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December 2018 Climate Summary

Persistent poor rainfall occurred for the last few months, including December, in the northern parts of the West Coast, including the districts of Eden and Central Karoo (slide 1).  The green areas to the west, meaning along the mountain ranges and isolated cases in the southern coastal areas indicated better rainfall.  When comparing rainfall with the long-term means (slide 2), the southern western parts (West Coast, Cape Winelands and partially Overberg) revealed normal to above normal rains (green and blue shading), while the rest of the province (Matzikama, Central Karoo, Eden and parts of the Overberg) resulted in below normal rainfall for December. 

Data accumulated from 37 weather stations (slide 3, total monthly rainfall, mean monthly maximum and minimum temperatures and historical long term means; supplied by ARC Soils, Climate and Water) substantiates the varying degree of rainfall in the province for December.  From the list of weather stations it is noted that George achieved the highest rainfall, though the amount of rain is less than the long-term mean.  In addition, extreme cases of below normal rains were noted at Bredasdorp, Rietbron, Prince Albert, Vredendal, ect.  Conversly above normal rainfall was evident at Ashton, Elands Bay, Sandveld, Worcester, ect.

Monthly maximum temperatures (Celsius) during December (slide 3) averaged normal (29.2 degrees), ranging from 24.3 (George) to 35.1 (Oudtshoorn) degrees.  The latter also scored the highest monthly Tmax anomaly of 2.9 degrees.  The average of the monthly mean minimum temperatures was also normal (14.4 degrees), ranging between 10.9 (Koue Bokkeveld) to 18.4 degrees (Klawer).  The strongest monthly Tmin anomaly was recorded at Clanwilliam (-1.7 degrees).

slide 1


slide 2


The water content of state dams dropped from the previous month’s overall figure of 59% to 53% on 31st December (slide 4).

As for agricultural growth and production conditions in the province (slide 5), the effect of the current dry period is noted as in the case of the Karoo regions and northern parts of the West Coast.

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slide 3

Slide 3

slide 4


slide 5


The latest seasonal forecasts (slides 6 & 7) indicate that the southern coastal areas (blue shading) could result in possible rainfall during the following months, unfortunately at relatively low levels of skill.  

slide 6


Slide 7


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Agri-Oulook December 2018

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