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By Stephen Tau


Cold fronts likely to continue till September ahead of a wet rainfall season

The current winter season is fast drawing to an end, and according to South African Weather Service, the La Niña weather pattern is likely to continue.

The South African Weather Service has confirmed that the country remains in the La Niña weather pattern, albeit a slightly weaker version thereof.

La Niña weather systems are usually associated with heavy downpours and considered to be the counterpart of the other weather system known as El Niño, which brings about a series of heatwaves.

The impact of El Niño

Around 2016, South Africa went through a serious drought as a result of lower rainfall and higher daytime temperatures brought on by the El Niño weather system.

The situation had become so bad, that the country’s average national dam levels had dipped to around 50%.

In a bid to boost the levels of the Vaal dam, which had dropped to worrying levels at the time, the department of Water and Sanitation was also forced to open up the Sterkfontein dam.

ALSO READ: Don’t waste water, Gauteng residents warned as Vaal Dam level drops

Bye bye El Niño, Welcome La Niña

In recent years, the drought conditions have subsided, which was clearly evident during the previous summer rainfall season, where different parts of the country experienced heavy downpours.

These resulted in flooding in different provinces, with KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) being the hardest hit last year.

ALSO READ: KZN Floods: Torrential rain storm causes widespread damages & destruction

The forecast for the coming spring and summer seasons, according to long term forecaster, Puseletso Mofokeng, points to above normal rainfall in the north-eastern parts of the country.

“The good news is that even the eastern parts of the Eastern Cape, which includes areas such as Matatiele, Aliwal North, Lusikisiki, can expect above-normal rainfall,” said Mofokeng.

Unlike other provinces, the Eastern Cape receives its rainfall at any time of the year, while the Western Cape which receives the bulk of its rainfall during the winter seasons.

Meanwhile the other areas which can expect above normal rainfall, include Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, as well as the Free State.

With regards to temperatures, hot weather conditions are expected to continue in Limpopo.

The current winter season which is fast drawing to an end, has had some warmer days in between and according to Mofokeng, this should not be regarded as something unusual.

“In fact, the one time we experienced out of the ordinary weather conditions was in 2016 during the series of heatwaves we experienced, when records were broken in terms of daytime temperatures,” he said.

More cold fronts possibly heading our way

Mofokeng said the possibility of having the last cold front in September, cannot be ruled out at this stage.

Daytime temperatures dropped to below the 20 degrees Celsius mark in different parts of the country over the last couple of days, due to a cold front which made landfall in the Western Cape last weekend.

ALSO READ: Very cold, windy and wet conditions expected in parts of SA from Friday

Meanwhile the weather office issued an alert on Wednesday about another cold front which is expected to reach Gauteng by Friday.

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