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Seasonal Climate Watch - January to May 2020

The following text is an extract from the latest report from South African Weather Service:
Date issued: December 20, 2019


"The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently in a borderline weak El Niño state and the forecast indicates that it will most likely remain at the border between the weak El Niño and neutral states for the rest of the summer season. With the sudden warming over the last two months in the equatorial Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures and subsequent higher likelihood of a weak El Niño state, there is also more confidence in a drier than normal late summer season. In general, however, there is still significant uncertainty on the expected rainfall conditions for the rest of the summer period.

The rainfall forecast for late-summer (Jan-Feb-Mar) and early-autumn (Feb-Mar-Apr) from the SAWS/NOAA-GFDL Multi-Model system indicates enhanced probabilities of below-normal rainfall over most of the country. With regards to temperatures, mostly higher than normal temperatures are expected this summer over most of South Africa with the exception of the far south-western parts that indicate lower than normal minimum temperature throughout late-summer and autumn.

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



by John Llewellyn