Supervisors: Dr Linden Ashcroft (, Dr Acacia Pepler (

In July 1891, Melbourne experienced one of its worst floods on record. The city received its average monthly rainfall in just two days, and strong winds prevented the rising river waters from leaving the mouth of the Yarra, leading to extensive flooding and damage and many deaths.

The weather systems that caused these devastating floods were reported as ‘phenomenal’ and included a strange low-pressure system that moved from east to west across the State, rather than the standard west to east.

But what was this wayward weather system? How often do lows from our east coast drift westward, and what are their impacts in Victoria? How many of our most significant flooding events are associated with a pattern like this? And are these systems changing over time?

In this project, you will use gridded and observational data sources to answer these questions. This is the right project for you if:

  • You have (or want to learn) programming skills in Python or R
  • Have (or want) experience with gridded or observational weather data
  • Want to learn more about Victorian meteorology and climatology
  • Want to understand how climate change may be affecting our weather patterns.

To apply: the Undergraduate Scholarship application form can be found here