Week 1 (16-22/11/2015) Rainfall

Please note that:

  1. I am a meteorologist but I am not a forecaster and this is only my opinion/interpretation and
  2. predictions made by numerical models (such as GFS used here) beyond 3/4 days can be inaccurate, particularly when it comes to precipitation and temperatures at specific locations.

Today (Mon 16 Nov) could be the start of a week which may see the arrival of the first decent widespread rainfall across most of the interior of SA which could bring some relief for drought-stricken areas.

Yesterday the SAWS issued a Watch for severe thunderstorms which could produce large hail and damaging wind for Gauteng and the Northern parts of the NW. This does not mean it will definitely happen, just that it remains a possibility.

But I want to focus on the rainfall.

I don’t often discuss situations that are forecast to occur more than 3/4 days away from the time the forecast is made because the forecasts can change so much beyond that, so bear that in mind when reading below.

The week 1 rainfall total map from the CPC (based on the GFS model) shows the possibility of some very decent rainfall this coming week (see below). This is of course if it is assumed that the GFS model is absolutely 100% correct (it’s note) and does not change (it will) over the coming week. The 3-day rainfall map shows that there could be significant rainfall for the interior of SA in the next 2-3 days.

Daily rainfall totals (shown below) show that the NE’ern FS, GP and large parts of MP and LP (possibly even KZN and EC later in the week) could see some very good daily totals this week. Bear in mind that this is a global model (relatively low resolution) so some areas may see higher totals than forecast in the map.

Despite the fact that the forecast will likely change during the week, there is definitely an indication from the models (not only GFS) that there is a significant influx of moisture compared to previous weeks (and even months).

Although we’re all begging for rain what is really needed at this stage is for rain to fall in the catchments of rivers feeding the dams and it seems it might happen this week.

The rainfall might not necessarily be drought-busting rainfall this week, but it sure could bring some relief to the areas currently ravaged by drought.

Personally, I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens this week. I hope the forecasts stay on track, and I’m sure many other people do as well, particularly the farmers.

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