November 1997


Rainfall occurred largely at three main times this month.

•On the first day, when thunderstorms and heavy rains lashed the region, bringing isolated floods and hail damage to properties right across the region.

•On the tenth and again on the fourteenth, when, once again, hailstorms damaged buildings and cars, and flash floods devastated areas from Teesdale, Bannockburn, Corio across to Clifton Springs.

These storms accounted for about 90% of November’s rain, according to Lindsay Smail, Geelong Weather Services manager. Geelong’s totals varied from 58mm at Lara to 105 mm at Corio. This great variation was mainly due to the highly localised effect of the recent storms. The Geelong 12-month total since last December now is 460 mm compared to the average of 550 mm.

“It was basically the same pattern right across most of the region,” he said. “Some scattered falls occurred at other times but these make up the bulk of it.”

“Overall the Geelong region received above average falls for November due to three or four storms, but this is not untypical of Geelong’s late spring rainfall pattern,” Mr Smail said. “Any time from now until March we can expect the occasional heavy downpour associated with thunderstorm activity; it’s due largely to convectional air movements and convergence causing atmospheric instability during periods of warm weather.”

Asked whether the El Nino drought had ended, Mr Smail suggested that, although Geelong itself had received good rains, for some farmers it was too late, for firefighters more consistent falls would have been better, and for water catchment managers there was still a problem. The problem was, that at Forrest in the West Barwon catchment , only 69 mm of the average 88 mm had been reported. This resulted in continued low water reserves to service the Geelong urban area through the summer, and water restrictions now appear inevitable.

As well as this, although the local Geelong area now seemed “drought-free”, there were many areas of northern and western Victoria still in danger, and the wide-scale El Nino signs were still moderate to strongly negative, Mr Smail concluded.


Temperatures were slightly below normal for November, this being largely due to Geelong’s overnight minimum average being 9.4 degrees compared to 10.4.

November can be a month of great extremes, and this year was no exception. The average daily maximum is 21.4: this year 10 days only reached 17 degrees and 4 days were over 30, including a top of 37 degrees on the 26th. This November’s average maximum was 20.6 degrees.


1.Low to average rainfall.
2.Probable water restrictions.
3.Increased bushfire danger.
4.Strong ultra-violet radiation danger.
5.Thunderstorm, flash flooding and hail damage.
6.Heat stroke risk for elderly and young children.

Rainfall totals for the Geelong Region (some November averages in brackets):



Location Total for
Aireys Inlet 74.6
Anglesea 64.4 (55)
Apollo Bay 92.2 (82)
Ballan 72.8 (48)
Ballarat 68.6 (56)
Barwon Heads 68.6
Bellbrae 79
Beeac 71.4
Birregurra 70.6
Cape Otway 77.6 (64)
Colac (Elliminyt) 74 (73)
Forrest 68.8 (88.4)
Gellibrand 53.4
Inverleigh 43
Laverton 58 (52)
Melbourne (City) 67.2 (60)
Meredith 71.8
Modewarre 80
Queenscliff 63.4 (49)
Sheoaks 61
Skipton 60
Teesdale 107.5
Warrnambool AP 88.6 (64)
Werribee 68.4
Winchelsea 69
Location Total for
Avalon 61.6
Belmont 78
Clifton Springs 85
Connewarre 73
Corio 105
Grovedale 80.2
Mt Duneed 70.8
Lara 58
Whittington 67