Is winter 2016 late? The South African Weather Services office in PE answers

APRIL 20, 2016

As regards queries and observations that winter is late in the Eastern Cape this year, I viewed the data using Port Elizabeth as a barometer for the region, as a cold snap would affect most cities in the region, says Garth Sampson, Client Liaison Officer at the South African Weather Services in the Eastern Cape.

He said that when data for the period 2000 to 2016 is viewed, the first cold snap of the year (minimum temperature well under 10 C) on average occurs around the 23rd April.

"This usually yields a minimum temperature of around 7.5C, on average, in the city," describes Sampson.

"The earliest that it occurred was in 2013 and 2014 when it came through on the 12th April in both years with minimum temperatures of 7.6C and 8.5 C respectively. The latest that the first cold has occurred is on 6 May 2012 when 7.6 C was measured.

"The coldest first cold snap occurred in 2000 when a chilly 3.8 C was measured."

So what does the winter hold for us?

"The forecast for the next few days does not show any particularly  low temperatures, but this could change over the weekend, when a cold front is expected to pass over the region," says Sampason.

"Although the seasonal forecast indicates generally above-normal minimum and maximum temperatures across the country through autumn towards early-winter, below average temperatures are excepted along south and parts of the south-eastern coastal regions as well as the adjacent interior, during the mid-winter season.

"So enjoy the warm autumn days while you can!"