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August 2019 Climate Summary

Poor rainfall occurred throughout the province, with more extreme conditions appearing in the southern, central, eastern and especially northern parts.  Maximum temperatures appeared higher than normal.  Rainfall of the past months resulted in overall dam levels increasing to 66% in first week of September.  Veld and crop conditions deteriorated further over most parts of the province.  Current forecasts indicate some possibility of rain in the following months, however excluding those areas that need it most.

Below normal rains occurred over most of the province (slide 1) during August.  A dominantly large area (excluding West Coast district) received only up to 25% of its normal rain for August.  Rainfall in the Karoo and Matzikama regions prevailed between 0 to 2mm (slide 2).  Winter cereal crop production were also clearly affected by poor rains (i.e. 20 to 50% of its normal rainfall).

The average monthly mean maximum temperature during August (slide 2) was 1.5 degrees (Celsius) higher than the long term.  This warmer tendency is replicated in the fact that the overall Tmax for 2019 appeared more than 2 degrees higher compared to those of 2018.  The most extreme monthly mean Tmax (24.7 degrees) was recorded at Oudtshoorn (compared to last year’s 21.7 degrees).  Most extreme monthly Tmax anomalies (>3 degrees) were recorded at Oudtshoorn, Riversdale and Sandveld.  Extreme monthly mean minimum temperatures or anomalies were noted in some areas, for instance Murraysburg, Oudtshoorn, and Citrusdal.

slide 1


slide 2


The overall water content of state dams increased from 53% (29th July) to 66% (2nd Sep), with the Theewaterskloof and Clanwilliam dams reaching respectively 72% and 99%.  The dams more towards the eastern side of the province experienced on average a slight decrease in water levels due to the poor rains of the last few months.

Concerning current veld growth and crop production conditions in various areas of the province (slide 3), the effect of the continuing drought (expressed by extensive red shading) in the Karoo regions and northern parts of the West Coast remain a major concern.  It can also be observed that the conditions of cereal crops deteriorated, especially in the Southern Cape.

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slide 3


slide 4


The latest seasonal forecasts for rain within the period September to January (depicted by slides 4 to 6) emerges from negative to more positive outlook for above normal rainfall limited to the southern and southwestern parts, due to the increasing of blue shading.  Unfortunately these maps do not express positive signs for rain in the larger part of the province, inclusive of the Matzikama and Karoo areas where rain is desperately needed.

From the Tmax seasonal forecasts (portrayed in slides 7 to 9) it is obvious that the province could experience above normal maximum temperatures during the following months. 

slide 5


Slide 6


slide 7


Slide 8


slide 9


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Agri-Oulook August 2019

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