Phillemon Sithole (Agrometeorologist)

Published: 14th Mar 2024


Average rainfall during the 2023/24 summer season has generally been above the long-term mean for the mostly-rainfed regions of KwaZulu-Natal despite below average rainfall being recorded in November and February. However, in the irrigated lowveld of Mpumalanga, rainfall has been well below average, in line with the anticipated low summer rainfall associated with the predominantly strong El Niño conditions this summer season.

All irrigation water sources remain well replenished, no immediate water restrictions are anticipated, but load shedding continues to reduce irrigation capacity.

Regional average monthly total rainfall for October 2023 to February 2024 compared to the corresponding long-term means (LTM).



The predominantly strong El Niño state of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) during the 2023/24 summer season is gradually dissipating and will likely transition to an ENSO neutral state by April to June 2024, making neutral conditions the most likely category during the winter season of 2024.

February 2024 ENSO forecast for each of the three possible categories for 2024. Source: NOAA


The South African Weather Service and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society predict near normal rainfall for most of Kwa-Zulu Natal during autumn (March to May) 2024, while below average rainfall is likely for Mpumalanga over the same period.  Mostly above normal minimum and maximum temperatures are expected.

Please visit the SASRI WeatherWeb for the latest industry weather reports and links to up-to-date seasonal climate forecasts.



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