Victoria in January 2021: wetter than average

Victoria in January was wetter than average, largely due to the record rainfall to 9am on the 30th. Night-time temperatures were warmer than average in parts of the south and east, while daytime temperatures were close to average across the state.

Wetter than average

  • Rainfall totals for the month were above average across most of Victoria.
  • Parts of western Victoria and scattered areas in the east received more than double their average January rainfall.
  • State-wide, January rainfall was 68% above the long-term average of 39.5 mm, the highest since 2011.
  • In a first several days of January, a deep pressure trough, which extended from south-western Queensland through central New South Wales to Victoria, gradually moving eastwards, has caused thunderstorms with locally heavy rainfall, flash flooding, large hail and damaging winds over parts of the state. Many sites recorded daily rainfall totals in excess of 50 mm.
  • The highest daily rainfall total in the state this month, 194.4 mm, was recorded at Haines Junction (Mount Sabine) on the 4th.
  • Mid-month, a pair of cold fronts brought light to moderate falls mostly to southern parts of the state.
  • A low pressure trough and a cold front moved across Victoria on the 25th and 26th, bringing widespread rainfall; the highest daily totals were recorded in the state's north-east, due to severe thunderstorms which produced heavy falls.
  • Another cold front and a low pressure trough which brought tropical moisture, crossed Victoria on 29th; daily rainfall totals exceeded 50 mm at many sites in central and north-east Victoria.
  • Many sites had their highest January daily rainfall on record on the 30th, including Lake Eildon and Highlands, which both have more than 100 years of observations.
  • Many sites had their highest total January rainfall on record, or their highest total January rainfall for at least two decades, including Cape Otway Lighthouse where rainfall observations started in 1861.

Close to average daytime temperatures

  • After a mild first few days, a cold front brought cool temperatures to most of the state on the 4th and 5th; this was followed by a period of warm temperatures, and from the 9th a heatwave started to develop across Victoria; daytime temperatures peaked on the 10th and 11th, and were 8 to 10 degrees above average across the state.
  • A cold front on the 15th brought mild daytime temperatures to Victoria, but they started again to gradually increased from the 21st, culminating in a heatwave on the 24th and 25th, when many sites across the state recorded daytime temperatures in the high-30s or low-40s .
  • Cool changes that followed brought milder weather to Victoria for the final days of January.
  • The highest daytime temperature recorded in Victoria this January was 43.9 °C at Ouyen Post Office and Walpeup Research on the 24th, while the state's warmest night-time temperature was recorded during the same event, and saw 28.3 °C at Walpeup Research on the 25th.
  • Despite some hot days, the state-wide mean maximum temperature was only 0.28 °'C above average, the coolest since 2015.
  • Warnambool had its coldest January day on record.
  • Night-time temperatures were above average in parts of the southern and eastern Victoria.
  • State-wide, mean minimum temperature was 0.95 °C above average.

Thunderstorms, flash flooding and snow

  • A thunderstorm crossed Warrnambool around 2pm on the 2nd; rainfall rates reached a one-in-50-year intensity with 30 mm falling in 12 minutes. The State Emergency Service received in 24 hours to 9 am on the 3rd around 100 calls for help from Warnambool area, mostly for flash flooding.
  • On the 3rd, a Cumberland River Holiday Park near Lorne was flooded due to heavy rainfall in the area; the observing site at Lorne recorded rainfall total of 119.0 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 4th.
  • A cold front tracked over south-east Australia on the 15th, and produced a few centimetres of snow at Mount Buller in north-east Victoria.
  • Heavy rain on the 29th resulted in flash flooding in parts of Victoria, including Melbourne.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in January 2021
Hottest day 43.9 °C at Ouyen (Post Office) on the 24th
43.9 °C at Walpeup Research on the 24th
Warmest days on average 32.6 °C at Mildura Airport
32.6 °C at Ouyen (Post Office)
Coolest days on average 15.8 °C at Mount Hotham
Coldest day 4.4 °C at Mount Buller on the 16th
Coldest night -2.6 °C at Mount Hotham on the 16th
Coolest nights on average 7.8 °C at Mount Baw Baw
7.8 °C at Mount Hotham
Warmest nights on average 16.4 °C at Gabo Island Lighthouse
16.4 °C at Mildura Airport
Warmest night 28.3 °C at Walpeup Research on the 25th
Warmest on average overall 24.5 °C at Mildura Airport
Coolest on average overall 11.8 °C at Mount Hotham
Wettest overall 388.8 mm at Haines Junction (Mount Sabine)
Wettest day 194.4 mm at Haines Junction (Mount Sabine) on the 4th
Strongest wind gust 113 km/h at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse on the 16th

