September 2003


“September is usually windy, but this would have been one of Geelong’s windiest Septembers ever,” Lindsay Smail, Director of Geelong Weather Services said. There were 18 days on which wind gusts over 60kph struck in the Geelong region. The worst days were the 19th and the 24th. when wind gusts of well over 100kph caused severe storm damage to trees, roofs, signs and other structures. On the 22nd a light plane crashed near Barwon Heads, caught by turbulent wind shear as it tried to land. One may well ask, why was it flying in such conditions anyway? Most of these strong winds are the result of strong low pressure systems from the Southern Ocean unimpeded by the high pressure ridge which builds up later towards summer.

The region experienced a great range of rainfall results, from below average at Lara-Little River, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Geelong urban area and northwest to the Moorabool catchment, to well above average from the Otways catchment northeastwards to Torquay. With total catchment capacity around 62%, the situation is stable, although most farmers are now needing good falls in October to eventuate. Light hail was received on 4 occasions, and at 9am on the 29th hail totalling 4mm fell at Torquay. There were three thunder days.


Geelong’s temperatures were slightly below average by about 0.5 of a degree. Daily minima averaged 6.1C compared to 6.8C (long-term average) and maxima 16.3C compared to 16.7. The coldest overnight temperature was 0.7C on the 28th and there were three frosts in the urban area.