Melbourne's recent wet spell has boosted rainfall this winter to 130mm, making it the wettest start to the season in 16 years, according to weatherzone.com.au.
Since last Thursday 29mm has fallen in the city, which spoiled part of the weekend for many people but provided gardens with a good drink and dams with a top-up. It is now the wettest July in five years with 59mm so far.
The 130mm so far this season is the highest for the first two months of winter since 1996, when 144mm fell. The total winter rainfall that year was 197mm.
The 130mm is also 60mm more than during the first two months of winter last year and 33mm more than the June-July average.
Other places in Victoria which have had a wetter-than-average season so far are Mallacoota in East Gippsland, Longerenong in the Wimmera and Portland and Ararat in the South West. The story hasn't been so good in Walpeup in the Mallee and in Nagambie in the Northern Country, where it's been drier than normal.
"Frequent cold fronts and higher-than-normal moisture in the air is to blame for Melbourne and southern Victoria's wetter-than-normal season so far," Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said.
The fronts and extra moisture have led to some fairly wet days. There have been four days which have gained 10mm or more, the highest number of days in June-July since 1991. Residents have been forced to seek shelter more often this season. Typically in the first two months of winter there are only two days this wet.
The wetter-than-normal start to winter followed a wetter-than-normal autumn, which has helped bump Melbourne's main water storage to its highest level in 15 years. The water catchment is at about 73% of capacity, compared to 59% at the same time last year.
This extra rain and moisture has led to nights being warmer than normal. The overnight low has averaged 7.8 degrees, 1.4 degrees above the long-term June-July norm and the warmest start to winter in three years. Days have been closer to normal, averaging a maximum of 14.7 degrees, compared to the long-term norm of 13.8.
Looking ahead to August in Melbourne and much of Victoria, overnight and daytime temperatures look like ending up near average and rainfall should turn out near-or-below average.
© Weatherzone 2012
17:01 EST Sydney's offshore Sea Surface Temperatures (SST's) have remained above 21 degrees for the last four days.