A colder and wetter late summer expected

While below-average rainfall and temperatures are expected over South Africa until the end of January, weather forecasters are predicting wetter, cooler conditions for the later part of summer.

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SA Weather Service spokesperson, Kenosi Machepa, said that this did not eliminate the possibility of severe weather patterns, such as intense rainfall and flooding, or prolonged dry conditions. Instead it meant the frequency and intensity may be lower than usual.

“El Niño was expected to cause drier conditions for the summer rainfall areas for most of the summer period, as it has done for numerous seasons, but very importantly not all seasons,” Machepa added. “El Niño has since degraded from briefly being a weak El Niño to a neutral phase. El Niño/Southern Oscillation is, however, still in a relatively warm phase and is expected to move back to an El Niño state for the first half of 2013.”

The department of agriculture said that severe thunderstorms, with wind and hail, and heat waves already experienced this spring and summer, were likely to re-occur. 

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