Victoria in May 2020: dry in the north; cool days and nights

May was drier than average in large areas in the north of Victoria, and wetter than average in parts of the south; elsewhere rainfall in May was generally close to average. Both daytime and night-time temperatures were cooler than average in large parts of the State.

Dry in parts of the north

  • May was drier than average in the northwest and northeast of the State and several scattered pockets, and wetter than average in parts of the south
  • Statewide, rainfall was 21% below the long-term May average of 65 mm
  • Widespread showers have been experienced over much of Victoria on the 1st and 2nd, with the highest falls about the ranges east of Melbourne
  • The highest daily rainfall total was 64.6 mm at Moe South on the 2nd
  • A pair of cold fronts crossed Victoria on the 7th and 9th, and another one on the 20th bringing strong winds, thunderstorms and rainfall. Daily totals were generally between 10 and 20 mm, with locally higher falls
  • A low pressure system over the Tasman Sea brought welcome rain to the far east Victoria on the 23rd and 24th
  • The last week of the month was generally dry, due to the dominating influence of high pressure systems
  • With 160.0 mm recorded during the month, the wettest place in Victoria was Balook, in Victoria's southeast
  • Colac Airport had its highest May daily rainfall on record

Cool days and nights

Snow, strong winds and tornado

  • On the 1st and 2nd, a deep low pressure system centred near Tasmania and a high pressure system to the west, created a strong pressure gradients at the surface and strong winds, with gusts exceeding 80 km/h over southern parts of Victoria; the strongest wind gust in the State in May was 137 km/h recorded at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse on the 2nd
  • Significant snowfalls were reported in the Alpine area during the first several days of the month
  • A strong cold front brought a band of thunderstorms, accompanied by lightning and winds in excess of 100 km/h to southcentral Victoria in early hours on the 20th; the hardest hit areas were west of Geelong where more than 100 houses were severely damaged, as thunderstorms produced a tornado with winds estimated to be in excess of 150 km/h; State Emergency Services received around 130 calls for help from Geelong area, and 220 across the State

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in May 2020
Hottest day 26.8 °C at Mildura Airport on the 7th
Warmest days on average 18.2 °C at Mildura Airport
18.2 °C at Ouyen (Post Office)
Coolest days on average 3.8 °C at Mount Buller
Coldest day -2.4 °C at Mount Hotham on the 1st
Coldest night -5.9 °C at Mount Hotham on the 10th
Coolest nights on average -0.6 °C at Falls Creek
Warmest nights on average 11.0 °C at Gabo Island Lighthouse
Warmest night 16.0 °C at Mount Nowa Nowa on the 8th
Warmest on average overall 14.1 °C at Gabo Island Lighthouse
Coolest on average overall 1.7 °C at Mount Buller
Wettest overall 160.0 mm at Balook
Wettest day 64.6 mm at Moe South on the 2nd
Strongest wind gust 137 km/h at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse on the 2nd

Maps
ObservedAnomalyDecile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of Mean maximum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of Mean minimum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean minimum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


Record highest May daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Colac Airport 25.4 on the 1st 24.8 on the 2nd in 2019 22



Record lowest May mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Mount Buller 3.8 4.4 in 2000 35 6.2

Lowest May mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
May
Kerang 16.8 16.2 in 1969* 18.1
Tatura Inst Sustainable Ag 15.7 15.5 in 1973 17.3
Kyabram 16.1 15.5 in 1973* 17.3
Falls Creek 4.2 2.8 in 1994* 6.0
Mangalore Airport 15.1 15.0 in 2000 16.7
Rutherglen Research 16.3 15.5 in 2000 17.0
Strathbogie 13.0 12.7 in 2000 14.4
Swan Hill Aerodrome 17.3 17.2 in 2000 18.8
Wangaratta Aero 16.0 15.9 in 2000 17.4
Yarrawonga 16.7 16.0 in 2000 18.1

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a lower value has gone unreported




Record lowest May mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Port Fairy AWS 8.3 = 8.3 in 2010 28 9.2
Sheoaks 5.9 = 5.9 in 2006 28 7.4
Cape Nelson Lighthouse 9.6 9.7 in 2006 23 10.8

