October 2009


Despite a poor monthly total for October, the Geelong region’s rainfall has been around average over the June to October period. As a result, vegetation growth has boomed during the winter-spring and soil moisture levels and the dams are becoming replenished.

In October the Geelong urban area received only around 30 mm – Geelong Airport AWS average is 50.8 mm according to http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_nccObsCode=136&p_display_type=dailyDataFile&p_startYear=2009&p_stn_num=087163.

The Geelong Airport AWS has recently struggled to reflect accurately rainfall totals for this district (rainfall catch affected by strong wind gusts), but since June, the urban area generally as monitored by Geelong Weather Services observers has received 227 mm, compared to the 25-year AWS average (Bureau of Meteorology) of 240 mm. This means we received 95% of “normal”, which puts us well within the average toleration.

If November and December are not good rainfall months however, Geelong may be looking at a dry start to summer. The BoM model is predicting such an eventuality, although Weatherzone is suggesting a wetter late summer. The catchments are currently at 37% of capacity, the highest since December, 2007, and the Otways have received approximately 95-110% of their average rain for June to October, so there is no need for pessimism. 2009, especially sinch March, has been a much better rainfall year than 2008, and this is reflected in the water storages.


Geelong was cooler by around 0.7 degree C in October, along with most of western Victoria. Average daily minimums were 6.9 degrees C compared to the long-term mean 7.6 C, and average daily maximums were 18.0 degrees C compared to 18.7 C.

The lowest minimum reached 2.5 C on both the 11th and the 24th, and the hottest day was the 20th (29.8 C).


A fairly benign weather month, October produced small hail on the 6th and 5 strong wind gusts, including 80 kph at Geelong Airport AWS on the 13th. There was one thunder day with spectacular lightning displays on the evening of the 30th and 31st, but no major storm damage except some temporary loss of power in some areas. On the last day of the month heavy rain fell in North Geelong – Bell Post Hill but this will be included in the November figures because it occurred after 9am.

The coming fire season should not be a cause for undue fear or anxiety in the region. Despite the fact that preventive burning and fuel reduction has been only minimally practised this year, the outlook is not for any more extreme fire danger days than you would expect in a normal summer. Despite the fear-engendering rhetoric employed by some, we should remember that the forests and grasslands in this region are presently much wetter and greener than at this time last year. Of course they will dry off, but later in summer, so the danger period ought not to be as long as last year when low rainfalls all year ushered in the fire season. And we must not forget that arsonists can operate in any climate.


Location Total for
Aireys Inlet 54.8 61.5
Anakie 44.8 66.0
Anglesea na 65.0
Apollo Bay 80.6 99.0
Ballan 43.8 58.0
Ballarat 31.6 69.6
Bannockburn 35.2 53.0
Barwon Heads 52.0 60.0
Bellbrae na 69.3
Bells Beach na 69.6
Beeac na 60.7
Birregurra 31.2 64.8
Boonah na n.a.
Cape Otway 55.0 81.5
Clifton Springs 29.6 48.0
Colac 28.4 73.6
Cressy 26.6 n.a.
Curlewis 26.5 48.0
Drysdale na 48.0
Durdidwarrah 41.6 n.a.
Forrest 69.8 112.0
Forrest (West Barwon) 78.0 112.0
Inverleigh na 54.6
Johanna Heights 105.0 146.5
Lake Colac na n.a.
Lal Lal 40.8 n.a.
Lavers Hill 130.0 146.5
Laverton 33.8 61.0
Melba Gully na 170.0
Melbourne (City) 21.8 68.0
Meredith (Darra) 42.4 70.4
Moriac 37.2 n.a.
Morrisons 31.4 n.a.
Mt Buninyong na n.a.
Mt Cowley 66.6 n.a.
Mt Mercer na n.a.
Mt Sabine 103.6 n.a.
Ocean Grove na n.a.
Point Lonsdale na 52.0
Pollocksford 37.6 n.a.
Portarlington na 57.9
Queenscliff na 57.9
Shelford na 55.0
Sheoaks 35.2 n.a.
Skipton na n.a.
St Leonards na 58.0
Teesdale na 49.8
Torquay na 61.0
Warncoort na n.a.
Weeaproinah 141.0 174.2
Winchelsea na 51.1
You Yangs na 46.5

Location Total for
Avalon 22.8 40.9
Bell Park 25.9 55.9
Belmont 36.5 57.0
City 32.0 50.0
Connewarre na 57.5
Corio 26.8 54.0
Grovedale 26.5 52.8
Grovedale South 26.8 56.3
Hamlyn Heights (1) 30.5 50.6
Hamlyn Heights (2) na 50.6
Highton na 56.1
Lara 30.0 46.0
Lara (Serendip) 28.4 46.0
Leopold 43.5 64.0
Leopold East 33.5 64.0
Manifold Heights 33.9 57.0
Moolap 33.2 57.0
Mt Duneed Airport 26.2 50.8
Mt Duneed West 36.2 52.3
Waurn Ponds 30.0 50.0
Whittington na 53.5
Urban Geelong Average 30.0 50.0