News / South Africa

Steven Tau
1 minute read
16 Jan 2017
5:00 am

Not certain rainfall will save the whole country

Steven Tau

Indications at the moment suggest below normal rainfall for provinces such as North West, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape.

File Picture. Photo: Tracy Lee Stark

There is still uncertainty as to when the La Nina system will fully kick in in South Africa – despite the recent heavy downpours that have been experienced in several parts of the country, according to the SA Weather Service.

A few weeks ago, areas in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo recorded rainfalls of above 50mm, which was welcomed by many, as this also resulted in the rise of dam levels – some of which had reached critically low levels towards the end of last year.

The La Nina weather system is associated with above-normal rainfall, and is the complete opposite of the El Nino, which normally produces a series of heatwaves.

Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, forecaster Dipuo Tawana said there was a lot of uncertainty about climate drivers.

“Initially, the confidence levels of above-normal rainfall for December were high, but it now appears that is not the case for some parts of the country,” he said.

“Indications at the moment suggest below normal rainfall for provinces such as North West, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape.”

Elsewhere in Gauteng, confidence levels appear to be between normal and above normal rainfall, while the levels remain above normal for Mpumalanga and Limpopo. While the confidence levels for KwaZulu Natal remain low for the January to March period, the levels are above normal for the interior.

“Confidence levels for the western parts of the Free State during mid-summer are below normal, also for the central parts towards late summer,” Tawana said.

For this week, Tawana said there was only a 30% chance of showers and thundershowers expected in Gauteng today, with no rainfall on the cards tomorrow. “Most rainfall chances can be expected in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.”