March 1998


Extremely low rainfall characterised the whole Geelong region in March, according to Lindsay Smail of Geelong Weather Services yesterday. Although Geelong’s March average is 35 mm, falls ranging from zero at Bellbrae to 12 mm at Corio were recorded. Rain only fell on six days in Geelong, and on half of these occasions it was only drizzle associated with early morning mists, he said. On average, there were nine March rain days.

3.0 mm was recorded at the Bureau of Meteorology’s Mt Duneed station. This is Geelong’s sixth lowest March rainfall ever, and the lowest since 1953.”In the short term the situation is bleak”, Mr Smail said. “There is very little rain on the computer models for the next few weeks. But after that there seems to be a better chance that average rains will come over late April and May. By then, however, the ground may be getting too cold for good pasture growth.

“At present the water supply situation is not improving. West Barwon Dam received only 25.6 mm in March and there was little runoff. The dam presently holds only 7% of its capacity.


Several fogs and mists occurred in the Geelong urban area in March. These were common early morning events, when coastal areas received mists off the sea overnight. Generally they had cleared by 9 am and on some occasions they created light precipitation. The thickest fog was on the morning of the 11th, but no road accidents resulted.


Geelong experienced five days where the maximum temperature exceeded 30 degrees. (On average, Geelong receives four over-30 days in March). On two occasions (the 12th and the 22nd) the mercury climbed to 40 or more, and on the 22nd a new record high temperature was set for the second half of March, when the maximum was 40. Overall the average maximum for the month was 24.1, compared to the average of 23.6.


Location Total for
Aireys Inlet 3.6 (45.7)
Anglesea 5.5 (36.5)
Apollo Bay 25.0 (78.9)
Bacchus Marsh 5.0 (35.3)
Ballan 11.4 (34.0)
Ballarat 13.8 (46.0)
Bannockburn 3.0 (39.1)
Barwon Heads 5.0 (42.4)
Bellbrae 0.0 (39.6)
Beeac 12.2 (40.4)
Birregurra 9.0 (41.4)
Cape Otway 28.0 (56.0)
Colac (Elliminyt) 27.2 (44.0)
Colac (Town) (n.a.) (44.2)
West Barwon Dam 25.6 (62.8)
Gellibrand (n.a.) (60.2)
Inverleigh 6.0 (29.2)
Laverton 5.2 (36.0)
Melbourne (City) 4.6 (51.8)
Meredith (Darra) 11.2 (51.6)
Modewarre 5.0 (41.1)
Portarlington 10.0 (45.7)
Queenscliff 11.3 (47.0)
Sheoaks 2.2 (73.4)
Shelford 4.8 (37.3)
Skipton 7.0 (n.a.)
Teesdale 8.0 (45.7)
Wallington 6.0 (n.a.)
Warrnambool AP 40.4 (48.0)
Werribee 8.0 (41.4)
Winchelsea 3.6 (36.1)
Location Total for
Avalon 4.0 (30.9)
Belmont 2.5 (30.2)
Clifton Springs 5.5 (59.4)
Connewarre 1.2 (28.8)
Corio 11.8 (40.4)
Grovedale 2.7 (40.4)
Highton 1.2 (40.3)
Manifold Heights n.a. (25.6)
Mt Duneed AP 3.0 (34.6)
Mt Duneed West 3.0 (37.4)
Norlane n.a. (40.4)
Lara 3.0 (30.2)
Leopold 8.0 (34.8)
Leopold South 8.6 (34.8)
Serendip 3.6 (34.8)
Waurn Ponds n.a. (41.7)
Whittington 2.2 (43.1)