While South Africa’s north-eastern half has largely recovered from prolonged drought conditions owing to a good rainfall season, the south-western region is likely to continue experiencing severe drought conditions.
With the Cape’s traditionally rainy season drawing to a close, South African Weather Services’ Dr Eugene Poolman said on Friday that the Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI) showed severe dry conditions continuing over the south-western part of the country.
“SPI maps give an indication of areas where prolonged droughts exist because of below-normal rainfall recorded over a period of six months or longer,” he explained.
The likelihood of an El Nino or southern oscillation occurrence remain minimal as forecasting systems predict that neutral conditions will prevail in summer.
However, Poolman cautioned that seasonal forecasts tend to be less reliable for longer lead-times during neutral conditions than during El Nino or La Nina.
“It is very important to keep monitoring any developments that may provide more clarity on the current expectations for the coming seasons,” Poolman concluded.