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 January daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Lake Eildon 62.0 on the 30th 61.0 on the 31st in 1973 130
Highlands (Glentannar) 85.4 on the 30th 82.0 on the 2nd in 2010 106
High Camp (Lannermoor) 65.8 on the 30th 57.9 on the 2nd in 1970 52
Greenvale Reservoir 62.4 on the 30th 49.6 on the 15th in 1977 47
Coldstream 45.0 on the 30th 27.6 on the 18th in 2010 27
Hunters Hill 104.0 on the 30th 49.8 on the 20th in 2008 27
Acheron River @ Taggerty 73.2 on the 30th 66.8 on the 20th in 2008 25
Eildon Fire Tower 57.4 on the 30th 51.8 on the 2nd in 2010 25
Lima East (Charnwood) 135.2 on the 30th 69.6 on the 15th in 2011 24
Balook 96.4 on the 5th 30.2 on the 23rd in 2020 22
Viewbank 52.4 on the 30th 43.0 on the 30th in 2018 22
Euroa (Castle Ck at Telford Bridge) 64.6 on the 30th 60.8 on the 20th in 2008 21
Gooram (Hillside) 74.2 on the 30th 72.0 on the 20th in 2008 21
Holland Ck at Wrightley 66.0 on the 30th 62.0 on the 1st in 2003 21
Kelvin View (Waterhouse Reservoir) 76.4 on the 30th 54.8 on the 1st in 2003 21
Kithbrook (Balquhain) 105.2 on the 30th 45.6 on the 20th in 2008 21
Merton (Enderlee) 67.6 on the 30th 47.8 on the 20th in 2008 21
Seven Creeks at D/S Polly McQuinns Weir 62.2 on the 30th 56.4 on the 20th in 2008 21
Seven Creeks at Strathbogie 83.2 on the 30th 56.0 on the 20th in 2008 21
Sheans Creek (Heronslea) 98.0 on the 30th 45.8 on the 1st in 2003 21
Too Rour (Moroko Park) 144.4 on the 30th 53.0 on the 5th in 2016 21
Boho (Honeysuckle Ck U/S Violet Town) 99.5 on the 30th 58.0 on the 5th in 2016 20
Haines Junction (Mount Sabine) 194.4 on the 4th 50.4 on the 14th in 2011 20
Lorne (Mount Cowley) 119.0 on the 4th 49.6 on the 14th in 2015 20
Myrrhee (Boggy Ck at Angleside) 77.2 on the 30th 45.8 on the 24th in 2014 20



Record highest January total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Cape Otway Lighthouse 135.2 133.1 in 1946 158 44.3
Avoca 137.8 99.3 in 1928 60 25.1
Melbourne Airport 107.6 101.6 in 1991 51 42.5
Greenvale Reservoir 114.2 97.4 in 2011 47 44.9
Upper Plenty 115.6 115.4 in 2011 36 51.7
Coldstream 134.2 118.0 in 2020 27 48.9
Falls Creek 256.8 219.0 in 1991 26 116.5
Warrnambool Airport NDB 119.2 110.6 in 2007 23 36.7
Balook 210.4 131.8 in 2020 22 75.2
Euroa (Castle Ck at Telford Bridge) 106.8 81.0 in 2008 21 42.6
Gooram (Hillside) 135.6 99.6 in 2011 21 46.7
Kelvin View (Waterhouse Reservoir) 128.2 113.8 in 2011 21 42.2
Kithbrook (Balquhain) 170.8 124.6 in 2011 21 49.9
Seven Creeks at Strathbogie 134.4 132.4 in 2015 21 53.8
Sheans Creek (Heronslea) 140.2 104.4 in 2011 21 39.7
Too Rour (Moroko Park) 178.8 129.2 in 2016 21 48.8
Haines Junction (Mount Sabine) 388.8 161.0 in 2011 20 80.9
Lorne (Mount Cowley) 248.4 122.8 in 2007 20 55.3

