The climate forecasts used in our work are produced by the South African
Weather Bureau (SAWB). They produce a suite of
short term forecasts, include a national summary and provincial forecasts, temperature and traveller's forecasts,
seven day forecasts, and charts and satellite images.
Our focus is upon the SAWB seasonal forecasts.
Their long term predictions include 14 day, monthly, and seasonal forecasts.
They also produce an ENSO
advisory for the country.
Unfortunately, predicting future climate with certainty is not possible in
any country. Instead, the SAWB forecasts report probabilities that the
month or season will be wetter than normal, normal, or drier than normal.
For example, a forecast of 20% | 30% | 50% for a season would say that
there was a 20% chance of the season being wet, 30% chance of the season
being normal, and a 50% chance of the season being dry.
The maps from SAWB shown above are prediction in April for rainfall for May through
July 2001 (left), and July through September (right). Our study area, in red in the map on
the left, has a forecast for a 20% chance of rainfall above normal, and a 50% chance of
rainfall below normal. Later in 2001, SAWB estimates a 40% chance of rainfall being below
normal. Please click on one of the images or the link to SAWB above to view updated