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July 2019 Climate Summary

During July normal to above normal rains occurred in the western parts of the province while the eastern side received below normal rainfall.  The overall level of the state dams in the province increased to 53% by the 29th July.  Veld / crop conditions improved in the southern western parts, but deteriorated in the eastern side of the province.  Current forecasts indicate the possibility of rain in the following months.

Good rainfall occurred in the western (i.e. winter rainfall) regions, resulting in normal to above normal rains (slide 1).  Total monthly rainfall measured at various weather stations for July (slide 2) indicated to be the highest so far for this year, for instance Rawsonville, Grabouw, Stellenbosch and Ceres exceeded their monthly long-term means, each accumulating more than 100mm. 

The eastern side of the province continued receiving below normal rainfall during July.  Extreme conditions persisted in the Karoo regions (±2mm in Murraysburg, Prince Albert, Rietbron and 7 to 10mm at Oudtshoorn, Ladismith and De Rust), while the southern coastal areas achieved better rainfall figures, though mostly below-normal.  Mossel Bay and George only received half of their long-term means. 

Slide 2 also showed that the province experienced in general reasonably normal monthly mean temperatures (Celsius) during July (Tmax 19.4 and Tmin 7 degrees), though extreme maximum and minimum temperatures and anomalies did occur in some areas, for instance Ladismith, Oudtshoorn and Murraysburg.

slide 1


slide 2


The good rains in the province resulted in the overall water content of state dams increasing from 39% (1st July) to 53% (29th July).  Accordingly the Theewaterskloof Dam reached 61% and Clanwilliam Dam 47%.  It stands to reason that the positive response in dam levels within the westerly regions were greater than those dams situated more towards the eastern side of the province.

Concerning current veld growth and crop production conditions in various areas of the province (slide 3), the effect of the continuing drought (expressed by the extensive red shading) in the Karoo regions and northern parts of the West Coast remain a major concern.

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slide 3


slide 4


The latest seasonal forecasts for rain within the period August to December (depicted by slides 4 to 6) present a good possibility of above normal rainfall for the province in the coming months, due to the dominantly blue shading in all the slides, which is emphasized through increased intensity (i.e. darker blue) within the period Sep-Oct-Nov (slide 5).  The latter could suggest an improvement in rainfall conditions envisaged for September, noting that September (and even October for that matter) is included in the adjacent (forecast) maps whereby the blue shading appears prominent.  Taking slide 5 as a guideline, we can only hope for the forecasts to emanate in the desperately needed precipitation, especially with regard to the critically dry areas.

Finally, regarding the Tmax seasonal forecasts (slides 7 to 9) it seems that the province could experience below-normal Tmax conditions during the following months.  Note the dominantly blue shading appearing in slides 7 and 8. 

slide 5


Slide 6


slide 7


Slide 8


slide 9


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Agri-Oulook June 2019

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