Highest January total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
January
Mitcham 127.6 212.3 in 1963 54.7
Bullengarook East 131.6 167.8 in 1970* 50.7
Mount Best (Upper Toora) 141.0 147.4 in 1980 65.1
Yan Yean 88.6 103.8 in 1988 44.6
Nullawarre 101.8 180.4 in 1991 41.5
Penshurst (Post Office) 107.2 125.0 in 1991* 36.0
Meredith (Darra) 131.8 135.2 in 1993 42.4
Rosebud (Country Club) 101.8 135.8 in 1993 41.5
Euroa 99.0 119.6 in 1991* 39.1
Madalya 180.8 189.4 in 1991* 75.0
Hunters Hill 140.2 165.4 in 1995 67.9
Preston Reservoir 97.8 147.4 in 1994* 47.9
Strathbogie 141.2 165.2 in 1995 48.9
Mount Hotham 193.2 197.8 in 1995* 105.6
Cressy 167.0 168.8 in 1991* 34.5
Woodend 92.6 105.0 in 1996* 43.1
Mount Baw Baw 198.0 201.2 in 2000* 96.5

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




Record lowest January daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Warrnambool Airport NDB 15.7 on the 5th 16.0 on the 1st in 2003 23 24.7



Summary statistics for January 2021
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2021
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2021
Mean for
January
2021
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2021
Total for
January
2021
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2021
Fraction of
January
average
North Mallee (district 76)
Mildura Airport 32.6 +0.1 43.3 24th 16.4 -0.4 9.3 16th 45.0 22.2 high 203%
Ouyen (Post Office) 32.6 +0.1 43.9 24th 15.8 +0.2 8.9 16th 21.2 20.9 average 101%
Walpeup Research 32.5 +0.5 43.9 24th 15.2 -0.2 7.5 16th 42.0 22.3 high 188%
South Mallee (district 77)
Hopetoun Airport 32.0 -1.3 43.8 24th 14.5 -1.0 6.9 15th 24.4 29.5 average 83%
Swan Hill Aerodrome 32.0 -1.4 41.9 25th 15.7 -0.5 9.3 20th 9.8 23.9 average 41%
North Wimmera (district 78)
Kellalac (Warracknabeal Airport) 31.2   42.7 24th 13.9   8.0 15th 63.4
Nhill Aerodrome 30.4 -1.0 42.5 24th 13.9 0.0 6.6 20th 51.6 28.1 high 184%
South Wimmera (district 79)
Edenhope Airport 28.4 -1.3 41.6 24th 13.1 0.0 8.0 20th 59.0 31.9 high 185%
Grampians (Mount William) 19.1 -2.3 31.4 24th 8.9 -1.4 2.3 27th 85.8 66.3 average 129%
Horsham Aerodrome 30.4 -0.8 42.3 24th 12.3 -0.3 5.8 20th 37.0 29.7 average 125%
Kanagulk 28.7 -1.3 41.5 24th 12.1 -0.7 6.6 20th 43.8 35.4 high 124%
Longerenong 30.5 +0.4 42.3 24th 13.2 +0.2 7.1 14th 28.6 24.7 high 116%
Pyrenees (Ben Nevis) 22.7 -2.8 34.0 24th 11.2 -1.3 4.5 27th 113.8 47.0 high 242%
Lower North (district 80)
Charlton 30.8 -1.9 41.2 24th 14.8 -0.7 9.0 20th 71.2 30.4 high 234%
Echuca Aerodrome 31.1 +0.1 40.8 25th 14.9 -0.3 8.5 20th 25.4 27.7 average 92%
Kerang 31.6 -0.1 41.4 25th 15.8 +0.6 9.7 20th 23.2 23.6 average 98%
Kyabram 30.9 +0.4 41.8 25th 14.8 +0.2 8.3 16th 61.2 34.7 high 176%
Upper North (district 81)
Bendigo Airport 29.3 -0.9 40.0 25th 13.9 -0.4 8.5 16th 71.2 35.0 v high 203%
