THERE’S no prizes for guessing the summer just gone in the south-west was hot and dry.
Bureau of Meteorology figures show that both Warrnambool and Hamilton received only about half their average summer rainfall.
Bureau climate meteorologist Dr Harvey Stern said Warrnambool had received only 66 millimetres of rain up until 9am yesterday, well below its average summer rainfall of 111mm.
Hamilton received only 42mm while its summer average was 99mm.
Port Campbell got 95mm of its average of 99mm and Port Fairy 90mm of its 125mm average.
In general, rainfall throughout the region was 29 per cent less than the summer average.
Dr Stern said the average maximum daytime temperature for the 2012-2013 summer was 1.5 degrees above the summer average and the average overnight temperature about half a degree higher than the summer average.
The warm temperatures included a record high January temperature of 42.1 degrees at Portland’s Cashmore Airport on January 4, this year, exceeding the previous record of 41.6 degrees set on January 26, 2006.
Dr Stern said the hotter and drier conditions of the south-west summer were in line with the general trend for hotter and drier conditions in Victoria.
Victoria’s average annual temperature was about 0.5 to one degree warmer than what it was a century ago and the state had become drier in recent decades.
On the outlook for autumn, Dr Stern said drier and cooler than normal conditions were forecast. The bureau said the dry and cool autumn outlook was mainly due to warmer than normal waters in the Indian Ocean. The chances of below normal rainfall were between 60 and 70 per cent, the bureau said.