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Seasonal Climate Watch - August to December 2018

The following text is an extract from the latest report from South African Weather Service: Date issued: July 24, 2018


"The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is still in a neutral phase and is expected to rise towards an El Niño phase through the spring period. The likelihood of an El Niño event occurring is increasing as we move towards spring, when confidence in ENSO forecasts also starts increasing.

It is still too early to determine the potential impact of the predicted El Niño event; however, the typical effects are drier and warmer conditions for the summer rainfall areas during summer.

The forecasting system indicates confident forecasts for above-normal rainfall over the western coastal regions during early spring (Aug-Sep-Oct). Rainfall totals for these regions are however substantially lower than the mid-winter (Jun-Jul-Aug) seasons. There is some concern for the southern coastal regions as there has been below-normal forecasts with confidence since last month for spring (Sep-Oct-Nov). This area usually still receives significant rainfall during spring and has also been affected by a drought the past few years.

Late spring (Oct-Nov-Dec) forecasts show confident forecasts for above-normal rainfall over the eastern coastal areas, which is also supported by the forecast for an increased number of rainfall days in the area.

Overall higher temperatures are still expected moving towards the spring period. There is a particularly confident forecast for above-normal temperatures over the northern parts of the country.

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