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February 2019 Climate Summary

Rainfall improved over parts of the Garden Route, Cape Winelands, Overberg and Central Karoo during February.  In general the province experienced mostly normal to above normal rainfall (slide 1), while the least rainfall occurred in northern parts of the West Coast (0 to 3mm, slide 2).  The highest rainfall (90mm) in the province was recorded at George, exceeding the long term of 50mm.  The Central Karoo received between 5mm (Rietbron) to 32mm (Murraysburg), while the Little Karoo obtained 4mm (Ladismith) to 21mm (De Rust) (slide 2).

While monthly mean temperatures (Celsius) averaged about -1 degrees less for January 2019 (vs long term for January), February this year showed an increase of about +0.5 degrees.  The monthly maximum temperatures of the various weather stations (slide 2), ranging between 25.1 degrees (George) to 37.2 (Sandveld) degrees, presented an overall mean of 31.3 degrees.  The highest monthly Tmax anomaly of +2.7 degrees was recorded at Sandveld, followed by +2.6 degrees at Clanwilliam. 

The monthly mean minimum temperatures (slide 2) of the weather stations ranged between 14.1 (Clanwilliam) to 20.7 degrees (Prince Albert).  The Tmin of all these weather stations resulted in an overall mean of 16.2 degrees.

slide 1


slide 2


As for agricultural growth and production conditions in the province (slide 3), the effect of the continuing dry conditions is noted in the case of the Karoo regions and northern parts of the West Coast (extensive red shading).  Slight regrowth occurred in the lower parts of the south western parts of the province (light green patches), possibly due to the response to recent rains.


The seasonal precipitation forecasts of the University of Pretoria has been enhanced with the addition of forecasts focusing on maximum temperatures.  In accordance to previous forecasts, each slide consists of three maps, one representing the forecast over a three month period, leaving the other two adjacent maps to represent the skill of the forecast in question, one for above normal and the other for below normal interpretations.  In total six slides present rainfall and Tmax over three seasons, i.e. March-April-May (rain slide 4, Tmax slide 7), April-May-June (rain slide 5, Tmax slide 8) and May-June-July (rain slide 6, Tmax slide 9).

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slide 3


slide 4


The precipitation slides (slides 4-6 covering March to July) indicate the possibility of above normal rains for province for early winter.  While low level of skill is present in parts of the province, the possibility of rain seems promising for most of the province for Apr-May-Jun.  In addition the possibility of above normal rain over the southern coast for the period Mar-July (all three periods) seem more positive due to higher levels of skill. The Tmax slides (slides 7-9 covering March to July) present the possibility of above normal temperatures for the early winter months.  However, the accompanying skill maps clearly do not support the Tmax forecasts due to the low level of skill involved.  

slide 5


Slide 6


slide 7


Slide 8


slide 9


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Agri-Oulook February 2019

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