Climatologist puts a damper on rain forecasts

Dr. Peter Johnstone, climatologist at UCT's Climate Systems Analysis Group, says the model systems drawn from el Nino is not giving much information at this stage. There is little chance of anything different happening over the next few months than has been expected, in other words no more rain or less rain than expected.

August was about 75% of normal rainfall.

Dr. Peter Johnstone, climatologist, UCT's Climate Systems Analysis Group

He says it takes just a couple of days of big rainfalls during dry months to turn that on its head though.

He says they are expecting up to 20ml of rain on Monday and Tuesday.

But things are not looking good. The dams are only 60% full.

Our trajectory for water storage this year is the second lowest in the last twenty years. So it is really not looking good for the dams.

Dr. Peter Johnstone, climatologist, UCT's Climate Systems Analysis Group

He says the only way we could stop being concerned, is if the dams were overflowing by November. And that does not look likely.

If we have a dry year this year, it impacts on everything next year...vegetation and fires...with a deficit going into winter.

Dr. Peter Johnstone, climatologist, UCT's Climate Systems Analysis Group

he says it is something the Western cape has to get used to, and start planning for. Water can be used and utilized many times over he says, if clever means are introduced.

Our message is, don't rely on the climate turning in our favour.

Dr. Peter Johnstone, climatologist, UCT's Climate Systems Analysis Group
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