Central Ranges Weather discussion The Australian Sky and Weather Swallow

Specially presented weather discussion on the central ranges presented by Australian Sky & Weather which will include a prognosis on expected weather and a discussion of past weather.


Trentham Online Weather Station (700m ASL)

Groves St (700m ASL)



Greetings all Central Ranges weather lovers, Australian Sky and Weather is back in Australia. AUSSKY will provide our weather outlook for the Central Ranges Victoria untill the end of January 2015. Our weather outlooks are composed from traditional forecasting methods combined with our "very different" climate we experience here in the central ranges. Our forecasts do not supersede the official forecasts issued by the Government Bureau of Meteorology ,Melbourne. Our forecasts are made on an amateur basis  and Australian Sky and Weather takes no responsibility or liability for weather forecasts either correct or incorrect......AUSSKY welcomes any comments and contributions for improvements to our specialised weather outlooks..  

18th July - 27th July 2014

OVERVIEW:  After a cold and snowy Thursday and a bitter cold southwest wind, the cold phase will continue through Friday (18 July) but with more sunshine especially the northern slopes. A strong slow moving high pressure will move closer to Victoria over the next several days. The next rain bearing weather system of significance appears to approach next Wed/Thurs followed by a showery phase from Thursday 24 July to Sunday 27th July.

Friday 18th July: Very cold today with a gusty southwest wind, cloudy at times with a few showers/drizzle through the day, longer sunny spells over the northern slopes. Max temps 5C to 7C

Friday night: Very cold with fresh south/southwest winds, patchy drizzle mainly southern slopes and ridges. Patchy frost about the northern slopes after midnight. Overnight lows -1C to 3C

Saturday 19th July: Early frost about the northern slopes, patchy drizzle near the southern slopes and ridges, remaining cold with a southerly wind occasionally gusty near the ridges, sunny breaks in the afternoon mainly northern parts. Max temps 5C to 8C

Saturday night: Patchy drizzle about the higher parts and southern slopes, partly cloudy elsewhere, lighter south winds, patchy frost about the northern slopes overnight temps -1C to 3C

Sunday 20th July: Cold with light winds, areas of hill mist and patchy drizzle mainly higher ridges, patchy frost in the north early. A few sunny breaks mostly northern areas. Max temps 6C to 8C

Sunday night: Patchy mist over the higher ridges, light winds, partly cloudy, patchy frost after midnight. Overnight temps -1C to 3C

Monday 21st July: Early frost mainly northern areas, patchy mist. Light winds. Sunny periods especially northern areas. Max temps 7C to 9C

Monday night: Patchy overnight mist, frost after 2200hrs mainly northern parts, light winds. Overnight temps -2C to 1C

Tuesday 22nd July: Fine with cloudy areas at times, early frost mainly north of the ridges, light winds. Max temps 8C to 10C.

Tuesday night: Cold overnight frost and fog, light winds. Overnight temps -3C to 0C

Wednesday 23rd July: Cold morning with frost and mist light winds tending northerly, patchy cloud through the day. Increasing risk of showers later or into Thursday. Max temps 7C to 10C.

Wednesday night : Cloudy with patchy hill mist, risk of showers and drizzle. Overnight temps 4C to 5C

Thursday 24 July: Cloudy with showers and drizzle mainly northern slopes and higher areas, patchy hill fog at times, fresh occasionally gusty north winds. Max temps 6 C to 8C.

Thursday night: Areas of fog mainly higher areas, showers or drizzle at times, fresh and occasionally gusty north winds, overnight temps 4C to 5C

Friday 25th July: Cloudy and colder with showers, gusty northwest winds patchy mist over higher areas. Max temps 5C to 7C

Friday night: Cold and cloudy with showers or drizzle fresh and gusty west/southwest winds, patchy mist over higher areas. Overnight temps 2C to 3C

Saturday 26th July: Cold with occasional showers and drizzle, moderate occasionally gusty southwest or west , a few brighter periods mainly northern areas through the afternoon. Max temps 6C to 8C

Saturday night: Partly cloudy with a few showers or drizzle, northwest or west winds, patchy mist. Overnight temps 2C to 3C

Sunday 27th July: Areas of mist in the morning, northwest winds, patchy drizzle or showers a risk. Max temps 6C to 8C

Sunday night: Patchy mist and drizzle mainly higher areas, northwest winds. Overnight lows 3C to 4C

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Previous 7 day and current rainfall data for the Central Ranges and surrounding areas (courtesy Bureau of Meteorology)


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Climate of the Victorian Central Ranges

The Central Ranges area extends from Ballarat in the west to Kilmore in the east and from Kyneton in the north to Gisborne in the south generally incorporating the Central Ranges above 400m.

