Seasonal Climate Watch – September 2023 to January 2024

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently in an El Niño state and according to the latest predictions is expected to persist through most of the summer months. ENSO’s typical impact on Southern Africa is in favour of generally drier and warmer conditions during the summer seasons from October to March. Current global forecasts indicate a great deal of uncertainty for the typical drier conditions that South Africa experiences during an El Niño.

The multi-model rainfall forecast indicates above-normal rainfall for most of the country during mid-spring (Sep-Oct-Nov) and late-spring (Oct-Nov-Dec). The early summer (Nov-Dec-Jan) however, indicates below-normal rainfall over the central parts of the country and above-normal rainfall for the north-east.

Minimum and maximum temperatures are expected to be primarily above-normal countrywide for the forecast period.


The rainfall forecasts indicate above-normal rainfall over the northern and northeastern parts of the country during the late spring and summer seasons. These above-normal rainfall forecasts would likely have a positive impact on crop and livestock production. However, below-normal rainfall is predicted over most parts of the central and south-western areas of the country during early and late-summer seasons. Therefore, the relevant decision-makers are encouraged to advise farmers in these regions to practice soil and water conservation, proper water harvesting and storage, establishing good drainage systems, and other appropriate farming practices.