Winter has certainly arrived

Sunrise on Mt William in the Grampians last Saturday, showing a thick cover of snow. Picture: AIDEN BANFIELD

Sunrise on Mt William in the Grampians last Saturday, showing a thick cover of snow. Picture: AIDEN BANFIELD

WINTER may have taken more than a month to settle in, but it has and hit with a vengeance.

Overnight minimum temperatures during the first week of August have been close to five degrees lower than the long term monthly average of 3.9 degrees Celsius.

The mercury in Ararat hasn't just dipped below zero, on a couple of occasions it plummeted below zero as the town experienced freezing starts on four of the first five days of the month.

Sunday's minimum of minus 4 degrees Celsius was equal to the coldest morning this year, Ararat also plunged to minus 4 degrees on July 23.

The overnight minimums are the lowest the town has experienced since May 2010, when the temperature fell to -4.1 degrees Celsius.

Thankfully, the overnight temperatures have been nowhere near the record low -7.3 degrees recorded on July 27, 1976.

January's record breaking top of 43.1 degrees probably seems a distant memory to some, with the temperature in Ararat dropping below freezing nine mornings since July 2.

June was incredibly mild in comparison with the average overnight minimum of 6.0 degrees, more than two degrees above the long term average of 3.8.

The average daytime maximum was also 0.5 of a degree above the long term average of 12.4.

Believe it or not, July's average overnight minimum of 3.3 degrees, was just 0.1 of a degree shy of the long term average (3.4), while the month's average daytime maximum of 12.5 degrees, was 0.1 degree above the long term average (12.4).

While day and night time temperatures settled at close to average levels in July, Ararat's winter rainfall totals have been exceptional.

In June, the town smashed the monthly average of 56.4mm by recording a massive 106.3mm of rain.

The wettest day of the year occurred on June 1 when the town lapped up a soaking 25 millimetres of rain in the 24 hours to 9am.

In July, Ararat again exceeded its monthly average rainfall total (63.1mm), to record 74.8mm.

The town has now recorded 330 millimetres of rain so far this year, short of the long term average of 385.9mm but well clear of the total for the same period to date in 2013, 225.7mm.

Ararat's cumulative rain total stands in stark contrast to Stawell, where it has recorded close to 220 millimetres of rain for the year to date, less than the amount (250mm) to the same time last year.

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