Warrnambool’s Brooke Verspay, 3, tries to escape yesterday s heat by cooling down with an ice-cream. If you thought the south-west missed out on the rain this summer, you weren’t wrong.
Nanjing Night Net

With the temperature expected to hit 37 today and a total fire ban declared for the south-west, Warrnambool is coming through a summer of below average rainfall.

Bureau of Meteorology weather forecaster Richard Carlyon said pockets across the state had been wetter than average but the south-west had missed out.

He said the rainfall average for January in Warrnambool was 36.4mm and last month’s rainfall was 15mm.

For December, the rainfall was 37.2mm compared to the average of 50.4mm and so far for February 13.4mm in Warrnambool had been recorded compared to the average of 33.4mm.

Mr Carlyon said the dry spell looked set to continue with the national climate centre predicting a greater chance of below average rainfall from March to May.

“There is the likelihood of rain decreasing in the next few months,” he said.

He said the mercury would stay high tomorrow, reaching 35 degrees, before a cool change came through on Monday morning for a top of 23 degrees.

“There will be a bit of rain around on Monday,” he said.

“There will be a cool and wet end to a short hot spell.

“After the minor heatwave people can settle in for a mild week.

“Wind from the Bass Strait will keep temperatures in the low 20s.”

CFA state duty officer Craig Brownlie said the Bureau of Meteorology had forecast temperatures in the mid to high 30s for most of the state which created a significant risk.

“High winds tomorrow morning will also further increase the risk, particularly in the south-west of the state where we have aircraft and resources ready to be deployed,” he said.

Mr Brownlie said the CFA was well prepared ahead of the weekend and urged all Victorians to also be ready and to stay informed.

“People travelling around the state, camping and enjoying the summer weather need to take extra care,” he said.

“People need to have a plan about what to do if a fire breaks out and need to be aware of the local conditions.”

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