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June 2017 Climate Summary

While experiencing drought conditions for some time the province received relief which was mostly confined to the western side of the province (slide1).  When taking the historical long term statistics into account (slide 2), the green and blue shading indicates normal to above normal conditions for most of the western side of the province.  Parts of the Central Karoo, the eastern side of the Klein Karoo and southern coastal areas still appear to be subjected to below normal rainfall conditions, which gets worse when progressing towards the eastern border of the province.    

Slide 1


Slide 2


Slide 3 consists of data taken from 37 weather stations, depicting total monthly rainfall, mean monthly maximum (Tmax) and minimum temperatures (Tmin) for June 2017, including corresponding historical long term means.  The overall mean rainfall for June 2017 (calculated as the average of mentioned weather stations) was 42mm compared to the long-term mean of 65mm, resulting in 65% of the long term.  Half of the weather stations each recorded a total monthly rainfall of ≤ 26mm, of which 2 weather stations indicated ≤1mm to no rain.  Conversely the highest monthly rainfall of 186mm was recorded at Rawsonville, compared to Rawsonville’s long-term of 131mm.  In general, rainfall for June this year was mostly lower than last year’s, though few weather stations recorded more rain this year than last year, for example Elsenburg this year resulted 119mm of rain compared to last year’s 96mm.

The monthly mean Tmax at the various weather stations ranged between 15.7 ºC (Koue Bokkeveld) to 23.3 ºC (Klawer), compared to long term averages ranging from 14.6 ºC (Koue Bokkeveld) to 21.8 ºC (Klawer).  The overall average for Tmax of these (37) weather stations was 19.5 ºC, about 1ºC higher than the long-term.   Oudtshoorn recorded the highest anomaly at 2.4 ºC.  Monthly mean Tmin at the listed weather stations ranged between 0.4 ºC (Murraysburg, long term -0.6 ºC) to 9.7 ºC (Klawer, long term 9.8 ºC) with an overall Tmin average of 5.9 ºC (long term 6.5 ºC).  


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Slide 3

Slide 3

Due to the limited effect of rainfall in the province, water level of provincial state dams on 3rd of July increased slightly to an overall average of 23% (last year 42%), mainly due to the increase in level of dams located in the central & western side of the province.  The water content of the Theewaterskloof Dam, the largest dam in the province, increased to 19% (last year 36%).  Dams in the Karoo regions maintained the status quo of between 0% to about 30% while the water content of dams in the southern coast declined.

Although rains brought some relief to the western half of the province, the persistent accumulated below normal rainfall of the past months accompanied by high temperatures resulted in the further deterioration of plant growth conditions in the province (slide 5).

ENSO remains neutral; the possibility of an El Niño event has decreased further.  According to SAWS statement released on 27th June, above normal rainfall accompanied by above normal temperatures are forecasted for the Western Cape for the period July to September.   However the latter forecasts indicate low probabilities, users are therefore 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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