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Seasonal Climate Watch - September 2019 to January 2020

The following text is an extract from the latest report from South African Weather Service:
Date issued: August 30, 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. ENSO forecast is currently extremely uncertain with a wide variety of outcomes predicted by different forecasting centres. Usually when this is the case, seasonal forecasts for the summer rainfall areas tend to be very uncertain as well.

The uncertainty in the ENSO forecast seems to be reflected in the rainfall forecast for the summer rainfall areas as well. The late spring (Oct-Nov-Dec) period indicates confident forecasts that below-normal rainfall is more likely over the central and north-eastern parts of the country. Early-summer (Nov-Dec-Jan), however, indicates that above-normal rainfall is more likely for the same areas. This sudden change can be attributed to the uncertainty in the ENSO forecasts mentioned above. The threshold forecasts mainly indicate a higher number of rainfall days during the late-spring and early-summer seasons, further adding to the uncertainty of rainfall forecasts for the start of the summer season.

With regards to temperatures, mostly higher than normal temperatures are expected for the northern most parts of the country from spring through to early-summer.

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.”


by John Llewellyn