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August 2016 Climate Summary

Most rains occurred in the south western side of the province (slide 1) while the north eastern side, being part of the Central Karoo, also received good rains.  Conversely poor rainfall (orange areas indicating equal to or less than 10mm of rain) appeared in the Matzikama area of the West Coast as well as the western parts of the Central Karoo. 

Comparing the month’s rainfall against the historical long term means (slide 2) indicated that above normal rainfall brought temporary relief to most parts of the Central Karoo.  The rest of the province experienced less than normal rainfall during August. However, areas affected by extremely below normal rains (i.e. less than half of the long term mean) included the Southern Cape and the northern parts of the West Coast, notably the Matzikama region.

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slide 1

Slide1

slide 2

Slide2

 

Slide 3 contains data from various weather stations which take into account total monthly rainfall, mean monthly maximum (Tmax) and minimum temperatures (Tmin) for August 2016 with the corresponding historical long term means.  The total monthly rainfall recorded at the various weather stations ranged between 10mm (Ashton) to 85mm (Rawsonville) resulting in an overall average of 32mm which amounts to 60% of the long term average of 56mm.  However, note that half of these weather stations recorded less than 28mm of rain (versus long term average of 48mm) which clearly illustrates the poor rainfall conditions that prevailed during August.

 

Monthly mean temperatures recorded at the various weather stations increased from July to August by an average of 3.6ºC to 21.9ºC (Tmax) and 1.0ºC to 6.6ºC (Tmin).  Furthermore the monthly mean Tmax for August was about 2.6 ºC higher than the long term while in the case of Tmin the anomaly was 0.5ºC.  Tmax for the various weather stations ranged between 17.6ºC to 26.6ºC (long term average 14.8 to 23.3ºC) while Tmin ranged between 1.2ºC to 10.0ºC (long term average 0 to 9.1ºC).  Tmax anomalies ranged between 0.9ºC to 5.5ºC, while in the case of Tmin anomalies ranged between -2.0ºC to 1.5 ºC.  

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 Download Slide 3 PDF

 

slide 3

Slide 3

As for extreme events regarding monthly mean temperatures, Murraysburg and Klawer experienced respectively the lowest Tmin and highest Tmax in the province for August 2016 and for the corresponding long term means.

 

Slide 4 displays a brief overview of the state of provincial dam levels averaging 61% (last year 70%) on 5th September.  While a slight increase from the previous month’s level exist, the overall status clearly depicts below normal rainfall catchment compared to previous years.  However, the good rains in the Central Karoo resulted in an increase in the water level of the Gamka Dam near to Beaufort West.

 

Plant growing conditions (slide 5) have normalized in recently months due to the rains, though the rains remained below normal in various instances.  Areas indicated by shades of orange to red have decreased in size and intensity within the Matzikama region and districts of the Central Karoo and Eden revealing improvement in growing conditions.  The winter cereal crop regions also show clear signs of good production conditions.

 

slide 4

Slide 4

slide 5

Slide 5


Climate predictions

ENSO conditions remain neutral (slide 6).  Seasonal forecasts for the period October to December concerning Western Cape (slides 7 & 8) do not favour below normal or above rainfall conditions.  Temperature forecasts (SAWS) indicate warmer than normal conditions.  Due to high uncertainty in forecasts, CSAG and SAWS advises users to regularly review updated medium and short term forecasts to identify any intermediate change.

slide 6

Slide 6

slide 7

Slide 7

slide 8

Slide 8


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Agri-Oulook March 2016

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