Bendigo rainfall totals for February as low as those in the record books from 1997

Bendigo could be on track to break a decades-old record with a measly 0.2 millimetres of rain falling so far this month.

That is the same amount of rain that fell throughout February in 1997 – the lowest recorded since measurements began at Bendigo Airport in 1992.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster for Victoria Dean Stewart said the next seven days would remain dry, through there was a slight chance of showers on, or around, Wednesday.

“They are more likely to fall over eastern Victoria but there is a chance by the middle of the week of Bendigo picking up a shower,” he said.

“Of course, that’s still a fair way away.”

Despite dry conditions, the BOM had predicted a wetter than average period from February to April for western and southern Australia.

The most recent climate outlook was issued on 25 January. Mr Stewart said an updated outlook was due out on Thursday.

February’s low rainfall totals came after record breaking January heat

Bendigo saw the most amount of days above 35 degrees, the highest ever average January daily maximum temperature (33.5 degrees) and a slew of other records broken.

Last week Victoria’s emergency management commissioner Craig Lapsley used a visit to Bendigo to urge people to maintain their focus on fire risks.

“Our fire services certainly are. We need to remind the central Victorian community how serious February can be, and will be,” he said at the time.

Historically, February fires have been among the most devastating in Victoria.

Both the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires and the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires occurred in February.