Winter weather wrap: Geraldton records wettest winter since 1996 according to the Bureau of Meteorology

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
Augustus Street in Geraldton flooded from rain.
Camera IconAugustus Street in Geraldton flooded from rain. Credit: Jessica Moroney/Geraldton Guardi/RegionalHUB

Winter is officially over and if it seemed an unusually wet one, you are right — in fact, Geraldton had its wettest winter in 26 years.

The Bureau of Meteorology says more rain fell this winter than any other since 1996.

Recapping the winter that was, Geraldton Airport copped a total downpour this winter of 315.6mm — 90.4mm in June, 88mm in July and 137.2mm in August.

In winter 2022, Geraldton had more than 60mm of rain above the long-term winter average of 254.7mm.

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The record for Geraldton’s wettest winter was 356.2mm in 1996. The total rainfall recorded locally last winter was 211.8mm.

More than half of the August deluge came in one day — on August 16, which set a new record for the wettest August day ever in Geraldton — when 61.6mm fell in the airport’s gauge.

The previous August record for Geraldton Airport was 59mm on August 19, 1979. However, the August daily rainfall record at the previous town of Geraldton station was 92.7mm on August 6, 1909.

This August, flash flooding closed some roads in and around Geraldton and more than 40 weather stations in the Mid West broke rain fall records between August 14 and August 18.

Geraldton is no stranger to strong wind gusts, but even the howling wind on Monday, August 1 was strong enough to cause some concern.

A catamaran was towed by the Mid West Ports Authority with people on board during massive swells and wind gusts of almost 90km/h while Geraldton was dealt with a “once-in-a-year” storm around the State.

Duty forecaster Catherine Schelfhout said Geraldton had a dry start to winter, but heading into June and July the city saw some cold fronts that produced much more rain.

“There was reasonable rainfall for June, but July was the significant month for rainfall,” she said.

“Geraldton’s wettest day was a record for Geraldton Airport — for August at least — it didn’t break the wettest day ever but it was pretty significant.

“We had a lot of cold fronts, flooding and rivers running high.”

The hottest day in winter this year was Wednesday, June 8 with a top of 26.8C. The average maximum temperature was 19.8c.

The coldest day in Geraldton this winter was Monday, July 4 dropping to a low of 2.9C. July was the coldest month this winter with an average of 10.5C.

The lowest minimum temperature recorded in Geraldton was 0.9C on June 19, 1908 at the old Geraldton town station.

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