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May 2018 Climate Summary

The general view of the province in terms of rainfall (slide 1) looked more promising compared to last year’s month of May and of April this year.  When comparing the rainfall to the long term figures (slide 2), we notice that the West Coast and the Central Karoo experienced normal (green and light blue) to above normal rains (darker shades of blue), while the south western and southern coastal parts, including the Little Karoo, received below normal rains (red-orange-yellow shading).

Slide 3 contains data from 35 weather stations consisting of total monthly rainfall, mean monthly maximum (Tmax) and minimum temperatures (Tmin) for May 2018 and historical long term means.  Rainfall for May averaged on par with the long term (40mm), while the same figure for 2017 only amounted to 5mm.  The median for rainfall in May this year was 25mm versus 4mm for May 2017.  The highest total monthly rainfall for May 2018 (184 mm) was recorded near Rawsonville, while for May 2017 the highest rainfall occurred at George (24mm).  Citrusdal, Clanwilliam, Ceres, Stellenbosch, ect all experienced above normal rains.  Conversely Oudtshoorn, Ladismith, George, Mossel Bay, Riversdale, Swellendam & Bredasdorp all received below normal rains.  All in all, starting from earlier this year, the trend in the improvement in rainfall during May continued, mostly in the traditional winter rainfall areas.

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slide 1

Slide1

slide 2

Slide2

As for temperatures (slide 3): May experienced reasonably normal Tmax (Celsius) giving an overall average at 23.3 degrees, while ranging between 18.6 (Ceres area) to 26.6 degrees (Klawer & Oudtshoorn).  Monthly mean of early morning temperatures (Tmin) for May obtained from the weather stations resulted in a normal monthly overall average of 9.7 degrees, with Tmin’s ranging from 3.0 (Murraysburg) to 13.1 degrees (Klawer).

Improvement in rainfall during May lifted the overall water level of provincial state dams (slide 4) from last month’s 16% to 19% (28th May), increasing even further to 24% on the 4th June.  Obviously the increase was mainly limited to the dams more to the west of the province..

 Download Slide 3 PDF

slide 3

Slide 3

slide 4

Slide4

slide 5

Slide5


The latest forecasts (slides 5 & 6) presented above normal rainfall conditions for the Western Cape during the following winter months, supported by reasonable confidence levels (ROC area maps).  


slide 6

Slide6

 

 


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Agri-Oulook May 2018

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