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'Region heading for a record warm winter' says PE weather office

Aug 2, 2018
'Region heading for a record warm winter' says PE weather office

The average maximum temperature for July 2018 in Port Elizabeth, was the highest on record (1950-2018) at 22.8C, the Port Elizabeth office of the South African Weather Service said on Thursday.

"This was a whopping 1.2C higher than the previous record of 21.6C, recorded in 2010," explained Garth Sampson, Client Liaison Officer for the Eastern Cape at the South African Weather Service.

"Furthermore, the average maximum temperature for the first two months of winter (June and July)were also the highest on record, at 22.4C.

"The previous record occurred in 1999, when 21.7C was recorded.

"We are thus heading for one of the warmest winters on record."

 He added that the night time temperatures of an average of 8.2C were on the other close to the norm of 8.3C.

"This can largely be attributed to the lack of cloud, which was a result of considerably lower than normal rainfall figures," Sampson said.

"Although the 31.4 mm rainfall recorded for July 2018 was well below the norm of 51 mm, it was far off the record low of 1.6mm measured in July 2005.

"The total rainfall of 146 mm was the second driest first 7 months of the year, since 1970 , when 132.8 mm was measured for the same period.

"Records go back to 1950." 

He said that, going forward, the seasonal forecast, for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality area and its catchment areas, shows a glimmer of hope for above normal rainfall in August, which rapidly fissels out to below normal for the rest of the year.

East London

"In East London the average maximum temperature of 23.1C for July, was the 3rd highest on record (1950-2018)," Sampson said.

"In 1992 and 1993 the average maximum recorded was  23.3C and 23.4C respectively. The average minimum of 11.0C was also higher that the norm of 10.2C, but no where near the record of 12.2C measured in 1958." 

He noted that the 11.4 mm rainfall measured in July was well below the norm of 43.4mm.

"The seasonal forecast for East London and surrounds shows below average rainfall right through to December (end of seasonal forecast period)."


Sampson said that the average maximum temperature of 21.7C at George during July, was also the highest on record (1976-2018).

"The previous maximum occurred in1980, when 21.2C was measured," he described.

"The average minimum for July, for George, was also the highest on record with 10.4C being measured.

"The previous record was 9.3C measured in 2009. The 2018 figure is almost 3 degrees higher than the average of 7.6C."

He further said that the 18.2mm of rain measured in George in July was well below the average of 46.4mm, but well off the record of 7.6 mm measured in 1990.

"The rainfall situation, according to the seasonal forecast does not look promising for the rest of the year.

"In summary, July has been an exceptionally warm month over the region, with record high average maximum temperatures," Sampson said.

"If these conditions persist, we could be heading for one of the warmest winters along the coastal area between George and East London.

"As far as rainfall is concerned, the below average trend has persisted deep into winter, with little hope of an improving situation for the rest of the year."