A wet start to 2020 with more rain likely

Above average rainfall in April means it has been Victoria's wettest start to the year since 2011. Rainfall has been well above average in central and northern districts; most of the north and parts of central Victoria had more than double their typical April rainfall this year.

Overall, it was Victoria's third wettest April in 121 years of record, and the wettest since 1974.

Lancefield and Redesdale had their highest daily April rainfall on record with 88.0 mm and 84.0 mm respectively on the 4th, and both sites have more than 100 years of record.

In addition to daily April records, five stations with more than 100 years of record had their highest monthly April rainfall: Inglewood, Wycheproof, Lake Eildon, Tangambalanga and Birchip.

Overall, water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) are 35.2%, up 1.8% from a year earlier. Storages in the key Victorian systems of Goulburn and Campaspe within the MDB are at 39.6% (up 7.4% from a year earlier) and 31.8% (down 5.5% from a year earlier) respectively. The total across Victoria's south is just over one-third full, up 4% from a year earlier. While we're starting to see conditions that are more favourable for in-filling, we are following a couple of very dry and very warm years.

Year to date root zone soil moisture is above average across the State except for parts of East Gippsland where it's close to average.

Looking ahead, we're not seeing a strong push towards wetter or drier conditions during May. But the outlook for winter shows high chances (greater than 80 per cent) for a wetter than average season for parts of northern and central Victoria. The chance of getting above average winter rainfall reduces further south, while much of Gippsland only has a 50:50 chance.

Overnight temperatures are very likely (greater than 80 per cent chance) to be warmer than average across most of Victoria this winter, reducing the likelihood of frost. Daytime temperatures are likely to be warmer than average in most parts but cooler in the northwest.

While the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral, computer models suggest a negative IOD could develop from mid-winter. A negative IOD typically increase the likelihood of above average winter-spring rainfall across southern Australia. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently neutral too but could shift into a phase that is more favourable for above average rainfall in our region later in winter.

Recent Weather Updates

  • Dry June for the south | 3/07/2020  

    June was drier than average and the reduced cloud brought warmer than average days but meant nights were cooler than usual.

  • Increased chance of La Niña in spring | 26/06/2020  

    Even though we're on track for a drier than average June, the wet start to 2020 means soil moisture is still very much above average in parts of the central district and around Melbourne.

  • A cold start to winter | 12/06/2020  

    The temperature plunge last week was a chilling reminder that winter has arrived.