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April 2019 Climate Summary

April experienced normal to above normal rainfall in the eastern side of the province, while the western parts of the province had to be contented with below normal conditions, especially at the start of its rainy season.  The overall level of the state dams in the province remained reasonably stable at more than twice the levels of last year, while the status quo regarding veld / crop conditions was maintained.  Current forecasts reveal some likelihood for rains in the following months in the southern parts of the province.

With winter rains normally commencing from April onwards in the westerly parts of the province, disturbingly below normal rains occurred in these areas (slide 1).  The eastern side of the province received between normal to above normal rains.  Rainfall statistics (slide 2) in general indicated that the Western Cape experienced less rain during April  compared to March, taking into account the high rains that were recorded in the Overberg during March.  The highest rainfall of 47mm during April was recorded in the Mossel Bay area (slide 2).  Conversely, weather stations at Oudtshoorn and Vredendal received no rain during April, followed by places receiving < 10mm, which includes Ashton, Kliprand, Clanwilliam, Klawer, Piketberg, Koue Bokkeveld (Ceres), Hopefield, Worcester, Rawsonville, Robertson and Ashton.  Fortunately the eastern side of the Central Karoo as well as parts of the Little Karoo featured improvement in rainfall.

Monthly mean temperatures (Celsius) averaged reasonably normal for April, with the overall monthly Tmax averaging 25.5 degrees and Tmin at 11.5 degrees.  The highest monthly Tmax was recorded at Sandveld (29.7 degrees), and the lowest Tmin at Murraysburg (8 degrees).  Extreme monthly anomalies were recorded at Oudtshoorn (Tmax of +2.1 degrees) and Clanwilliam (Tmin of -1.4 degrees)..

slide 1


slide 2


The overall provincial dam level of 35% on 29th April indicates a drop of two percentage points from the previous month, though remaining more than twice that of last year’s level.

Concerning current veld growth and crop production conditions in various areas of the province (slide 3), the effect of the continuing drought (expressed by the extensive red shading) in the Karoo regions and northern parts of the West Coast remain a major concern.  Conditions in the south western parts, i.e. the cereal crop production areas, still seem reasonable.

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slide 3


slide 4


The latest seasonal forecasts for rain (depicted by slides 4 to 6 covering May to September) indicate that the south western to southern coastal areas could benefit from above normal rainfall (blue shading) during the following months.  Conversely the upper (northern) areas of the province could be subjected to below normal rainfall conditions (orange / red). 

The forecast for maximum temperatures (presented by slides 7 to 9 covering May to September) show dominantly above normal maximum temperatures (orange / red).  Note that skill levels, depicted by adjoining ROC maps, do unfortunately not support the relevant predictions.  

slide 5


Slide 6


slide 7


Slide 8


slide 9


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Agri-Oulook March 2019

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