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October 2018 Climate Summary

The Western Cape did not experience much rainfall in both of the traditional winter or summer rainfall areas (slide 1).  Nearly the whole West Coast and nearly the whole Central Karoo experienced less than 11mm rain (slide 1).   The green areas of the southern coastal parts of Eden (including other isolated areas) indicated better rainfall.  But when comparing rainfall with the long-term means then it is obvious that most of the province were subjected to below normal rainfall (slide 2). 


With regard to weather station data for October (slide 3, total monthly rainfall, mean monthly maximum and minimum temperatures and historical long term means; supplied by ARC Institute for Soils, Climate and Water), the overall rainfall seemed to be about less than half of the long term mean.  The rainfall at individual weather stations clearly indicate below normal conditions, from George to Oudtshoorn, Rietbron, Elsenburg, Malmesbury to Vredendal.  In addition, the poor rainfall results also indicated a drier October compared to last year’s.

slide 1


slide 2


Monthly maximum temperatures (Celsius) during October (slide 3) averaged 3 degrees above normal (28.3 vs 25.2 = +3.1 degrees), ranging between 22.6 (Bredasdorp) to 33.1 (Klawer) degrees.  The average of the monthly mean minimum temperatures for October also prevailed above normal (1+ degrees), ranging between 6.7 (Murraysburg) to 16.7 degrees (Klawer).


In reaction to the poor rainfall of October, the water content of state dams have started to level off and even gradually drop from the previous month’s overall figure of 66% to 65% on 5th November (slide 4).


As for agricultural growth and production conditions in the province(slide 5), the effect of the current dry period is noted, like in the case of the Central Karoo and northern parts of the West Coast.  However the recent wild fires, including those that occurred in the southern coastal parts of Eden, have also left its mark.  On the other hand, the relatively good growing conditions still prevailed in the wheat production areas of the province, i.e. Swartland and Rûens.

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slide 3

Slide 3

slide 4


slide 5


The latest rainfall forecasts (slides 6 & 7) unfortunately do not present a clear sign of rainfall for the Western Cape during the following months.  According to SAWS there is chance for below normal rain in the northern parts of the West Coast for the period DJF.  

slide 6


Slide 7


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Agri-Oulook October 2018

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