Is it summer, spring or sprummer (a combination of spring and summer)?
Apart from a couple of bursts of mild spring weather, it was unusually chilly during December – one of the coolest starts to summer for many years. January was only a bit warmer without the hot days we normally see. So, what is the forecast for February and beyond?
The Bureau of Meteorology is expecting cooler than normal conditions to continue for February, followed by average or even above average maximum temperatures from March to May. Summer heat usually starts to dissipate by the third week in March with the autumn solstice.
Rainfall is expected to be close to normal levels. Night-time temperatures are forecast to be warmer than the long term average as they have been for all seasons for a few years now.
The total rainfall for 2022 was around 1,270mm according to the Bureau compared to the 1,321.5mm all-time record over the past 155 years and the average of 877mm. My electronic weather station and another on the Ballan side of town both recorded in excess of 1,400mm of rainfall. After the massive rains of 2022 we are now hoping for some rain after only 24mm of rainfall for the past two months. La Nina has gone.
The Bureau web site has lots of interesting information across various aspects of weather and related areas. Root Zone moisture indicates the level of moisture just below the ground surface as this is vital for plants. This link shows that after a very wet 2022, root zone moisture at 3rd January was above average for much of Australia, including our region. With the very dry weather lately, this moisture will be reducing quickly.
Daylesford’s water storages are currently at 98%, however they are not large and can drop gradually if we get little rain. Summer is a good time to continue to review your water usage and ways in which you can help save this valuable resource. There is lots of advice and resources available if you want to have a closer look at how you can do more. The Central Highlands Water website has information that is worth looking at.
Victor Szwed is a Daylesford Resident who contributs a monthly column on the weather. A selection of his spectacular weather photos from 2022 is included in the gallery below.