The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has released the Seasonal Climate Watch for the period November 2023 to March 2024. According to the seasonal outlook, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is still in an El Niño state and according to the latest predictions is expected to persist through most of the summer months. ENSO’s typical impact on Southern Africa is in favour for generally drier and warmer conditions during the summer seasons from October to March. However, current global forecasts indicate a great deal of uncertainty for the typical drier conditions that South Africa experiences during typical El Niño seasons, in particular over the eastern parts of the country.
SAWS' multi-model rainfall forecast indicates above-normal rainfall for the north-east of South Africa between November 2023 and March 2024 with below normal rainfall predicted for the central and south-western parts of the country. Predictions still favour above-normal rainfall conditions over the north-eastern parts of South Africa, even with an El Niño in place. For most of the areas where above-normal rainfall is predicted, these probabilities are low. Caution is advised at this point as the El Niño effect might still manifest its influence in the next few months and change the outlook of the rainfall forecast for mid- and late-summer. The minimum and maximum temperatures in South Africa are expected to be mostly above-normal countrywide for the forecast period (November 2023 to March 2024).