A cool end to a warm summer

Days and nights were warmer than average this summer across much of Victoria, especially in the northeast. But the season's end was cooler than usual; February's mean maximum temperature was 1.15 °C below the long-term average, and the lowest since 2011.

Summer rainfall was close to average for most areas, but below average in parts of the north and the far east, and above average in the southeast of the State. January and February were wetter than average, but December was very dry (the fifth-driest December on record), dragging down the 3- month totals. Statewide, summer rainfall was close to average at 5 per cent below the long-term mean of 120 mm.

Daytime temperatures were above average across most of Victoria, but closer to average in the southern parts of the State. The mean maximum temperature for Victoria over summer 2019-2020 was 1.04 °C above average.

Daytime temperatures in December were very much above average for most of Victoria, and a major contributor to the warmer than average season overall. Statewide, it was the second-warmest December on record, 3.13  °C warmer than the long-term average for the month.

Daytime temperatures were also warmer than average in January (monthly anomaly of +1.16 °C); in contrast, during February, historically the warmest month of the year for Victoria, daytime temperatures were cooler than average (an anomaly of −1.15 °C). This contrast across the season is well illustrated by Melbourne high temperatures; in December, the city had three days over 40 °C (the most since 1897) while it had no days over 35 °C in February, which hasn't happened since 1994.

Victorian night-time temperatures during summer were 1.10 °C above average, with all months being warmer than average overall.

Significant fires commenced in East Gippsland during December. Widespread areas of smoke from fires burning in southern New South Wales and East Gippsland extended across eastern and southern Victoria during late December and early January.

Severe thunderstorms developed in the afternoon on 15 and 19 January, bringing heavy rainfall, flash flooding and damaging winds to central Victoria and parts of Melbourne. Wide-spread, follow- up rainfall on 20 and 22 January helped reduce the number of uncontained bushfires in the State's east.

And the rain kept coming in February. Large areas in the southeast and west of the State received more than double their average monthly rainfall. Cold fronts that crossed Victoria at the beginning of the month brought widespread rainfall to the State, with daily rainfall totals exceeding 30 mm at many sites.

Recent Weather Updates

  • Wettest autumn in decades | 29/05/2020  

    Most of Victoria has been wetter than average this autumn so far, and it is only parts of the far east that have been drier than usual.

  • Chance of a double whammy | 15/05/2020  

    The chance of a wetter than average winter is strengthening for parts of the State.

  • Wetter winter likely for the north | 24/04/2020  

    A wet start to 2020 means root zone soil moisture for this time of year is above average for most of Victoria except for parts of the southwest and East Gippsland.