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Seasonal Climate Watch - February to June 2019

The following text is an extract from the latest report from South African Weather Service:
Date issued: Feb 1, 2018


"The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has strengthened marginally towards an El Niño phase over the last month. As before it is still predicted to last for the rest of summer and most of autumn. During the last month a more typical El Niño response is in effect, indicating that there may be some influence during the latter parts of the summer season, which typically means below-normal rainfall totals.

Above-normal rainfall conditions are expected over the summer rainfall regions during early autumn (Feb-Mar-Apr), however it is not clear what conditions can be expected during mid-autumn (Mar-Apr-May) and late-autumn (Apr-May-Jun). As indicated above rainfall totals are expected to deteriorate during the change of seasons from summer to autumn in the summer rainfall regions due to the El Niño effect. Forecasts do however indicate above-normal rainfall totals during autumn for parts of the southern coastal areas, which are currently in dire need of water resources.

Mostly higher temperatures are still expected moving towards the autumn season. During late-autumn however, below-normal maximum temperatures are indicated for parts of the country.
In general, the transition between the late summer months and autumn still indicate that wet and dry spells will alternate frequently throughout. Caution is still advised when using the current forecast, and conservative planning is recommended.

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