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September 2017 Climate Summary

Rainfall during September (slide1) occurred mostly in the southern (green shaded) areas of the Western Cape while the northern parts experienced poor rainfall (orange and red).  When viewing rainfall against the historical long term means (slide 2), then below normal rainfall occurred over most of the province, while isolated areas in the southern parts indicated above-normal rainfall.  Conversely, the West Coast, Cape Winelands and Central Karoo received below normal (25-50%) to extremely below normal (0-25%) rainfall conditions.    

Slide 1


Slide 2


Slide 3 presents data from specific weather stations, depicting total monthly rainfall, mean monthly maximum (Tmax) and minimum temperatures (Tmin) for September 2017, including corresponding historical long term means.  Rainfall in September on average was below normal since the overall mean (calculated as the average of mentioned weather stations) amounted to 15mm, about 57% of the long term mean and happens to be also less than the rains of September 2016 (31mm).  Half of these weather stations each recorded a total monthly rainfall of ≤ 13mm, of which 8 weather stations indicated ≤1mm, mostly found in the West Coast and Central Karoo.  Conversely, the highest monthly rainfall (83mm) was recorded at George, while Rawsonville achieved second position at 56mm.  All in all, the Western Cape received mostly below normal rainfall during September this year.

As for temperatures (slide 3): September experienced above normal monthly Tmax (Celsius), resulting in an overall average of 23.4 degrees, which is 1.7 degrees higher than the corresponding long term.  The monthly mean Tmax of the various weather stations ranged between 19.5 (Riviersonderend) to 27.5 degrees (Klawer), that is about 2 degrees higher than the long-term averages.  Sandveld recorded the highest anomaly at 2.8 degrees, followed by Koue Bokkeveld and Citrusdal, both anomalies prevailing at 2.7 degrees.  The monthly Tmin during September gave an overall average of 8.1 degrees (0.6 degrees higher than long term average); Tmin ranged between 3.8 (Murraysburg) to 11.3 (Klawer), both about 1 degrees higher than the long term averages.  Few Tmin exceptions aside, monthly mean temperatures as a whole were higher than the corresponding long term averages.  


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Slide 3

Slide 3

The overall water level of the provincial state dams was 36% (9th October), against last year’s 62% (slide 4).  The lowest levels persisted in the Karoo regions, i.e. near to empty (last year 13 – 34%), while other dams (west and south) showed some improvement in terms of higher water content levels.

Rains in the southern coastal and adjacent areas during the past few months have resulted in some restoration of growing conditions in these areas (slide 5).  However most of the province remains in a poor state of extreme drought conditions. 

Currently ENSO remains neutral, however La Nina could develop in the following months which implies an increased probability of above normal rainfall in the summer rainfall areas.  According to the SAWS forecast of 29th September for the period Oct-Nov-Dec, above normal rainfall, against a low probability, is forecasted for the Western Cape.

Slide 4


Slide 5


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Agri-Oulook April 2017

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