Rainfall varied greatly across the region. Some parts of central Geelong received only around 70% of normal for July while southern and western suburbs like Herne Hill, Belmont, Highton and Grovedale recorded above the 30-year average which is 44 mm. Breakwater only measured 29.2 mm and the Golden Plains town Inverleigh was just in the middle ‘teens. The Otways catchment areas however received well above average, and Mt Sabine at the head of the catchment recorded 245 mm although West Barwon Dam received lower. Barwon Water reports that water supplies are over 80% of capacity.
A new record was created on the early morning of the 31st, when the minimum temperature recorded was the warmest ever for July: 13.8 C. It occurred with strong northwesterlies just in advance of an intensive cold front and Antarctic blast. The previous warmest July night was 12.9 C measured in 1988. Mild nights and cold days characterised July, 2014. Geelong’s daily minimums averaged 7.2 C (1.6 C above the latest 30-year mean minimum) and maximums averaged 14.0 C which is almost identical to the 30-year mean daily maximum. Overall the month was 0.85 C warmer than average, probably to the disbelief of many residents. Lowest overnight minimum was 0.9 C on the 22nd and the warmest day was the 28th with 18.4 C, neither of which was a record.
Hail was reported on two days in the region (12th and 17th) and falling snow was filmed at Beech Forest on the 17th. These conditions are typical in an Otways winter. Strong wind gusts over 60 kph were recorded in Geelong on the 29th and 31st (gusts of 76 and 83 kph at Breakwater).
In a short time my new book ‘Weather Wonders of Geelong’, 2nd edition, will be published and available for purchase on www.geelongweatherservices.com.au. There will be more details in local newspapers, our Facebook page as well as the website. The colour photos by Peter Redmond and Phil Thomson as well as other local photographers are absolutely brilliant. A book launch will be held at the Waurn Ponds Library, Pioneer Road, on 10th September, and registrations will be able to be made at the Library, ph 5272 6010.