Climatologist assesses rainfall midway through Cape winter

Half the year has now passed us by and we're in the middle of winter, which in the Cape traditionally means rain.

Given how dry it was in the preceding years, it might feel like the rains we have had are a major improvement.

But, how do our rainfall patterns so far measure up to the long term average which we received in previous years?

Hydro-climatologist at the University of Cape Town's (UCT's) Climate Systems Analysis Group, Piotr Wolski talks to Kieno about Western Cape mid-year rainfall patterns.

It doesn't look very bad but it doesn't look very good either. We are slightly below the long-term average so it is not a wet year.

Piotr Wolski, Hydro-climatologist - UCT's Climate Systems Analysis Group

He explains that what is key is the rainfall the province receives during the entire year, and not just in the core rainfall season.

But we are definitely not in a drought.

Piotr Wolski, Hydro-climatologist - UCT's Climate Systems Analysis Group

He says different dams in the province play different roles and only certain ones supply the Cape Town water supply system.

We have 52% of storage, and by my calculations, we will probably end up around 72%-75% at the end of the season.

Piotr Wolski, Hydro-climatologist - UCT's Climate Systems Analysis Group

It takes three years to recover fully from the drought, he says.

This year we have been better off than last year.

Piotr Wolski, Hydro-climatologist - UCT's Climate Systems Analysis Group

Listen to Wolski's assessment below:


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