Shepparton Airport 31.3 -0.8 42.1 25th 15.2 -0.2 9.8 16th 43.0 28.8 high 149%
Tatura Inst Sustainable Ag 29.4 -0.4 40.4 25th 14.9 +0.6 9.5 20th 50.6 33.7 high 150%
Yarrawonga 32.4 -0.5 42.3 25th 15.5 -0.5 9.1 16th 45.8 34.5 high 133%
Lower Northeast (district 82)
Benalla Airport     40.3 25th 15.5 -0.4 10.0 16th 94.7 42.1 v high 225%
Dartmouth Reservoir 28.5 -1.0 37.4 24th 14.1 +0.1 5.0 16th 92.6 62.7 high 148%
Hunters Hill 25.3 -0.9 33.8 24th 14.0 -0.6 3.2 16th 140.2 67.9 v high 206%
Rutherglen Research 32.2 +0.7 41.0 25th 13.2 -0.6 5.1 16th 87.0 36.8 v high 236%
Strathbogie 27.1 -0.4 37.3 25th 11.4 -0.3 6.0 20th 141.2 48.9 v high 289%
Wangaratta Aero 31.9 -0.3 41.4 25th 13.8 -0.5 7.1 20th 51.0 42.9 average 119%
Upper Northeast (district 83)
Falls Creek 16.6 -1.3 23.7 24th 8.5 -0.4 -2.4 16th 256.8 116.5 highest 220%
Mount Buller 17.0 -0.6 24.9 25th 8.9 -0.1 -1.7 16th 124.4 79.4 high 157%
Mount Hotham 15.8 -0.8 23.6 24th 7.8 -0.4 -2.6 16th 193.2 105.6 v high 183%
Omeo 25.9 -1.7 36.3 24th 10.8 -0.6 3.5 20th 87.8 54.3 high 162%
East Gippsland (district 84)
Combienbar AWS 23.6 -2.0 37.9 25th 13.5 -0.3 6.8 16th 70.4 70.4 average 100%
Gabo Island Lighthouse 21.8 +0.5 27.0 25th 16.4 +0.6 12.0 20th 116.2 69.6 high 167%
Gelantipy 23.0 -1.1 35.5 25th 11.3 -0.5 4.3 20th 97.2 62.6 high 155%
Lakes Entrance (Eastern Beach Road) 23.5 -1.1 41.9 25th 14.5 -0.6 7.9 20th 59.0 42.7 average 138%
Mallacoota 23.7 -0.6 39.6 25th 15.9 +0.1 10.8 20th 94.0 63.9 high 147%
Mount Nowa Nowa 23.4 -1.6 39.8 25th 14.0 -0.4 8.2 16th 91.6 61.1 high 150%
Orbost 24.1 -2.3 36.4 11th 14.1 -0.8 7.4 20th 97.2 46.6 v high 209%
West Gippsland (district 85)
Bairnsdale Airport 24.6 -1.4 41.4 25th 13.5 +0.5 7.0 20th 50.4 49.7 average 101%
Corner Inlet (Yanakie) 22.8   39.2 25th 13.8   5.5 20th 69.2
East Sale 25.5 -0.1 41.4 25th 13.6 +0.7 6.9 20th 44.6 44.9 average 99%
East Sale Airport 25.9   42.1 25th 13.7   7.3 20th 42.2
Morwell (Latrobe Valley Airport) 26.1 -0.6 40.5 25th 13.1 +0.2 3.9 20th 82.8 48.7 v high 170%
Mount Baw Baw 16.3 -1.3 25.3 24th 7.8 -0.9 -0.1 16th 198.0 96.5 v high 205%
Mount Moornapa 24.3 -1.4 39.7 25th 12.9 -0.5 6.7 16th 101.8 70.7 high 144%
Pound Creek 23.8 -1.5 37.1 25th 13.0 +0.1 4.2 21st 69.2 39.8 high 174%
Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse 20.9 +0.5 37.1 25th 15.3 +1.2 11.2 16th 100.4 51.9 v high 193%
Yarram Airport 24.2 -1.8 36.7 11th 12.8 -0.2 3.9 20th 137.4 46.7 v high 294%
East Central (district 86)
Cerberus 23.9 -0.7 37.3 25th 13.8 -0.1 6.9 21st 77.0 40.0 high 193%
Coldstream 26.8 -1.3 39.2 25th 12.6 +0.6 4.3 20th 134.2 48.9 highest 274%
Essendon Airport 26.1 -0.5 40.7 25th 14.6 +0.9 10.3 20th 78.8 43.7 high 180%
Ferny Creek 22.2   34.3 25th 12.3   6.6 16th 197.2 81.6 v high 242%
Frankston (Ballam Park) 25.0   38.3 25th 14.2   8.8 20th 76.2
