Showers will bring some respite to gardens in Melbourne today after the driest January in four years.
Melbourne has only recorded 8mm of rain this month, 40mm below average and placing it in the top 10% of driest January's on record. This is also the lowest January rain since 2009, when just 0.4mm was recorded in the rain gauge. The driest January in Melbourne occurred in 1932, when 0.3mm fell.
Nearby, Coldstream had the driest January in at least 19 years with just 3.6mm across three days of rain.
Southern parts of Australia saw a drier than usual atmosphere during January. A late start to the monsoon season also saw little contribution of tropical moisture into the region.
Despite the dry month, Melbourne's water storage is currently at 78.2 percent capacity after healthy contributions during 2012. This is the highest level for January in at least 15 years.
In contrast to the rest of January, the city will see some showers today with the passage of a cold front. Falls of 5-10mm are likely to dampen parched gardens across the city by tonight. Showers will ease tonight before becoming scattered and light across the weekend.
Looking ahead, rainfall is expected to return closer to average for the rest of summer and into early autumn.
© Weatherzone 2013
18:14 EDT New Zealand's weather bureau has issued strong wind and gale force wind warnings as ex-tropical cyclone Lusi moves over the North Island.