Very low rainfall characterised Geelong in October. The Breakwater Racecourse station only recorded 16.2 mm for the month, in contrast to the long-term average of 51.3 mm. Most of the Bellarine to Otways Region had below 70% of normal rainfall, a state-wide phenomenon. Only Birregurra (60 mm) had close to its average 65 mm. Rain fell on only ten days – the October average is 14 days. Much of the ‘drought’ was caused not only by the ever-present Geelong rain shadow, but by a predominance of very cold, dry air from the south and southwest originating from Antarctic regions, where sea ice has recently experienced a massive increase. A more optimistic outlook is expected from later next month, according to private forecasters. But despite the low result, the Geelong catchments are still at 97% of capacity. West Barwon Dam is 98% full and Wurdi Boluc 99%. And, regardless of the dry month, Geelong’s rainfall is presently above the normal for the whole year: 550 mm compared to 527 mm.
Average daily maximum temperatures were higher than average as well, due mainly to the last two days of the month, which each exceeded 30 degrees. Minimums averaged 8.2 degrees, which equates to exactly the average for the Geelong area, factoring in the site change from the Airport. Overall the monthly average was 0.3 of one degree warmer than the long-term average, compensated for urban heat island (UHI) factor. The hottest day was the 31st with a top of 32.9 degrees, and the coldest was the 6th with 11.9 C. The lowest overnight temperature was 4.0 C on the 9th, and the warmest was 16.0 C on the 25th.
There were no storms, but a brief hailstorm on the 11th caused no damage. There were three days of very strong wind gusts, the strongest being 70 kph on the 4th. So, in general terms, we had a drier month and, apart from the last two days which drove the average up, it was also cooler, with no other unusual weather.