Climate advisory for the 2010 winter season
4 Jun 2010
Normal to above normal rainfall was received during the summer over most of the summer rainfall areas. In spite of this, parts of the Eastern Cape and the Eden District of the Western Cape continued to experience drought conditions. However, most dams have recovered with the exception of some regions of the above-mentioned drought-stricken areas. Outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever were reported in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Northern Cape, Western Cape and North West and the veterinary services have implemented control measures in the affected areas.
In the recent Southern Africa Food Security Outlook of April to September 2010, it is stated that monitoring and assessment reports indicated a general improvement in food security across most of the region, coinciding with the end of the hunger season (March/April). Food availability is reported to be increasing as seasonal crops and early maize harvests made their way into households and rural markets. Food security has been particularly enhanced in those areas where crop production benefited from favourable rainfall performance.
The seasonal forecast for the winter (June, July, and August) suggests enhanced probabilities for above-normal rainfall totals for large parts of the Northern Cape and parts of the Western Cape. Maximum temperatures are expected to be below normal over the Western Cape but above normal in the eastern part of the country. On the other hand, enhanced probabilities of above-normal minimum temperatures are expected in some parts of the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
As above-normal rainfall is anticipated in the winter rainfall areas with the current high soil moisture content in most areas, contingency measures should be in place for localised flooding. Over the summer rainfall areas, precautionary measures for veldfires such as firebreaks and others must be in place as indicated in the National Veld and Forest Fire Act (Act No. 101 of 1998) as the drier conditions are anticipated.
The veldfire risk will be exacerbated by the large amount of biomass associated with copious rainfall received during summer. Currently, conditions remain favourable for irrigation farmers owing to the improved dam levels in most areas. Regardless, water has to be conserved and farmers must always adhere to water restrictions and also continually observe the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (Act No. 43 of 1983). In addition, measures are needed to minimise evaporative loss of moisture. Precautionary measures should also be in place for occasional cold spells.
Furthermore, farmers are advised to refer to the extended range forecast that is updated weekly and that is obtainable from the South African Weather Service.
The Disaster Management Act (Act No. 57 of 2002) urges all involved in disaster risk management individuals and the farming community to assess and prevent or reduce the risk of disasters using early warning information.
For further information contact:
Tel: 012 319 7348
Cell: 082 523 4904
Issued by: Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
4 Jun 2010
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