Tag Archives: weather

Spring water… and snow

Spring water... and snow
Yes the title of this post is misleading... and rather clever, if I do say so myself. :) It's spring in Cape Town and after a warm couple of days it's started raining cats, dogs, piggies, lions and leopards.

It got extremely cold again today - like a winter's revenge kind of cold - and the rain has poured almost all day. And, as the title suggests, it appears that it's even snowed in Stellenbosch (albeit only on the mountain peaks)!

What I'm wanting to know is, who did what to provoke nature's anger?

No need for shutters

No need for shutters

I remember thinking earlier this year how great it would be to have shutters on our windows. No matter how thick our curtains are, or what kind of reflective blinds we have, the heat still penetrates the glass making our home rather uncomfortable in summer. Shutters effectively prevent the sun's rays from reaching the glass, helping to keep our rooms cool.

Today I'm sitting in our lounge working on a website for Kerry-Anne - and it's absolutely freezing cold. Well, not exactly freezing (as in 0°C) - the latest reading at 17h34 shows that it's 14°C, which is really really cold for us here in Africa.

Sometimes it’s better to be cold-blooded

Sometimes it's better to be cold-blooded
It's been maddeningly hot in Cape Town for the last three days. Temperatures have exceeded 35°C - and in fact, right now it's 37°C in my neighbourhood! Take a look at our page the lists real-time weather conditions.

I wonder how this tortoise feels about being out in the sun, and if it's perhaps preferable to be cold-blooded on days like this.

Orange leaves glowing

Orange leaves glowing
So far we've had far more grey and wet days this year than last. If you were here during the World Cup football you'll remember that we had plenty of cold-yet-sunny days in June/July.

Even though it's been very wet, grey and cold we have had the odd sunny day, and even though it's still cold the sun and blue sky is a welcome reprieve from the winter grey.

I, and perhaps the rest of Cape Town, may complain about the wet and grey conditions, but this is tempered with memories of 2003 when we had much less rain than normal which led to summer water restrictions. In reality, we're grateful for the rain, but I have to be honest and stay that I'd far prefer Johannesburg's warm and rainy weather!

Surfing winds and weather reports

In my experience, surfers are always chasing perfect wind and waves. I recently discovered a website that provides wind direction, speed and temperature information as well as swell information, beach webcams, and weather forecasts. Take a look at windreport.co.za - it's not the prettiest site, but it sure does have a lot of weather-related information that surfers and other outdoor-types would find useful.

Our gutters are dry

A dry gutter
While our Gauteng province has been suffering under seemingly-endless rain, our Western Cape gardens and gutters remain bone dry. In fact, my grass is all but green and my plants have started seeing mirages, or rather hallucinations, of huge lakes of cool water.

In all seriousness, it has been pretty dry in Cape Town (this is our summer, after all) while our friends in Johannesburg, and the northern provinces, are having uncharacteristically large amounts of rain. In fact, I heard a report on the radio this morning that mines have started filling up and overflowing, spilling acidic water into rivers... which I'm sure you can imagine isn't the best thing for the river's ecosystem.

On the plus side, a friend of mine reported that his garden (in Johannesburg) is beautifully green and that he's pretty much having to cut his grass every week! That's such a stark contrast to my pathetic desert-like lawn. :-(

Windy Cape Town

Harbour at sunset
The harbour area is beautiful between the summer hours of 17h00 and 20h00 as the shadows of ships and their shadows lengthen across the water and the light softens to a slightly orange hue.

Unfortunately the Cape Town wind often spoils the otherwise-peaceful atmosphere and on these gale-force wind-swept days most people head indoors to keep from being blown over. :) I don't often get blown about by the wind, but sometimes, on particularly windy days, even I'm compelled to hold onto railings and brace myself against it's surprisingly powerful force.