Lowest May mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
May
Melbourne Airport 7.1 6.6 in 1984 8.3
Morwell (Latrobe Valley Airport) 4.6 3.4 in 1984 6.5
Rhyll 9.8 9.7 in 1994 10.8



Record lowest May mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Melbourne Airport 11.3 = 11.3 in 2006 49 12.5
Mount Buller 1.7 1.8 in 2000 35 3.6
Yarrawonga 10.8 = 10.8 in 2012 27 12.1

Lowest May mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
May
Kyabram 10.6 =10.6 in 1976* 11.7
Morwell (Latrobe Valley Airport) 10.4 10.2 in 1984 11.7

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a lower value has gone unreported




Summary statistics for May 2020
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
May
2020
Diff
from
average
Highest for
May
2020
Mean for
May
2020
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
May
2020
Total for
May
2020
Average
for
May
Rank of
May
2020
Fraction of
May
average
North Mallee (district 76)
Mildura Airport 18.2 -0.9 26.8 7th 6.1 -1.3 0.5 15th 9.6 25.1 low 38%
Ouyen (Post Office) 18.2 -0.7 25.4 7th 6.4 -0.8 2.6 16th 15.6 31.4 low 50%
Walpeup Research 18.0 -0.4 26.0 7th 7.0 -0.8 2.8 15th
South Mallee (district 77)
Hopetoun Airport 17.5 -1.4 24.9 7th 5.2 -0.9 0.9 15th 13.6 27.1 v low 50%
Swan Hill Aerodrome 17.3 -1.5 24.8 7th 5.8 -0.6 0.9 15th 20.6 26.2 average 79%
North Wimmera (district 78)
Kellalac (Warracknabeal Airport) 17.1   24.4 7th 5.5   0.2 16th 21.8
Nhill Aerodrome 16.6 -1.3 23.1 7th 6.1 -0.7 1.1 15th 36.6 30.8 average 119%
South Wimmera (district 79)
Edenhope Airport 15.4 -1.4 21.6 19th 6.3 -1.0 0.6 15th 69.2 47.8 high 145%
Grampians (Mount William) 7.6 -0.8 13.0 7th 2.5 -1.2 -0.6 10th 116.2 133.4 average 87%
Horsham Aerodrome 16.4 -1.2 23.2 7th 4.5 -0.9 -1.5 16th 40.6 35.1 high 116%
Kanagulk 15.4 -1.2 22.1 19th 5.3 -1.3 -0.5 16th 49.6 45.5 average 109%
Longerenong 16.4 -0.7 23.5 7th 5.2 -0.8 0.4 10th 41.8 42.9 average 97%
Pyrenees (Ben Nevis) 10.0 -1.0 15.1 7th 4.5 -1.0 0.8 10th
Stawell Aerodrome 14.9 -1.4 21.4 7th 5.8 -0.6 0.6 15th 43.2 43.2 average 100%
Lower North (district 80)
Charlton 16.4 -1.7 23.2 7th 5.8 -0.7 0.4 16th 23.4 35.3 low 66%
Echuca Aerodrome 16.5 -1.1 21.1 7th 5.5 -1.1 0.5 15th 38.6 40.6 average 95%
Kerang 16.8 -1.3 22.8 7th 6.0 -0.8 2.3 16th 27.2 35.9 average 76%
Kyabram 16.1 -1.2 20.6 7th 5.1 -1.0 0.4 15th 35.0 42.3 average 83%
Upper North (district 81)
Bendigo Airport 15.3 -1.4 19.9 7th 4.5 -0.8 0.7 17th 52.2 46.9 average 111%
Shepparton Airport 16.1 -1.5 21.0 7th 5.3 -0.3 0.9 15th 38.0 34.3 average 111%
Tatura Inst Sustainable Ag 15.7 -1.6 20.6 7th 5.2 -0.6 0.3 15th 38.8 44.7 average 87%
Yarrawonga 16.7 -1.4 22.6 7th 5.0 -1.2 1.3 15th 24.0 35.6 average 67%
Lower Northeast (district 82)
Benalla Airport 16.1 -1.4 20.9 7th 4.1 -1.1 0.9 11th 31.6 47.8 low 66%
