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Cumulus Report: 7 Feburary 2020- South Africa

Widespread rain is expected over the summer rainfall region during the next few days. The area of expected above-normal rainfall for this time of the year should include the entire maize-production region.

This follows on some much-needed drier conditions. The highest totals are expected over the far eastern to norteastern parts according to current forecasts as the direct influence of a tropical low to the north will dramatically increase moisture levels, a situation associated especially with heavy falls along the eastern escarpment.

The following is a summary of weather conditions during the next few days:

• General:
o Most of the country will receive normal to above-normal rainfall.
o The winter rainfall region and western interior should receive normal to below normal rainfall.
o Temperatures will be below normal on average over most parts, particularly the eastern to north eastern parts.
o Temperatures will however on average be normal to above normal over most of the interior of the Northern Cape.
o Strong south easterlies are possible over the southwestern parts until early next week.

• Rainfall:
o Scattered thundershowers will occur on most days over the entire country excluding the western parts (mostly central to western Northern Cape) and excluding the winter rainfall region.
o Widespread rain and thundershowers are possible over the central to south eastern parts on Friday (7th) and Saturday (8th).
o Widespread rain and thundershowers will occur over the northeastern parts and possibly into northern KZN from Sunday (9th) until Tuesday (11th).

• Temperatures:
o It will be warm to hot on most days over the western interior and into the western parts of the Western Cape.
o It will be cool and cloudy over the southern parts of the country until Friday (7th).
o Extensive cloud cover and widespread showers and thundershowers will suppress maximum temperatures over the central to eastern and north eastern parts from Saturday (8th) onwards.

Overview of expected conditions over South Africa during the next few days

The interaction of an upper-air trough over the southwestern parts, a tropical low to the north together with a strong high-pressure system to the south will result in very favourable conditions for normal to above-normal rainfall over most of the summer rainfall region.

Conditions in main agricultural production regions (6 - 12 February)

Maize production region:

Scattered thundershowers will occur over the area on most days. Cloud cover should be extensive, especially over the central to eastern parts of the region, from Saturday (8th) onwards. Temperatures should on average be below normal, especially maximum temperatures and more so in the east. Maximum temperatures over the western maize-production region will range between 23 and 28 °C. Minimums will be in the order of 14 - 18°C. Maximum temperatures over the eastern maize-production region will range between 15 and 27°C (lower temperatures from the weekend onwards) while minimums will be in the order of 12 - 15°C.

Cape Wine Lands and Ruens:

It will be mostly warm and sunny to partly cloudy. Isolated showers and light rain are expected over the Garden Route during the weekend and early next week. It will become hot over the interior, West Coast and Swartland during the weekend and early next week. Strong south easterlies are expected over the southwestern parts until early next week.

Possible extreme conditions - relevant to agriculture

According to current model projections (GFS model) of weather conditions during the coming week, the following may be deduced:

• Thundershowers over central and south eastern parts may have a tendency to become severe on Friday (8th) and Saturday (9th) as well as during the early part of next week.
• Significant daily totals with flash floods in places may occur over the Free State, Gauteng and adjacent parts of the surrounding provinces during the weekend.
• Heavy falls are possible over most of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, especially along the escarpment, early next week according to current forecasts. These could spread as far south as north eastern KZN according to current forecasts.
• It will be very hot over the western interior as well as the western parts of the winter rainfall region early next week.
• Persistent strong south easterlies over the southwestern parts may be conducive to the development and spread of wild fires where vegetation is dry.


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