1.9 C warmer and maximums 0.5 degrees C warmer than average. There were four days over 30 degrees C with a maximum of 43.7 C on the 13th. There were four thunder days and one severe storm as referred to above. There were two occasions when maximum wind gusts reached 60 kph – the top figure was 72 kph on the 13th at Breakwater.