Good winter rain totals still appear to be on target for the Geelong region, although some areas were below average in July, according to Lindsay Smail of Geelong Weather Services. Falls for July were generally around average although the Otway water catchments received less than normal.
The West Barwon Dam at Forrest only received 98.8 mm compared with the July average of 139 mm. West Barwon’s rainfall this year totals just 478.8 mm compared to the average of 631.4 mm up to the end of July. Closer to Geelong falls were average or better, but the soil-water deficit from the last drought has not yet been overcome.
The highest fall recorded closer to Geelong was 78 mm at Bellbrae. Most of urban Geelong received around 35-40 mm over 15 days, from 48 mm at Mt Duneed down to 24 mm at Lara.
Geelong’s July average minimum temperature was 3.9 degrees, compared to the average 5.1 degrees. The average maximum was also about a degree lower than normal: 13.0 compared to 13.9 degrees. On seven occasions the overnight minimum dropped to 2 degrees or less, with two zeroes and a minus one. Minus one was recorded at the Mt Duneed station on the 17th.
In the urban area conditions were not so cold where 1.4 degrees was the lowest on the 19th, recorded at Deakin University Woolstores Campus. Top temperature for the month was 16 degrees on both the 5th and 7th.
•The relatively cold and dry two-week spell in the middle of the month, with several light frosts.
•Thick fogs in the period 24th to 26th.
•Winter hail on the 9th.
•The exceptionally cold air brought by one of the most intense low pressure systems seen ever in winter in Geelong, on the 26th to 29th. The barometric pressure dropped to 981.5 hPa on the 28th.
Early to middle August is shaping up to provide average or above average rains for the Geelong and Otways region. Models of prediction suggest that there is a high chance of above average rains for the rest of winter and into spring. This does not mean that every month will be good, but that seasonal totals are expected to show up well. It is expected that a slow replenishment of the soil-water balance will occur allowing more runoff into dams and water storages.