Hunters Hill 10.9 -0.9 15.2 8th 4.5 -1.0 0.1 10th 82.0 99.1 average 83%
Rutherglen Research 16.3 -0.7 21.8 7th 2.9 -1.4 -1.0 24th 30.4 51.6 average 59%
Strathbogie 13.0 -1.4 18.0 19th 3.1 -0.6 -2.0 15th 87.7 95.4 average 92%
Wangaratta Aero 16.0 -1.4 21.2 7th 3.3 -1.1 -0.3 26th 24.8 57.0 low 44%
Upper Northeast (district 83)
Falls Creek 4.2 -1.8 10.8 17th -0.6 -1.2 -5.7 10th 81.2 97.4 average 83%
Mount Buller 3.8 -2.4 8.8 26th -0.4 -1.4 -4.9 10th 136.6 141.9 average 96%
Omeo 13.3 -1.2 18.4 7th 2.6 -0.2 -2.4 15th 36.4 34.9 average 104%
East Gippsland (district 84)
Combienbar AWS 13.8 -0.6 21.3 8th 7.5 -0.2 4.3 14th 25.2 62.2 low 41%
Gabo Island Lighthouse 17.1 +0.2 24.2 8th 11.0 -0.2 8.5 16th 96.2 97.8 average 98%
Gelantipy 12.5 -0.5 18.4 8th 4.4 -0.5 -0.8 15th 42.8 45.7 average 94%
Lakes Entrance (Eastern Beach Road) 16.6 -1.4 22.4 19th 7.3 -1.3 2.3 16th 25.6 41.8 average 61%
Mallacoota 17.5 -0.1 24.2 9th 8.9 -0.4 4.1 15th 116.2 82.2 high 141%
Mount Nowa Nowa 15.5 -0.5 22.2 7th 8.3 -0.5 4.3 10th 33.6 56.4 average 60%
Orbost 17.4 -0.5 23.1 7th 7.7 -0.8 3.0 17th 49.4 52.6 average 94%
West Gippsland (district 85)
Bairnsdale Airport 16.7 -0.9 23.4 7th 6.0 -0.7 0.6 15th 22.2 44.0 low 50%
Corner Inlet (Yanakie) 15.6   19.3 19th 7.8   2.0 16th 127.0
East Sale 16.6 -0.3 22.9 7th 5.4 -0.9 0.5 30th 29.4 49.7 average 59%
East Sale Airport 16.7   22.9 7th 5.3   0.4 30th 31.0
Morwell (Latrobe Valley Airport) 16.1 -0.8 21.8 7th 4.6 -1.9 -0.8 30th 80.2 55.4 high 145%
Mount Baw Baw 5.0 -1.4 11.0 17th 0.5 -1.1 -4.9 14th 132.8 124.7 average 106%
Mount Moornapa 14.1 -0.9 21.5 7th 7.2 -0.7 3.9 10th
Nilma North (Warragul) 15.3   22.4 7th 5.5   -0.3 16th 114.8
Pound Creek 16.1 -1.0 22.6 7th 7.3 -0.9 0.7 18th 129.8 98.4 high 132%
Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse 14.7 -0.3 20.5 19th 10.9 -0.2 7.9 10th 133.2 114.2 average 117%
Yarram Airport 16.1 -1.3 20.3 7th 5.6 -1.3 0.5 16th 49.2 47.9 average 103%
East Central (district 86)
Cerberus 16.0 -0.7 21.8 7th 7.9 -0.6 1.3 18th 95.0 71.0 high 134%
Coldstream 16.0 -0.7 21.7 7th 5.2 -0.5 -1.2 15th 106.0 69.1 high 153%
Essendon Airport 15.7 -0.7 20.4 7th 7.7 -0.2 2.6 17th 54.6 48.8 average 112%
Ferny Creek 12.0   17.6 7th 7.0   2.2 10th 123.4 134.7 average 92%
Melbourne (Olympic Park) 16.4   21.1 7th 8.7   4.5 15th 66.8
Melbourne Airport 15.5 -1.2 20.7 7th 7.1 -1.2 1.3 26th 49.2 40.0 high 123%
Moorabbin Airport 16.5 -0.5 21.7 7th 8.0 -0.8 2.2 26th 62.2 68.9 average 90%
Rhyll 15.7 -0.6 20.5 7th 9.8 -1.0 6.1 10th 96.0 75.6 average 127%
Scoresby Research Institute 15.9 -0.5 21.7 7th 7.4 -0.9 0.3 26th 93.0 87.2 average 107%
Viewbank 16.1 -1.1 21.7 7th 7.2 -0.8 1.7 15th 71.4 53.4 high 134%
West Central (district 87)
Avalon Airport 16.3 -1.0 22.2 7th 6.8 -0.9 1.1 18th 25.0 37.3 average 67%
Breakwater (Geelong Racecourse) 16.5   22.3 7th 7.5   2.0 18th 28.6
