Dry month set to equal local record

Hamish Heard
Geelong will have sweltered through its equal driest October on record unless clouds burst over the city this weekend.
Geelong Weather Services meteorologist Lindsay Smail said the region was reeling from the effects of El Nino after receiving less than half its average annual rain with two months to go.
He said October, normally one of Geelong’s wettest month, had yielded just six millilitres of rain until yesterday, equal to October in 1967 and 1900 when the city recorded its lowest falls since accurate records began in 1871.
“There’s a chance there will be no rainfall between now and (the end of the Month on Tuesday) but I’m expecting some light showers, probably less than one or two millilitres,” Mr Smail said.
This month was set to be one of the three driest Octobers on record regardless of whether rain arrived on the weekend.
“The whole year is looking very bad,” Mr Smail said.
“We’d have to more than double the year’s rainfall to date to reach the annual average.”
Mr Smail said Geelong was heading for its driest year since 1982.
“That year was immediately followed by the Ash Wednesday bushfires, so that’s one of the main reasons fire authorities are predicting the coming fire season could be as bad as that year.”
Geelong was heading for one of its driest three years while other areas in the state were set to record their lowest-ever annual rain.
However, Mr Smail was hesitant to blame the unusually dry year on global warming.
“I’d like to remind everybody that the droughts and the floods that affected Australia in the 1890s and the early 20th Century were just as bad if not worse.”

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