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January 2017 Climate Summary

While December was a dry month which means below normal monthly rains, January 2017 showed improvement in rainfall more towards the central and eastern regions of the Western Cape (slide 1).  The West Coast and Cape Winelands experienced less than 10mm of rain, while the southern coastal and Murraysburg areas received rains of between 25 to 100mm.    

When comparing rainfall against the historical long term means (slide 2), the Overberg, parts of Cape Winelands, Eden and the Central Karoo experienced above normal monthly rainfall for January.  The West Coast, the western side of the Cape Winelands and the Karoo regions remained reasonably dry. 

slide 1


slide 2


Slide 3 summarizes data from 36 weather stations which take into account total monthly rainfall, mean monthly maximum (Tmax) and minimum temperatures (Tmin) for January 2017 including corresponding historical long term means.  The overall average rainfall (as taken from the 36 weather stations) is on par with the long term mean rainfall for January.   Half of the weather stations recorded monthly total rainfall equal to or less than 6mm.  Highest rainfall of 75mm was recorded at Caledon, followed by a few other places (mostly the eastern side of the province) recording more than 40mm rain.

Monthly mean Tmax of the weather stations ranged between 24.3 to 35.8 ºC, being slightly below the long term equivalent (24.7 to 36.3 ºC).  The high extreme Tmax figures (Jan. 2017) emanated from the Citrusdal weather station.  The overall average Tmax of the 36 weather stations was 30.7 ºC, 0.5 degree less than the corresponding long term mean.  Accordingly most weather stations indicated negative Tmax anomalies, while only a few weather stations revealed positive indicators (e.g. De Rust, Oudtshoorn and Rawsonville).


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slide 3

Slide 3

Monthly mean Tmin’s at the same weather stations ranged between 12.2 to 19.0 ºC (limits dropping by 1 ºC compared to the long term) with an overall average of 14.9 ºC (1.3 ºC less than the corresponding long term).  Both low extreme Tmin figures (2017 and long term mean) came from the weather station at Barrydale.  Tmin anomalies at most of the weather stations were negative. 

The state of provincial dam levels dropped to an overall average of 38% (last year 46%) at the 30th January, indicating a further decline for most dams in the province (slide 4).  The Floriskraal, Kammanassie, Stompdrift dams further into the Central Karoo (i.e. Gamkapoort, Ou Kloof, Leeugamka) are between 0 to 10% full.  The water level of the Gamka dam at Beaufort West was 13% full. 

Lastly the map illustrating growing conditions (slide 5) show that the Central Karoo and Little Karoo are currently experiencing poor veld growth conditions due to the poor rains in that area.  The region surrounding Murraysburg indicate some plant regrowth since that area has been receiving some rain lately.

slide 4


slide 5


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Agri-Oulook January 2017

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