Climate and agricultural conditions update

3 min read 04 September 2017

Current condition

Light falls of rain occurred in the second part of August 2017 over the Eastern and North-Eastern parts of the country and can be seen as the first summer rainfall.  Light falls of rain also occurred over the Western and Southern Cape but it is still very far from sufficient rain to break the drought.

August 2017 was characterised by very strong and continous winds over most of the country but it can be deemed as “normal” for August. The strong wind run is a characteristic of the start of the change of seasons with cold fronts sweeping rapidly over the country.

The following are crop risks for September:

El Niño and Indian Ocean

Latest forecasts still indicate neutral or average sea surface temperatures in the Central Pacific (no El Niño) until at least the end of 2017. There is however some forecasts that favour the development of weak La Niña conditions in the second part of the summer - imitating the pattern of 2016/17.

The important Indian Ocean sea temperatures also tend towards neutral or average conditions although it is very early in the season and rapid changes can still take place

Expected rainfall conditions​  

Summer Rainfall Areas
Very little rain is expected for most of the Summer Rainfall Area for September and first part of October. Current forecasts indicate however that the conditions for rainfall will improve a lot in the second part of October (accuweather.com). At this early stage is more than 50mm likely to occur over most of the Summer Rainfall Area with the exception of the far western and north western parts of the Northern Cape.

Cold nights with frost are still possible until the middle to end of September over especially the central to southern interior.

Winter Rainfall Areas
Short to medium term forecasts still indicate some rain in the second and last week of September for the Western Cape.    

Summary and conclusions