Rainfall well short of average for Ararat region

The water level at Norval Dam is extremely low. Pictures: MARK MCMILLAN

The water level at Norval Dam is extremely low. Pictures: MARK MCMILLAN

THE BUREAU of Meteorology has revised its 2014 cumulative rainfall figure for Ararat, showing the town has now recorded just 308.5 millimetres of rain so far this year and a winter total of 181.1mm.

The figure is well short of the long term average of 385.9mm but more than the total for the same period to date in 2013, 287.3mm.

It also reveals a rather large discrepancy compared to the start of the month when The Ararat Advertiser reported, based on BOM figures that Ararat had already recorded 330mm of rain in 2014.

At the time, the BOM indicated that in June, the town smashed the monthly average of 56.4mm by recording a massive 106.3mm of rain.

The June total has since been revised down by the BOM to 77.8mm.

The wettest day of that month still occurred on June 1 with the town lapping up 14 millimetres of rain in the 24 hours to 9am, however not 25 millimetres as previously indicated.

Ararat's wettest 24 hours to 9am is now believed to have occurred on April 30 when 17.5mm fell in rain gauges across the town.

Ararat exceeded the long-term average (42.5mm) in the month of April with 59.5mm of rain.

The above average rainfall that month was welcome after Ararat endured a particularly dry start to the year with just 27.7mm of rain over the first three months of the year.

It was also reported as recently as this month that in July Ararat again exceeded its monthly average rainfall total (63.1mm), to record 74.8mm of rain.

This has now been revised down by the BOM to 60.3mm, just shy of the month's long-term average rainfall figure.

The prospect of water skiers and swimmers enjoying Green Hill Lake this summer is looking grim due to low water levels.

The prospect of water skiers and swimmers enjoying Green Hill Lake this summer is looking grim due to low water levels.

BOM receives temperature, humidity, wind, pressure, cloud and rainfall observations for Ararat from Hopkins Correctional Centre.

The figures now reflect what many, particularly those on the land that rely on the precious natural resource, have long suspected, that there hasn't been enough rain in the water catchments across our region.

According to the BOM Ararat recorded 43.8mm of rain for the final month of winter, 15mm short of the long term August average of 69mm.

While some of the rainfall figures have been altered the freezing temperatures experienced at the start of the month remain the same but have been largely forgotten as Ararat welcomes spring.

With daytime maximums above the long term average of 13 degrees Celsius for the past week Ararat finished August with temperatures measuring at or close to 20 degrees for the last five days of the month.

This took the August 2014 average daytime maximum (14.1) to more than a degree (1.1) above the long term average of 13.0.

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

The temperature in Ararat didn't just flirt with 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.

The minus 4 degrees Celsius minimum recorded on Sunday, August 3 was equal to the coldest morning this year, Ararat also plunged to minus 4 degrees on July 23.

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

Although it is now day two of spring, winter hasn't completely left us, with possible showers, low temperatures and cloudy conditions to take us towards the weekend.

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