Yet another disappointing month for Geelong’s rainfall has ended. Despite many good falls elsewhere in the state preliminary figures show that the Geelong and Bellarine regionshave generally received below average totals for May and autumn as a whole. Geelong’s average rainfall for May is 51 mm, but only around 30-35 mm was recorded across the urban area. West Barwon Dam (average 108 mm) recorded 102 mm and Lal Lal, in Geelong’s Moorabool catchment did well with 82 mm. The water catchments now stand at only 14.1% of capacity, although some rain in the last days of the month is expected to augment this as runoff continues.
Despite two cold and wintry days at the end of the month, a much warmer than normal month was experienced, with temperatures being almost three degrees C warmer than the long-term average. Average minimum daily temperature was 10.5 degrees C (long-term average 7.6) and maximums averaged 19.5 degrees C (long-term average is 16.9).It was Geelong’s warmest May since records began in 1957 and warmest autumn overall since 1988. The warmest day was the 7th when the maximum reached 23.8 C and there were 12 days over 20 degrees.
Undoubtedly the most impressive feature of the month was the appearance of a tornado (photo, left) – a “landspout” in feature – which formed during an otherwise unspectacular storm west of the You Yangs on the 14th. No damage was caused but the photos show an almost clear condensation funnelfrom cloud to ground, with debris rising and swirling around a long, narrow tube. This was a real tornado capable of severe damage, formed by localised rotating low pressure, although not beneath a supercell stormcloud. There were nine windy days when gusts exceeded 60 kph. The strongest gust at Mt Duneed was 89 kph on the 29th and some wind damage was experienced mainly in the northern suburbs. The photo below (courtesy Geelong Advertiser) shows the waves crashing into Corio Bay’s foreshore driven by the strong northerlies on the 29th. Thunder was heard on three days but there were no severe storms.
|Clifton Springs (1)||31.0||(n.a.)|
|Clifton Springs (2)||26.5||(n.a.)|
|Forrest (West Barwon)||102.0||(108.4)|
|Mt Duneed Airport||23.8||(49.0)|
|Mt Duneed West||44.8||(49.0)|
|Average across Urban Area||34.0||(47.2)|