“A disappointing result for May and for autumn in general” was how Geelong Weather Services’ Director Lindsay Smail described Geelong’s latest rainfall figures. Only 20mm fell across the urban area in May (average 48mm), and a total of 90mm for autumn (average 125mm). “This continues the long run of depleted autumn rainfalls in this region, a feature of nine of the last ten years,” he said. “It is not uncommon for one autumn month to fail to produce average rainfall,” he continued, “But in recent years the whole season has been experiencing drier conditions.”
The only place in the region not affected by autumn drought is the area of the Otways, south of the ridge between Lavers Hill and Beech Forest. Weeaproinah received over 180mm in May, but unfortunately the West Barwon catchment (to the northeast) again suffered below average falls. Geelong’s catchments stand at 18% of capacity.
Meanwhile the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting below average rainfall conditions to continue, with only a 40% chance that winter rains will be at or above an average level in the Otway-Geelong Region. On the other hand, private forecaster Ian Holton predicts rainfall patterns are set to return to normal over the next few months.
Geelong’s May temperatures were spot on average, with daily maximums being slightly lower (16.6C compared to 17.1C) and daily minimums slightly higher by the same margin (8.2C compared to 7.7C). The warmest day was the 23rd (19.6C) and the coolest was the 27th (14.0C). Overnight minimums ranged from a mild 15.2C on the 25th down to a cool 3.8C on the 19th.
No remarkable weather events occurred in May. There were three windy days with gusts over 60kph, and the maximum gust (87kph from the west) occurred on the 15th. Fog blanketed the urban area on at least 3 days, and there were patches at other times with hazy conditions continuing for much of the day.