There is a promise for some welcome rainfall over the Eastern Cape from Thursday onwards, according to the South African Weather Service (SAWS).
“This will be of particular good news for the areas around Grahamstown/Fort Beaufort, Cradock and Patensie who have experienced an exceptionally dry summer,” Client Liaison Officer Garth Sampson said.
For the summer months (December to February) both Fort Beaufort and Grahamstown experienced the lowest summer rainfall on record, while in Patensie it was the second lowest on record and in Cradock the 3rd lowest.
The details are as follows:
Fort Beaufort (period 1997-2019) LOWEST ON RECORD
Lowest 80.2 mm 2018-2019
Average 154 mm for period December to February
Grahamstown (period 1992-2019) LOWEST ON RECORD
Lowest 48.2 mm 2018-2019
Average 140 mm for period December to February
Patensie (period 1993-2019) 2nd LOWEST ON RECORD
Lowest 53.4 mm 2001-2002
2nd lowest 61 mm 2018-2019
Average 124 mm for period December to February
Cradock (period 1990-2019) 3rd LOWEST ON RECORD
Lowest 52.8 mm 2000-2001
2nd lowest 68.6 mm 1992-1993
3rd lowest 88.4 mm 2018-2019
Average 161 mm for period December to February
Late summer rainfall in February meant that areas in the east and the coastal regions did not record similar records.
The forecast for rain from Thursday is as follows:
A cold front will reach Port Elizabeth in the afternoon, bringing with it overnight showers south of the escarpment and west of Queenstown.
A ridging high will push in rain and showers in over areas south of the escarpment (that is areas south of Graaff-Reinet and Queenstown).
Rainfall south of Darlington dam may reach 10mm in places overnight.
With the high maintaining its position, together with an upper trough drawing moisture in over the region, it will continue raining with light to moderate showers expected south of Darlington Dam, with rainfall 10-15mm in places. Afternoon thunderstorms are expected along the escarpment, spreading to the Wild coast later in the day.
Rainfall over the eastern half of the province is expected to be between 10 and 15 mm.
An upper low develops west of the country, with a high south of the country, resulting in clearance from the west. However, the Tropical moisture will assist in the development of thundershowers and showers in the east.
The upper low moves closer to the country, with showers and thundershowers developing over the Northern Cape, moving over the Eastern Cape in the afternoon.