Rain a welcome sight for Ballarat and surrounds

FARMERS in the region rejoiced yesterday after Ballarat and surrounds recorded its highest rainfall since February last year, with more than a month’s worth of rain falling in less than 12 hours.

Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said the region was soaked with 44.2mm of rain to 9am thanks to a combination of high moisture content in the atmosphere and unusually long thunderstorm activity. 

Another 25.4mm was dumped on Ballarat by 10.30pm, with most falling in a short period of time.

At 4.30pm, 8mm fell in just 10 minutes.

“This is the most rain the Ballarat region has seen since almost the exact same time last year and based on data from Monday night the region received more than a month’s worth of average rain in less than 12 hours,” Mr Dutschke said. 

“It is the direct result of higher moisture levels in the atmosphere which are due to hot and humid conditions, plus the actual thunderstorm activity appears to have lasted longer than normal.”

Mr Dutschke said thunderstorms in the last 24 hours lasted more than three hours, while they normally passed within one. 

The soaking rain added to a damp February with figures showing 87.2mm of rain recorded in the region so far.

Clarkes Hill farmer Dominic Prendergast said the rain was a welcome sight for farmers suffering after a dry January.

“It was very nice to see that it still can rain,” Mr Prendergast said.

“January was very dry and a tough month for all farmers, but rainfall like this eases the strain on bores and makes life a little easier.”

Only 1.8mm of rain was recorded for January in the Ballarat region.

Mr Dutschke predicted more rain this afternoon, but said it would be minimal. 

The forecast is for temperatures to remain in the low 20s for the remainder of the week and weekend before reaching 28 degrees next Monday.