July rainfall cape town weather

View of Table Mountain and Lions Head, Cape Town

Cape Town weather: This is why the region had “below-average” rainfall in July

Not what the Cape needed.

July rainfall cape town weather

View of Table Mountain and Lions Head, Cape Town

After two months of consistent downpours, the rain has effectively gone missing in the south-west. Cape Town weather simply hasn’t played ball in July.

As SA Environmental Observation Network’s Nicky Allsopp told News24, the situation has become “very worrying”.

May and June saw waves of cold fronts douse the drought-stricken region, but the last four weeks have been as good as barren. Some predicted rainfall even failed to materialise.

Cape Town weather: Average rainfall for July

The Jonkershoek mountain range between both the Berg River and Theewaterskloof dams is used as an indicator for “healthy” rainfall. The region takes on more rain than anywhere else near the municipality.

A normal July rainy season would see the region take on 535mm of rain over a total of 31 days. This month, only a third of that total was recorded. Jonkershoek received just 170mm in the previous four weeks.

Kirstenbosch is also famous for its July downpours but has fallen well short of its monthly average. An approximate 12 days of rain is the norm for this time of year, but the region has experienced just four, and is nowhere near its average of 247mm.

Cape Town rainfall July 2018: Why has it been so dry?

A torrential storm at the beginning of July looked like it was a positive sign of things to come for the Mother City. But the momentum never carried through, and only brief bursts of rain have been seen since.

Allsopp made reference to the changing weather patterns on the Cape coast and stated that the province is still “teetering” on the brink of uncertainty.

“The cold front systems are coming through, but they are being pushed south so it is raining out at sea and not on land. Over the last four weeks the increase in dam levels has almost gone flat so we are certainly not out of trouble yet. We are nowhere near as bad as we were this time last winter, but at 56% we are still teetering.”

UCT Climate Scientist, Dr Peter Johnstone stated in June that Cape Town and its surrounding areas were set to miss out on sustained periods of rain due to shifting weather patterns. He claims the behaviour of pressure cells is causing dry weather conditions to stick around for longer than usual.

“Pressure cells are shifting around and we don’t know whether this is a long-term thing, but certainly, over the last three years, we have realised that these cells have intensified and are hanging around.”