Laverton RAAF 16.1 -0.8 21.3 7th 7.5 -0.3 2.3 16th 41.0 45.8 average 90%
Sheoaks 14.6 -1.0 19.8 7th 5.9 -1.5 0.0 16th 53.2 38.3 high 139%
North Central (district 88)
Castlemaine Prison 14.5 -1.2 17.5 6th 5.3 -0.1 -0.5 14th 63.0 58.1 average 108%
Eildon Fire Tower 12.2 -1.1 17.4 7th 5.8 -0.9 2.3 10th 55.2 55.3 average 100%
Lake Eildon 15.1 -1.1 20.0 7th 4.9 -1.1 0.5 26th 68.0 78.4 average 87%
Mangalore Airport 15.1 -1.6 19.9 7th 5.2 -0.9 0.2 16th 43.8 53.5 average 82%
Maryborough 15.0 -1.2 20.2 7th 5.6 -0.5 1.1 16th 41.8 49.2 average 85%
Puckapunyal Lyon Hill (Defence) 14.7   19.2 7th 6.8   2.3 11th 39.0
Puckapunyal West (Defence) 14.3   19.2 7th 6.5   3.8 10th 54.6
Redesdale 15.0 -1.1 19.0 7th 4.2 -1.0 0.2 16th 56.6 55.8 average 101%
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 11.5 -1.4 16.1 7th 6.0 -0.9 2.9 10th 58.0 58.4 average 99%
Western Plains (district 89)
Ararat Prison 14.4 -1.1 20.1 7th 5.0 -0.6 -1.5 15th 78.1 55.4 high 141%
Ballarat Aerodrome 13.0 -0.7 17.5 7th 4.4 -1.3 -1.2 14th 63.4 64.5 average 98%
Westmere 14.5 -1.2 20.5 7th 5.4 -1.2 -0.5 17th 68.6 58.4 high 117%
West Coast (district 90)
Aireys Inlet 16.1 -0.3 20.6 7th 8.9 -1.0 5.3 10th 34.6 53.3 low 65%
Cape Nelson Lighthouse 16.6 +0.4 22.3 19th 9.6 -1.2 5.7 16th 94.6 74.0 high 128%
Cape Otway Lighthouse 15.1 -0.5 20.5 7th 9.7 -0.4 6.2 5th 91.8 91.5 average 100%
Casterton 15.2 -1.1 20.9 19th 6.2 -1.1 0.1 17th 94.8 70.6 average 134%
Colac (Mount Gellibrand) 14.3 -0.8 19.3 7th 7.3 -0.7 3.0 10th 59.6 46.3 high 129%
Dartmoor 15.6 -0.7 21.2 19th 6.4 -1.2 -0.8 16th 115.8 88.8 v high 130%
Hamilton Airport 14.4 -1.3 20.4 19th 5.7 -1.0 2.0 16th 90.4 54.8 v high 165%
Mortlake Racecourse 15.7 -0.6 21.9 7th 5.6 -1.1 -1.2 17th 88.4 58.1 high 152%
Port Fairy AWS 16.3 -0.6 22.1 19th 8.3 -0.9 3.3 16th 68.8 69.6 average 99%
Portland (Cashmore Airport) 15.2 -0.7 21.0 19th 7.7 -0.7 2.4 16th 107.0 84.1 high 127%
Warrnambool Airport NDB 15.5 -1.0 20.6 7th 6.6 -0.9 0.8 16th 111.8 75.2 high 149%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists the main features of the weather in Victoria using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Monday 1 June 2020. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

Averages for individual sites are long-term means based on observations from all available years of record, which vary widely from site to site. They are not shown for sites with less than 10 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of long-term average rain.

The Rank indicates how rainfall this time compares with the climate record for the site, based on the decile ranking (very low rainfall is in decile 1, low in decile 2 or 3, average in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of average shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057