Good news for South Africa’s grain producers is that most local and international weather forecasting agencies are consistently predicting more rainfall from mid-summer this year to early autumn next year.
According to a statement issued by Cobus Olivier, prediction and research scientist at Weather SA, “wetter conditions are expected during this period and the likelihood of cooler conditions in the mid-summer season has increased.”
This was as a result of an increased possibility that a weak La Niña weather phenomenon will develop and persist during the summer season, which strengthened the expectations for wetter conditions this summer, Olivier said.
He warned, however, that large parts of the country were still suffering from the aftermath of the drought.
“The expected increase in rainfall could also result in flooding. It is, therefore, very important to keep monitoring the developments that may alter or strengthen the current expectations for the summer season,” he said.
Further observations indicated that the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) had further strengthened in favour of a weak La Niña phenomenon during mid-November.
However, most prediction models still indicated a weakening of the La Niña phenomenon towards the southern hemisphere’s 2016/2017summer season.
According to these models, the expected weak La Niña would gradually dissipate and may not develop further.