Weekend rain welcome

ARARAT and Stawell regions were host to some welcome weekend rain with a heavy Saturday night downpour saturating parched landscapes.

Towns recorded some of their highest 24 hour rain totals in months.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Ararat lapped up 16.6 millimetres (65 points) of rain in the 24 hours to 9am Sunday. Stawell was fortunate enough to record the same.

The figure was Ararat’s highest 24 hour rainfall total this year and its largest since October 2013.

For Stawell, the total was also the highest 24 hour reading since October of last year.

Saturday night’s wet spell takes Ararat’s progressive rainfall total for the month of November to 24.6mm, Stawell’s sits at 19.4mm.

The weekend rain was a brief, however welcome reprieve from what has otherwise been a dauntingly dry year for the region.

Ararat has failed to reach its monthly mean rainfall figure for seven of the 10 months so far this year and looks likely to fall short once again in November.

With no significant falls forecast and the calendar showing we are more than half way through the month the town has recorded little above half of the monthly average of 45.2mm.

Cumulatively, Ararat has recorded just 321.7mm of rain so far this year, well down on the same period to date in 2013 (409mm) and substantially lower than long term average of 549.2mm.

The picture is just as bad, if not worse for Stawell. The town has recorded just 242mm of rain so far this year compared to the 405.22mm for the same, almost 11-month-period in 2013.

BOM hasn’t forecast that pattern to change in the short term. It predicts a drier than normal November to January is more likely across most of the state.

The BOM’s monthly and seasonal outlook has forecast just a 35-40 per cent chance of both Ararat and Stawell exceeding median rainfall totals during that November – January period.

It also looks set to be a warmer than usual start to summer with Ararat and Stawell both ‘likely’ to record temperatures above the monthly median in December and January.

The BOM’s monthly and seasonal outlook for temperature suggests Ararat has a 70-75 percent likelihood of exceeding its median maximum temperature in those months.

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