#WaterWatch

Cape April rainfall could predict levels for the year

Scientists are looking at weather models to predict whether Cape Town will receive decent rain this winter.

University of Cape Town climate scientist Dr Peter Johnston says if the Western Cape receives higher than average rainfall by the end April, there is a likelihood that there will be good rainfall for the whole year.

If however, by the end of May there's below average rainfall, it means the province will experience another dry year.

Read: Augmented water supplies will have to wait, as thieves plunder drilling sites

We are waiting to see what April is going to do and if we can get 120 - 150mm rainfall it means we are heading to a wet year, but if we get below that there is a very good chance we will be dry.

Dr Peter Johnston, UCT Climate Scientist

Johnston says although a lot of people are saying the drought is a result of climate change, the fact is, as scientists, they don't know.

Read also: Scientist attributes Western Cape drought to climate change

What we do know, is that climate is variable and drought is not unknown in the Western Cape. We are saying this is a normal situation, it is not abnormal and something that is completely unknown.

Dr Peter Johnston, UCT Climate Scientist

To get three dry years in a row is unusual so we do not expect to get a fourth dry year.

Dr Peter Johnston, UCT Climate Scientist

He confirms that temperatures are rising, which means that the province could experience increased evaporation even we get good rainfall.

Listen to the interview below:


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