The area is normally referred to in the official forecasts as the North Central, however AUSSKY wishes to present a specialised experimental forecast for the areas previously outlined where climatic conditions can be significantly different from northern parts of the formal North Central region. During winter months, the Central Ranges are susceptible to frost, ice and snow, often mixed with fog, while in summer months, considerable variation can occur in temperature between the southern slopes and the northern slopes separated by the ridgeline.  Another significant feature of the region are the local phenomena of strong ridge winds, especially in summer, associated with south and southeasterly low level winds. In respect to elevation, a good deal of the Central Ranges are in excess of 600m, between Ballarat and Woodend, with the highest points in this area approaching 900m south of Trentham and Bullarto. Another region of significant height is found at Mt Macedon, where elevations exceed 950m with Camels Hump rising to 1013m.

RAINFALL: The entire region exhibits a bias to winter maximum associated with orographic forcing of troughs and fronts during that season.  Minimum amounts of rainfall occur in the summer months, particularly in January to March. Overall, rainfall amounts range from near 700mm on the western margins, to reach near 1300mm at Blue Mountain south of Trentham. East of the Trentham Rise, annual rainfall declines to reach near 850mm at Woodend and approaching 700mm at Kilmore. The Mt Macedon Ranges exert a local influence with the summit approaching 1000mm, and Mt Towrong approaching 1200mm annually.  To the north of the ridge, rainfall amounts decline rather rapidly, with 750mm average at Kyneton declining to 575mm at Redesdale only 30 or so km to the northeast. During wintertime there can be prolonged periods of fog and drizzle on and north of the main ridge with cloud rapidly breaking to the south. During the summer months, persistent south or southeasterly winds bring drizzle and fog to the southern slopes and ridgetops especially at night and early morning. In the summer period cloud rapidly breaks to the north of the ridge to reveal fine and clear weather.

SNOWFALLS: The entire region is susceptible to occasional light snowfalls in winter, mainly between the months of May and September. Most falls are generally light and rather insignificant, and are of a snowshower nature. Most snowfalls are associated with cold Southern Maritime or modified Polar airmasses.  Heavier falls are occasionally experienced usually every 2 - 5 years when the entire region may be covered to a depth of between 2 and 5cm. At Trentham (elevation 700m), a 40 year mean average occurrence is about 4 snow days per year, mainly occurring in July and August. At higher altitudes, snowfall occurrences increase rapidly above 900m. At Mt Macedon (1003m), snowfalls can be recorded on 15-20 days a year with snow lying occurring on 10-15 days a year.  It is estimated that 1 annual snow day occurs near 500m elevation.

FROST:The entire region is susceptible to severe frost, generally between the months of May and September. Light frosts have been recorded in all months. The period of minimum frost incidence occurs between January and March. Temperatures will approach -5C on several occasions each winter, but there can be significant variation over short distance in the severity of frost. Extreme minimums have been near -10C - Mt Macedon with -9C and Trentham - 7.5C.  A feature of the region in winter is the occasional appearance of Black Ice, mainly occurring at elevations above 500m. The occurrence of black ice can cause major traffic disruption across the region.

THUNDERSTORMS: A 40 year record taken at Trentham (24 hour), indicates a mean annual average there of 20 thunderdays. This is a reasonable representation of the Central Ranges.  Annual thunderday incidence is extremely variable from year to year. Severe thunderstorms with hail, strong winds occur annually, mainly between September and March. Tornadoes have been reported on rare occasions. Some of Australia's most severe tornadic activity has occurred on the northern slopes of the Central Ranges.

Thanks to The Bureau of Meteorology, SSEC Wisconsin and the CSIRO, for allowing use of the images and information.

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