04 January 2021

South Africa: Seasonal rainfall & temperature outlook (December 2020 to April 2021)!

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has released the Seasonal Climate Watch for the period December 2020 to April 2021. According to the SAWS multi-model rainfall forecast for mid-summer (December 2020 to February 2021) and late-summer (January to March 2021) there are increased chances of above-normal rainfall in the summer rainfall areas of South Africa during the summer season. This is due to a strong likelihood of a strong La Niña during  mid-summer*.
South Africa will experience drier conditions in the north eastern parts, while the central parts of the country that usually also receive significant rainfall during summer (such as Free State and North-West) is expected to receive above-normal rainfall during summer.

Most parts of South Africa are expected to experience below-normal minimum temperatures, while maximum temperatures are expected to be above-normal in the north eastern parts and below-normal for the rest of South Africa.

*The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently in a La  Niña state and the forecast indicates that it will most likely remain and strengthen towards a strong La Niña state during summer. Since the forecasts are opposing the typical effect of the ENSO impact, there is a certain amount of uncertainty with regards to the rainfall for the coming summer months over South Africa's summer rainfall areas.

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