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Seasonal Climate Watch - November 2019 to March 2020

The following text is an extract from the latest report from South African Weather Service:
Date issued: November 4, 2019


The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently in a neutral state and the forecast indicates that it will most likely remain in a neutral state for the coming seasons. Usually when this is the case, seasonal forecasts for the summer rainfall areas of South Africa tend to be more uncertain as compared to seasons with a clear ENSO signal. Historically, neutral ENSO conditions have been associated with above-normal, near-normal and below-normal rainfall outcomes.

The rainfall forecast for early-summer (Nov-Dec-Jan) from the SAWS seasonal prediction system indicates enhanced probabilities of below-normal rainfall over the far eastern parts of the country, whilst above-normal rainfall is predicted to be more likely for the western to central parts.

Towards mid-summer (Dec-Jan-Feb), predictions indicate an increased likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions.

For the late-summer period (Jan-Feb-Mar), higher probabilities of below-normal rainfall are predicted to persist and to expand to other parts of the country.

With regards to temperatures, mostly higher than normal temperatures are expected this summer. It may be noted that forecasts from other prediction centres for this summer season indicate even higher and more widespread probabilities of below-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures over southern Africa compared to the SAWS forecast, in particular for the mid-summer period (e.g.

The South African Weather Service will continue to monitor and provide updates of any future assessments that may provide more clarity on the current expectations for the coming seasons.”

Please see the relevant media release below:


by John Llewellyn