RELATED: Mercury to plummet to -4 degrees
With one day left of the month, Bendigo and parts of central Victoria are headed for their driest June on record.
Just 2.2mm of rain has fallen in Bendigo in the first 28 days of June, compared to an average rainfall of just below 60mm for the month.
The current record for the driest June in Bendigo was back in 1876 when just 6.6mm fell at the Bendigo prison.
Bureau of Meteorology head of climate predictions Dr Andrew Watkins said Bendigo would quite likely record its driest June since records began in 1862.
“Over June it has been very dry indeed,” he said. “It’s almost certain it will be Victoria’s driest June on record.”
Seven other areas in Victoria are looking to break rainfall records, with Echuca, Woodend, Maryborough, Kerang, Ballarat, Wodonga and Rutherglen all headed for their driest June.
Dr Watkins said a month of consistently cool nights, some frost and lots of fog had been driven by high pressure systems.
He said unfortunately long-term predictions suggested it would remain that way, with a warmer than usual July, but cool nights and more fog on the way.
Temperatures as low as -4 degrees will see in the weekend, with Redesdale forecast to be the coldest place in the region on Saturday.
Bendigo, Castlemaine and Maryborough are headed for a low of -2 degrees and the mercury is expected to dip to -3 in Echuca and Kyneton.
Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke said farmers’ confidence in the season had disappeared along with the rain.
“We had a reasonably wet end of autumn with some decent showers but it’s just dried up since then,” he said.
A combination of a dry June and a high number of frosts has meant crop growth has stopped and the ground has dried out.
Mr Jochinke said prices had improved dramatically but the potential for farmers to grow those crops had reduced.
“Mentally on the farmers it’s a real kick in the guts after a promising season last year to be faced with these conditions,” he said.
“What everyone is desperate for is a good rain.
“We don’t ask for much just timing and the right amount.”