IT'S official, Ballarat has just recorded one of its coldest summers on record.
For those that like cool conditions, you've had the perfect summer with just 13 days in Ballarat getting above 30 degrees thanks largely to moisture from the tropics that was brought about by the Pacific Ocean's La Nina event.
But for those who like to stock up on Vitamin D with the promise of the cold winter months ahead, it's been a summer to forget, despite February's relatively mild weather.
The past three months is understood to be the coldest since 2002 and the wettest since 2011.
Apart from a six-day run in the past month where Ballarat saw consecutive days of sunshine and temperatures above 27 degrees, it was mostly cold, wet and downright dreary.
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Incredibly, Ballarat's top temperature for the whole of summer was just 36.5 degrees which happened on January 25. Of course the caveat on that one warm day was January 26 where we plummeted again to just 21.1 degrees, which was the story of the season.
Each month saw below average temperatures. December averaged 21.4 degrees, down from 22.9, January was 24.7, down from 25.6 and February averaged just 23.6, down from 25.4. It meant an overall summer average was 1.2 degrees lower than normal at 23. 2 degrees.
While February was mostly dry, with just 10.2mm falling, well down on the normal 43.4mm, January more than made up that as 117.8mm fell meaning summer overall was wetter than average.
February top temperature was just 33.2 degrees on February 11. It was one of just two days for the month above 30.
Interestingly, while February is often seen as the hottest month, it might be a new trend as in 2020, Ballarat saw just one day over 30 as well.
EXPECT MORE RAIN IN AUTUMN
SUMMER'S La Nina event which brought above average rainfall across much of Australia is weakening, but much of eastern Australia is still likely to receive above average rainfall in autumn.
The Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Naomi Benger said that while current observations show La Nina has passed its peak, its effects on the Australian climate are likely to persist.
"The tropical Pacific Ocean is forecast to return to neutral conditions (neither El Nino nor La Nina) during autumn, consistent with the typical lifecycle of La Nina events," Dr Benger said.
"However, it is not uncommon for the effects of La Nia to still be felt as the event declines. That means an increased chance of above average rainfall, particularly for eastern regions."
High and near-median stream flows are likely until April for most locations in eastern Australia.
December 2020 was the third wettest since records began in 1900, while summer temperatures across the country have been the lowest since 2011-12.
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