SA sees sizzling start to spring as partial solar eclipse set to delight


Cape Town – This 2016 spring is likely to be hotter than normal, with a low likelihood of heavy rain, with the SA Weather Service warning of a possible record-breaking season ahead. 

“Perhaps we will see ourselves breaking records,” says General Manager of operations Mnikeli Ndabambi, reports News24.  

This is despite the fact that South Africa is moving towards a La Niña weather system, which is characterised by wet and cool weather. While there was a low probability of this, it could mean better rains at the beginning of the summer, but not in spring, the SA weather Service Confirmed. South Africa is still experiencing the drought, with eight drought-stricken provinces declared a disaster areas.

July recently registered as Earth's hottest month on record - setting a new record for planet-wide heat that has not been seen in 137 years of record-keeping, according to US government scientists. It also marked the 15th straight month the monthly global temperature record has been shattered, the longest such streak in the 137 years. 

However SAWS could not provide any confirmation of the expected weather conditions for spring due to the conditions over the Indian Ocean, which were not conducive to making accurate rainfall predictions.  Last year, the SAWS was able to predict the drought with a great deal of confidence, due to the El Niño system over the country at the time.

“Last year, we went through spring and summer knowing what to expect. Now we are almost uncertain what we are going to get.” 

Spring arrives with partial solar eclipse

As the first day of spring looms, the SA Weather Service warns of extremely high fire danger conditions over the central parts of the Northern Cape, northern and central interior of the Eastern Cape and places over the Karoo and the Western Cape. 

More warm weather is expected on Wednesday. It will be warm to hot, but cool on the south-western tip of SA as a cold front approaches. A 30% chance of rain is expected along the Western Cape coast from Lambert's Bay to Cape Agulhas. CLICK HERE to see the full weather forecast

SEE: Weather Update: Mild days ahead to welcome spring!

Added to this there will be an annular solar eclipse, with a partial solar eclipse visible over central Africa as well as Madagascar.

The moon's shadow will also cross parts of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans - if you want to make the most of the eclipse, check out the morning skies between 06:13 and 09:01 UTC, with report the annularity will last for 3 minutes and 6 seconds.

Click here to see the exact details of when best to view the eclipse in your city.

What to read next on Traveller24:

Spring Guide: Best routes to follow this spring!

5 Adventures to put the spring in your step

Bring on spring: 50 reasons to get excited!

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