Melbourne has had its coolest Summer in 19 years. Sky News Weather was reported in the Herald Sun on 26th February indicating that both average daytime and overnight temperatures have been the coldest since 2002 and the outlook for autumn continues to be cool.
Our temperatures around Daylesford have also been much cooler than normal with very few days venturing near thirty degrees. Many nights have been cool – nice for sleeping. February is usually the warmest part of summer yet we had lots of mornings around 5 to 7 degrees and daytime temperatures only getting to the low 20s. Longer term temperatures have shown a trend of warming.
Rainfall in February for Daylesford was 22mm, only half of the long-term mean of 44.9mm. However, January was double the usual with 99.4mm recorded compared to 45.9mm long-term. My weather station had 120mm for January.
Autumn colours are coming and usually some great weather
What is the forecast for Autumn and La Nina? The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) advises that while La Nina is expected to end during Autumn, it is still likely to result in wetter than normal conditions for parts of Australia. Victorian conditions are not likely to be wetter or drier than normal for autumn. However, March is expected to be wetter than normal which would be welcome after a dry February.
Between the decent rainfalls and cooler conditions, hopefully the fire risk will continue to be lower. Our CFA heroes deserve a quiet summer and autumn.
Our water supplies have been dropping, down to 79% as of 1st March after being full late last year. There are many ways in which we can continue to conserve water and use it wisely.
Ultraviolet radiation can still be high even though the temperatures are lower. Australia has some of the highest UV levels and the highest skin cancer rates in the world. It is important to continue to cover up and use sun screen, typically between 10am and 5pm. You can download the SunSmart App from the Cancer Council of Victoria to help you monitor the risks. It’s one of the most important Apps you can use and it is free.
Victor Szwed is a Daylesford resident and a regular contributor to The Wombat Post.