March was generally an above average month for areas close to Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula, according to Lindsay Smail of Geelong Weather Services, but the Otway catchments and the Meredith-Teesdale districts were below average. The Geelong average of around 35 mm was exceeded by all places to the east of Bannockburn. In urban Geelong, Corio received the maximum of 84.5 mm and most of the city had over 50 mm. But West Barwon Dam at Forrest only registered 54.4 mm, and it is still 37 mm below its 3-monthly average of 164 mm. Water restrictions will continue.
Meanwhile the districts to our immediate northwest did not fare as well either: Teesdale with 32 mm, Inverleigh 40 mm and Meredith (Darra) 37 mm were below average.
March this year was slightly cooler than average, with only one day above 30 degrees. In fact, Geelong’s coldest March day on record was experienced on the 28th when the temperature only reached 15.2 degrees.
An interesting phenomenon occurred in the early hours of the 25th when ex-Tropical Cyclone Vance reached a point in Bass Strait about 200 km south of Portland. The clockwise-rotating system brought a temperature surge of three degrees (up to 25º) as it pushed in from the northwest about 5am, creating an even hotter night after unrelenting northerlies had kept the temperature around 22 degrees since midnight.