Victoria's big wet the biggest ever

THE torrential rain that inundated dozens of towns in the region last month smashed rainfall records, some more than a century old.As the clean-up continues following the floods, the remnants of two tropical cyclones will dump about 50mm of rain north of the Great Dividing Range by Saturday.Maryborough headed a list of towns that saw their highest January monthly and daily rainfall since weather records began there in 1868.On January 14, Maryborough had 90.4mm of rain, beating the record of 83.8 set in 1961, while its January rainfall was 240.7mm, smashing the previous highest of 132.5 set in 1928.Longstanding monthly rainfall records were shattered at Kyneton and Boort.Kyneton, which had a record daily downpour of 109.9mm following a severe thunderstorm on January 13, had 284.2mm at the end of the month – the highest since records there began in 1969, and more than doubling the previous high of 131.4mm in 1973.Boort had 202.8mm in January, the highest monthly total since records began in 1898, and double the old record of 99.6mm in 1974.At St Arnaud, the town recorded 225.8mm of rain in January, eclipsing the old record of 146.9mm in 1897.Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Michael Efron said the records tumbled with unprecedented falls of between 200mm and 300mm in mid-January.“Some records were 30 to 40 years old but many were over 100 years old,” he said.“That shows you how significant that rain even was. “Some places have had 40, 50, 60 per cent of the annual rainfall in two or three days, and many places in the Mallee, Wimmera, North Central and Northern Country regions have had their highest January rainfall ever.Mr Efron said the weather in Victoria was likely to turn humid and thundery today as the remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Anthony and Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi are drawn south.Showers and storms are expected from today, with a rain band expected to move across the state on Saturday.Up to 50mm of rain is expected in Bendigo between today and Saturday, but thunderstorms could deliver higher falls in some areas.