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  In the town of: Whole Western Cape Region (in general):

Seasons of the Western Cape - Weather, school holidays & public holidays


   By Scapey on Sunday, June 22, 2003 - 10:13 am: Edit Post

Weather:

The Western Cape region has a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters. (This is quite different to the rest of South Africa)

Here are links to the historical weather data (temperatures and rainfall/precipitation) averaged over many years:

Cape Town (coast)
George (coastal Garden Route)
Langebaan (West Coast)
Beaufort West (Karoo)

Unfortunately, I can't find data on the wind, because the wind has a big influence on our lives.

The "South-Easter" is the dominant summer wind. For a lot of visitors, it is an undesirably strong wind and they will avoid the Cape during the "windy season". However, the wind sport enthusiasts such as the sailboarders and kitesurfers are attracted by it.

When the hot north-easterly "berg wind" blows from the interior out to the sea, the wind direction soon turns to northwest and rain follows, all within 24-48 hours of the berg wind starting.

South Africa's official weather office web site.

Public (Bank) Holidays:

The Western Cape has the same holidays as the rest of South Africa, with the unofficial exception of "Tweede Nuwejaar", translated as Second New Year's Day. This is on 2 January and it may be conveniently called "hangover day" but don't say that out loud!

Here are the official South African public holidays - note that when a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday following on it shall be a public holiday.

School Holidays:

Our schools have 4 terms per year. The Western Cape is a "coastal province" and the dates of the terms can be found on this page.

The year in perspective:

January: High summer season. The south-easter has a cooling effect, but blows sand in your face at the beach. Schools and factories reopen in the middle of the month - some small towns almost become deserted after the second week of January.

February: The wind moderates a bit and it gets hotter. The foreign tourists, escaping the northern hemisphere winter, arrive.

March: A second little holiday season begins - public holidays, school holidays. Still hot weather and hardly any wind.

April: Things are getting cooler now, but still some public holidays around. The foreign visitors have spring and they start to go home.

May: We start to think that winter may be coming - it is definitely not summer anymore. We don't think much about "autumn" because many trees and plants are evergreens. We could get the first winter storm with strong north-west winds and heavy rain over about 2 days, but then we think it is summer again and we have to keep on mowing the lawn.

June: By now we really see the autumn colours in the vineyards. We start taking our winter holidays because the schools and universities close for the 3-4 week long winter holiday.

July: This is the real cold and wet winter month for us.

August: Still quite wet, but we see the signs of spring.

September: It is spring! Lots of flowers.

Hey! I need help to write this story - any volunteers?? :-)


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