Climate advisory for the 2009 winter season
26 May 2009
Summer rainfall came to an end by late March and during April conditions remained largely dry over most of the northern and eastern parts of the country. In most provinces livestock condition is generally reasonable to good. The dam levels are generally similar to last year this time except in the Eastern Cape and western parts of the Western Cape where they are lower. Vegetation conditions are normal throughout most of the summer rainfall region except in some parts of the Eastern Cape.
According to FEWS NET April 2009, generally food security in the region is projected to be average to above average in terms of cereal harvests which should be largely sufficient to meet the region’s consumption requirements for the next six months and beyond. Most rural households (including the resource poor) will have access to their own food production until the onset of next hunger season (October/November). Even in structurally grain deficit countries i.e. Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, May 2009 harvests are expected to meet farming households’ consumption requirements over the next six months.
On the short term, during the next two and a half weeks, above normal rainfall is anticipated over the western parts of the Western Cape. The central and eastern parts are likely to experience below normal minimum temperatures where already frost conditions have been observed over the past few weeks. For the longer term, the winter rainfall areas of the Western Cape are expected to experience neutral to slightly below normal rainfall and the remainder of the winter rainfall region is expecting above normal rainfall. Possibilities of above normal rainfall are also anticipated for the Eastern Cape, parts of Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. Temperatures are expected to be warmer than normal including over the winter rainfall areas. The lower minimum temperatures are expected to persist for the North-Eastern regions.
As this is the winter season, the risk of veld fires is high especially in the summer rainfall areas. Precautionary measures for fires such as firebreaks and others must be in place as indicated in the National Veld and Forest Fire Act (Act No. 101 of 1998). Precautionary measures should also be in place for cold spells, frost and snowfalls. Awareness programs on veld fires and other risks are encouraged.
The Disaster Management Act (Act No 57 of 2002) urges provinces, individuals and farmers, to assess and prevent or reduce the risk of disasters using early warning information. The complete advisory can be accessed through the Provincial Departments of Agriculture offices as well as DoA and AGIS websites i.e. www.nda.agric.za and www.agis.agric.za respectively.
Tel: 012 319 7312
Cell: 083 635 7346
Issued by: Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
26 May 2009
[ Top ]