Melbourne (Olympic Park) 25.2   39.2 25th 15.4   10.3 20th 88.0
Melbourne Airport 26.1 -0.5 40.5 25th 13.7 -0.2 8.8 15th 107.6 42.5 highest 253%
Moorabbin Airport 25.4 -0.5 40.6 25th 14.7 +0.4 8.8 20th 73.0 45.3 high 161%
Rhyll 23.5 -0.5 34.8 25th 15.7 +0.1 12.9 15th 75.2 39.0 high 193%
Scoresby Research Institute 26.3 -0.1 39.9 25th 13.7 +0.3 6.3 20th 95.4 53.8 high 177%
Viewbank 27.0 -1.1 40.8 25th 14.3 -0.3 8.4 20th 103.2 45.7 high 226%
West Central (district 87)
Avalon Airport 24.9 -1.7 38.6 25th 13.9 -0.3 8.7 15th 95.0 33.9 v high 280%
Breakwater (Geelong Racecourse) 24.1   37.1 11th 14.0   10.0 15th 85.0 42.1 v high 202%
Laverton RAAF 25.1 -0.7 41.5 25th 14.6 +0.7 9.4 15th 91.0 40.7 v high 224%
Sheoaks 25.1 -1.0 37.3 24th 12.5 +0.1 7.2 21st 99.6 36.8 v high 271%
North Central (district 88)
Castlemaine Prison 26.8 -1.5 37.5 25th 13.8 +0.6 6.5 17th 94.6 41.1 v high 230%
Eildon Fire Tower 25.9 -1.6 36.2 25th 13.1 -0.5 5.3 16th 96.0 44.4 high 216%
Lake Eildon 28.5 -0.6 37.8 25th 13.3 +0.5 6.1 20th 107.6 47.8 v high 225%
Mangalore Airport 29.6 -0.3 40.7 25th 14.1 -0.2 5.5 16th 90.6 41.5 v high 218%
Maryborough 28.0 -0.9 38.9 24th 13.6 +0.6 7.2 15th 99.8 31.6 v high 316%
Puckapunyal Lyon Hill (Defence) 28.8   40.2 25th 14.7   8.7 16th 78.0
Puckapunyal West (Defence) 28.0   39.4 25th 13.8   6.8 16th 0.8
Redesdale 29.5 -0.3 39.3 24th 12.7 -0.5 6.1 16th 64.2 34.1 high 188%
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 24.0 -1.3 36.8 25th 12.0 -0.4 7.3 16th 108.2 49.8 high 217%
Western Plains (district 89)
Ararat Prison 27.1 -0.1 38.8 24th 12.0 +0.8 6.4 15th 92.3 39.6 v high 233%
Ballarat Aerodrome 24.7 -0.5 36.5 25th 11.5 +0.5 4.6 13th 117.8 40.1 v high 294%
Westmere 26.4 -2.2 38.6 24th 11.8 +0.6 4.9 20th 116.4 44.5 high 262%
West Coast (district 90)
Aireys Inlet 21.9 -1.3 37.5 11th 14.0 -0.1 9.7 15th 84.8 39.1 high 217%
Cape Nelson Lighthouse 20.4 -1.1 37.7 11th 14.6 -0.1 11.3 16th 39.4 32.4 high 122%
Cape Otway Lighthouse 20.1 -1.3 36.5 11th 14.2 +0.8 10.4 16th 135.2 44.3 highest 305%
Casterton 26.4 -1.8 40.5 24th 12.0 -0.1 5.0 17th 23.2 32.0 average 73%
Colac (Mount Gellibrand) 24.5 -1.6 36.1 24th 12.4 -0.3 7.7 15th 68.8 34.3 v high 201%
Dartmoor 25.4 -1.6 42.3 24th 12.3 0.0 6.1 20th 60.4 35.9 high 168%
Hamilton Airport 26.1 -0.6 39.9 24th 11.6 +0.4 6.3 20th 71.2 33.6 high 212%
Mortlake Racecourse 25.3 -1.0 40.0 24th 11.4 +0.5 3.4 20th 93.8 35.1 v high 267%
Port Fairy AWS 21.8 -0.9 39.5 24th 14.1 0.0 10.6 9th 32.0 30.3 average 106%
Portland (Cashmore Airport) 21.7 -0.4 38.9 24th 13.0 +0.7 8.4 31st 46.0 36.1 high 127%
Warrnambool Airport NDB 22.8 -1.9 38.6 24th 12.1 +0.3 6.3 21st 119.2 36.7 highest 325%

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 9 am on Monday 1 February 2021. 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

Climate