Chile’s Calbuco volcano, located near Peurto Montt erupted this week,
After what seemed like a wet start to the winter season, the rain has gone AWOL, particularly for the Western Cape. The last rain I can recall was on the 2nd of July in Cape Town and it was less than 2mm that fell. Though after this drizzle, the typical July weather for Cape Town which averages 82mm for the month, has disappeared and in it’s place have been far above average temperatures and sunshine. For the past 2 weeks temperatures in the Cape Town area have been between 20’C and 27’C, with little cloud cover.
Dam and pond levels which were greatly relieved with the June rains in the area have begun to decline again and there is no sight of rain in the short term forecasts. The closest possibility of rain for the Cape is currently the 21st of July, though models have been inconsistent and it is by no means set in stone, latest forecasts show no rain whats-so-ever. The lack of rain is highly uncommon for this time of the year, for such an extended period of time. The jet stream seems to be weak and high pressure systems have been blocking the few small lows that do form to the south west.
What has been stranger is that the Kwazulu Natal area have been receiving more rain this July than the Cape. This is due to low pressure systems forming to the east of Cape Town, moving north east and then making a turn to the south east, being taken out to sea.
Typically at this time of the year you will be able to head for some snow chasing, but most people are heading to the beaches.
Looking ahead, I definitely wouldn’t say winter is over, it’s barely begun – and I expect August and September to deliver where July has lacked. This has no scientific basis, but given that August is the rainiest month of the year, having an average of 14 rain days compared to 12 of July; with that said, average rainfall figures themselves are historically higher in July.
The Cape isn’t the only place lacking rain, the tropical Atlantic has been off to a very slow hurricane season with only one named storm thus far. Activity tends to pick up in August though and even 2004 was a reasonably late starting year, yet brought some good canes to track.
Right now it’s model watching time to see where the next real rain chances are for the Cape. Though I’m loving this weather!