The rainy season could start well in the Cape. There is, however, uncertainty about the rest of the season. This is according to Johan van den Berg, Climatologist at Santam Agriculture. Short and medium-term predictions clearly show a reasonably good chance of cold fronts in May. These may cause rain. “We are still very uncertain about the amount and intensity. It will probably be enough for farmers to plant winter crops”, said Van den Berg. “Predictions for the remainder of the season and production conditions are still very uncertain. Particularly with the arid conditions and little ground moisture.”

Central and Southern parts of Namibia can expect light rain in the second half of May. “This might be the last rain of the season”, says Van den Berg.

The summer rainfall areas got very good rain in March and April. This was true for especially the central western parts of the province. “Large parts of the summer rainfall area had the best catchment of surface and underground water in many years. Almost all the large catchment dams reached full capacity in April”, says Van den Berg.

There is still concern about the drought in parts. Southern parts of the Northern Cape, in particular, have had very little rain. According to Van den Berg, predictions indicate that the low-lying areas of the peninsula could experience frost in the first week of May. “Heavy frost is only expected in last week or two of May”, he says.

The first week in May could also bring rain to the central and northwestern parts of the country. This will not necessarily be as good as that experienced in March and April.

Van den Berg says it is still too early to make reliable predictions about the possibility of an El Niño or La Niña system developing in 2018-19. “Last season the El Niño prediction for April went over into La Niña conditions a few months later. Central Pacific Ocean sea temperatures cause very volatile winter conditions.” –