Stawell rainfall below average despite a wet winter

STAWELL - Stawell has recorded its second consecutive year of below average rainfall with 417.2 millimetres (1669 points) recorded in 2013.

The total is more than 100mm (283pts) down on the long term average of 532mm (2127pts) but higher than the 366.4mm (1039pts) recorded in 2012.

Most significant about last year's figures is the fact that 208mm (590pts), half of the final total, fell in the three months of winter.

Heavy follow up rains that fell in September and October still weren't enough to compensate for the severe dry experienced in the early and latter months of the year.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, which measures its rainfall at Stawell Aerodrome, it was an exceptionally dry start to the year.

No rain was recorded in January, only the third time Stawell has recorded a nil reading for the first month of the year since 1930.

The first substantial falls of the year didn't occur until February 15 when a Friday fall of 9.6mm (27pts) was followed by the highest 24 hour total of the year with 34mm (96pts) recorded on Saturday, February 16.

The February falls made up for some of January's losses with a total of 50.2mm (142pts) recorded for the shortest month of the year.

March saw a return to the dry conditions with just 3.4mm (10pts) falling in the second half of the month.

Stawell didn't fair much better in April either with 13.2mm (37pts) - much of that also coming in the final weeks of the month.

Spirits were lifted in the middle of May with several days of rain building to the 24.2mm (69pts) total, but this was still below the long term average.

Winter saw a return to winter's gone by with mild days and the biggest June total (56.6mm (160pts)) since 2009.

The highest daily total was recorded on the first day of the month when 20.4mm (58pts) was recorded.

A wet winter was guaranteed in July with a massive 82.8mm (235pts) of rain accumulated thanks to a 28.2mm (80pts) downpour on the second Sunday of the month.

Follow up rains continued in August with another bumper total of 68.6mm (194pts) recorded.

With the onset of spring Stawell experienced some consistent falls to take the September tally to 41.8mm (118pts).

A wet Wednesday late in October, when 27.8mm was recorded, took the montly total to an above average reading of 57.0mm (162pts).

The final two months of 2013 saw a return to conditions experienced earlier in the year. Just 9.2mm (26pts) was recorded in November and only 10.2mm (29pts) in December with the majority of that rain falling in the first 13 days of the month.

The two back-to-back dry years come directly after three years (2009-2011) of above average rainfall that culminated in flooding rains and Stawell recording a total of 618.0mm (1752pts) in 2011.

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