October was Geelong’s third driest month of a very dry year to date, adding just 11 mm to the progressive total. In what ought to be our wettest month, most areas within the district only registered around 20-30% of normal rainfall.
Urban Geelong’s rain for the year now totals just 251 mm, which is less than half of the year’s average. By this time normally we should expect around 450 mm. But despite the continued calls of “the worst 12-year drought ever” it does us well to realise that the record is held by the years 1897-1908, exactly 100 years ago, which averaged 463mm. Even if Geelong got no more rain this year the present 12-year average would be 478mm.
Water supplies are now down to the very concerning level of 29% of capacity. Last November there was a welcome boost with heavy falls resulting in over 100mm at Geelong. Can the same thing happen this year?
The overall mean temperature ended just above one degree above the mean. Minimums averaged 7.2C compared to the mean 7.6C, but maximums eclipsed the mean by 21.1C to 18.5C. There were five days over 30 degrees (the average is less than one) with the highest (32.9C) on the 18th.
An unlikely new low record was created on the 23rd when the minimum plunged to 0.6C beating the previous low (1.1C) set in 1970. On the coldest day (6th) the maximum only rose to 13.8C.
There were three frosts (average one) on the 1st, 5th and 23rd.
Six days of strong winds with gusts over 60kph occurred, with 69 kph on the 3rd being the strongest. On the 26th and 27th two days of dusty conditions caused by northerly winds passing over northern Victoria deposited a light coating of red mud on cars and washing when light rain (less than 0.2mm) fell. There was one thunder day – on the morning of 30th, but there were no storms.