'Winter rains will get Cape Town through summer but not out of the woods'

In less than a month, Cape Town will be officially entering the winter season, which is also the region's rainy season.

With the province still recovering from the worst drought that hit the area in 100 years, will this year's rainfall be enough to finally overcome the drought?

University of Cape Town's climate scientist Dr Peter Johnson gives an analysis of the rainfall data for 2019 and how it compares to prior years, as well as what is needed in order for the dams to be adequately replenished.

Read: Have your say on City's new plan to help make Cape Town drought-proof

The figures are a little bit misleading, depending on where you are. If you look at Theewaterskloof we are around the normal range and we can sort of say we can have a normal winter.

Dr Peter Johnson, Climate scientist - UCT

In the Theewaterskloof, we could have around 800mm of rain which typically would fill the dams in two years.

Dr Peter Johnson, Climate scientist - UCT

Chances of filling the dams are low but the chances of getting some rain are good.

Dr Peter Johnson, Climate scientist - UCT

Johnson says there will be enough water to get residents through the summer but that doesn't mean we are out of the woods.

The big question is if we are getting these dry years, is that something we going to see often in the future? Most of the scenarios are saying yes it is.

Dr Peter Johnson, Climate scientist - UCT

With the short-term focus, the weather services are saying the rain is going to come late this winter, Columbia University says we are going to be dry and the University of Pretoria is uncertain. This is because it is very difficult to predict rainfall.

Dr Peter Johnson, Climate scientist - UCT

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


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