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July 2017 Climate Summary

Rainfall during July was mostly limited to the south western part of the province (slide1), revealing a similar pattern as in the case of June, however the total monthly rain for July was less than in the case of June.  When taking the historical long term statistics into account (slide 2) then we observe that nearly most of the province received below normal rains (i.e. including the West Coast, Cape Winelands and Overberg).  However, most of the Central Karoo and Eden are not that much better, that is rainfall decreasing when progressing towards the eastern border of the province.     

Slide 1


Slide 2


Slide 3 consists of data of about 35 weather stations, depicting total monthly rainfall, mean monthly maximum (Tmax) and minimum temperatures (Tmin) for July 2017, including corresponding historical long term means.  The overall mean rainfall for July 2017 (calculated as the average of mentioned weather stations) was 22mm (i.e. about 40% less than the long term mean and half of last months’ total rainfall).  Half of the weather stations each recorded a total monthly rainfall of ≤ 24mm, of which 5 weather stations indicated ≤1mm to no rain.  The highest monthly rainfall figures (50 to 52mm) were recorded at Dunghye Park (Caledon), Rawsonville and Elsenburg.  It should be noted that the corresponding long term means are about twice that of this year’s rainfall.

The monthly mean Tmax at the various weather stations ranged between 16.6 ºC (Riviersonderend) to 24.2 ºC (Klawer), two degrees more compared to long term averages ranging from 14.6 ºC (Koue Bokkeveld) to 22.4 ºC (Klawer).  The overall average for Tmax of these (±35) weather stations was 19.9 ºC, ±1ºC higher than the long-term average.   Oudtshoorn recorded the highest anomaly at 3 ºC.  Lowest monthly mean Tmin was recorded at Murraysburg (-3.3 ºC versus long term mean -1.4 ºC) while the monthly Tmin averaged 4.5 ºC for listed weather stations in the province (i.e. ±1 ºC lower than the long term as well as June’s Tmin average).  


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Slide 3

Slide 3

Due to the limited rainfall in the province, water level of provincial state dams on 31st July increased slightly to an overall average of 27% (last year 55%), mainly due to the increasing dam levels located in the central & western side of the province.  The water content of the Theewaterskloof Dam, the largest dam in the province, increased to 21% (last year 47%).  Dams in the Karoo regions maintained the status quo of 0% to slighter higher water levels while the water content of dams in the southern coastal areas remained similar.


The rains in the south western side of the province during June and July resulted in alleviating extremely poor plant growing conditions only slightly (slide 5).  Most of the province in all districts remain subjected to extreme harsh conditions due to the persistent accumulated below normal rainfall of the past months which have been accompanied by high maximum temperatures.


ENSO remains neutral and will probably continue into the following months.  According to SAWS forecasts released on 28 July, above normal rainfall is possible during early spring (Aug-Sep-Oct) within the western side of the country.  However the latter forecasts are still subjected to low probabilities, thus users are advised to regularly review updated medium and short term forecasts to identify any intermediate change..

Slide 4


Slide 5


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Agri-Oulook April 2017

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