Higher rainfall areas were concentrated in eastern side of province (1). Merweville and Murraysburg received respectively 40mm and 63mm rain during January (3). On the other hand, the western side experienced poor rainfall conditions. Monthly rainfall recorded for each weather station at Sandveld, Malmesbury, Piketberg, Klawer, Vredendal, Lutzville totalled less than 2mm for January.
In comparison to the long-term mean, the West Coast clearly received below normal rains (2). Fortunately, the north- and middle-eastern parts of the province received above normal rains. Rains remained absent in the area subjected to accumulated current drought conditions from previous months, that is the area between Prince Albert and Touwswriver. Mossel Bay received above normal rains, but George only received half of its normal quota rain in January.
Response of plant activity to rains is summarised in NDVI maps. First the plant activity of the current season is compared to the long term mean (4). White areas in West Coast and Cape Winelands indicate normal conditions. Green patches indicate above normal plant growth within the current season, mainly concentrated in the eastern parts of the Central Karoo. While the orange patches indicate below normal conditions for this time of the year, it is expected that these below normal conditions will be turned around when winter rains commence.
The second map illustrates the Percentage Average Seasonal Greenness (PASG) for the period November to January (5), meaning basically an accumulation of monthly NDVI values for mentioned period, giving an overall summary of plant activity conditions during these months. Predominant green and yellow areas show normal photosynthetic conditions prevailed for most of the province between November and January during the current season. Enhanced plant growth conditions were recorded east of Beaufort West.