Forecasters predict warm and sunny spring

But rain crucial for Lake Colac’s future.

COLAC and district lake and weather watchers will pray for rain this spring on the back of a mild and dry August.

WARM: Forecasters have predicted Colac and district’s weather to remain dry and mild.

But their hopes might be in vain as weather forecasters predict further sunshine and more warm weather to come.

Colac and district weather buffs recorded below-average rain for the final month of winter and maximum temperatures were almost a degree higher than usual.

Colac’s average maximum temperature was 12.8 degrees Celsius, which was 0.7 more than normal.

The average minimum temperature was six degrees Celsius – 0.4 more than normal.

Dorset Farm at Weeaproinah received 124.6 millimetres of rain, 450 millimetres less than the same time last year.

The dry month brings the farm’s yearly total to 1431.4 millimetres, 114 millimetres less than last year but more than 100 millimetres above the 62-year average.

Colac rain watcher Evan Robb said rain had been sporadic during August, including an eight-day period with no rain.

“There was a bit at the start of the month, then there was a break then nearly an inch in the middle of the month and then there was a real dry spell,” he said.

Meteorologist Harvey Stern said he expected the dry and warm trend to continue into spring.

“It will be warmer than usual and drier than usual. Maybe a degree or two above normal and the rainfall will be on the dry side,” he said.

Lake Colac Committee of Management member John Martin said the next two months could determine the future of Lake Colac.

“If we have some good rains it will be good for everyone and if we don’t we’ll just have to see until the end of October comes,” Mr Martin said.

“The next two months will tell what will happen. Once we hit summer on an average day of 30 degrees with 15-per-cent humidity and light to moderate winds you will get an average evaporation rate on that lake of 20 to 30ml per day,” he said.

Colac’s Graham Milner of 88 Golden Eels said Lake Colac was “looking good”, but he hoped for enough rain throughout spring to keep up with the lake’s evaporation.

He said he last measured the lake’s levels at 1.43 metres three months ago, but said the levels “could have come up nearly a foot, 20 to 30 centimetres going by the water on the boat ramp”.

“If we can get enough just to keep up with the evaporation the lake will be looking good for next year,” he said.

“And if we can just get our normal rain for the next two or three years things are looking really good.”

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