Good morning class. In today’s climatology lesson we will focus on Cape Town’s seemingly unusual climate.
At the moment, you might have noticed that the temperature is about 10⁰C higher than last week. While we are used to such temperature fluctuations, it is very unusual because we should, according to historical data, find ourselves in cooler temps.
On Tuesday a maximum of 33⁰C was recorded at Molteno Reservoir in Cape Town’s City Bowl, reports EWN. If you have popped onto any weather forecasts, you would have realised that these high temperatures are here until early next week.
And the best part? There is no south easter.
So just what is it that is causing these wonderfully high temperatures, offering us one last summer experience before we are plunged into a (fingers crossed) wet winter? I’m going to give you over to the experts.
From EWN, why Cape Town is having a heatwave in autumn:
A high-pressure system in the upper parts of the atmosphere causes air to sink towards the surface. While rising air cools with height, descending air warms and ultimately causes warmer conditions at the earth’s surface.
Under these circumstances, hot and cloud-free conditions occur and may last for days at a time.
The current upper high-pressure system is kept stationary by two cut-off low-pressure systems – the one being south-east of the country and the other to the south-west of Namibia.
The low pressure to the south-east is also hindering the ridging of the surface high pressure along the east coast resulting in a week of persistent weather conditions over much of South Africa.
Of course the timing isn’t exactly all that satisfying, as our dams are thirsting for water.
However, although rain is expected to follow sometime next week, that’s not all good news as scientists have warned Capetonians to be prepared for extreme flooding.
This El Nino, hey.
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