Although sometimes irritating, Cape Town's wind comes with mixed blessings. Firstly, it keeps our city air pretty clean - which makes for crystal clear photos of Table Mountain ;) , and secondly makes our 30°C+ summer weather far more bearable than what it otherwise would be. Depending on when you read this post - you may see some of what I'm referring to by looking at our page that contains the current temperature and wind speed for a few spots around the peninsula.

Cape Town’s strange weather

Beautiful beach weather
The weather the past week, or more, has been extremely topsy turvy. It feels almost as though winter and summer have struck a deal and agreed to alternate sunny and warm days with cold and rainy ones.

Fortunately, we struck it lucky this weekend with both Saturday and Sunday holding the most beautiful weather suitable for relaxing at the beach and sipping on sundowners, or spending the day at the swimming pool and braaing in the sun.

This is Cape Town folks. :)

Autumn and Winter in Cape Town

Puffy white clouds
The early mornings have cooled down considerably - the inevitable sign of winter approaching. From now on, the number of beach day's will be few, and folk will start wearing warmer clothes, and moving traditional weekend braais to start a little earlier in the evening.

The arrival of autumn and winter conjures mixed feelings in me. On the one hand I love hot days and warm evenings, but on the other hand, the autumn and winter light together with the cool crisp air sets the scene for beautiful photo opportunities.

Oh, and this year, besides these both, we'll be having a fantastic June/July - roll on 2010 FIFA World Cup! :)

Summer is approaching

Summer is approaching

Even though our gardens are still enjoying rainy days, the smell of summer is already in the air. Well, at least in my nostrils it is. Spring has already arrived - trees and shrubs are sprouting leaves, flowers are blossoming and the air is slightly warmer than it was a month ago.

Summer in Cape Town is fantastic, with the only really bad part being that locals find themselves busy at work, many of them indoors, hidden away from the beauty of summer. The things that make it bearable for them (us :) ) are holidays, and the fact that summer days last until after the working day, with the sun setting after 8pm. Even when it's dark the warmth of the day lasts late into the night.

You can tell I can't wait, can't you?

Drip, drip drip, drip

Drip, drip drip, drip drip drip...

Over the last few days I've been posting photos from the Worldwide Photo Walk that I attended on Saturday. Even though Cape Town was at her best on Saturday, and there are plenty more photos that I'd like to draw your attention to, this will be the last one that I'll publish as a blog entry. I have however uploaded the rest of the morning's photos to our "Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photo Walk - 2009" album. Please indulge me and take a look through the album - the city really was very photogenic on Saturday morning.

On a side note, although we had perfect weather on Saturday, I found this gutter downpipe dripping really fast, almost as though it were raining... which makes publishing this photo today co-incidental since this week we've had our fair share of rain! Perhaps the dripping was prophetic in some or other way? :)

Cold weather sucks

Mud pools after rain
As Kerry-Anne wrote, it's been raining buckets in Cape Town. In addition to the rain though, it feels like it's been getting colder and colder with each passing day. As I write this post I'm wearing two pairs of warm pants, two pairs of socks, and four long tops - an unusual outfit, you must understand. I did a quick scan on our weather page and noticed that of the five weather stations that we monitor, the closest one to us (Durbanville Central) is the coldest at 9.2°C! Now, I know that 9.2°C isn't very cold for many of our readers, but you should remember, this is Africa!

We've often been told by visitors from abroad that the difference between South Africa and other cold countries is that our homes aren't geared for cold weather. We don't have particularly well-sealed windows or doors, I don't have a warm fire burning, there's no central heating, and nor do we have that awesome underfloor heating that a few of our friends are no doubt enjoying right now.

If you do find yourself visiting our city over winter, while you don't have to bring your snow gear along, do bring enough warm clothing, because it does get chilly every now and again.

The rain in Cape Town

Shortmarket Street in Cape Town

... falls mainly on Greenmarket Square. Well, not actually. The rain in Cape Town has been falling pretty much everywhere over the last day or two, and in rather large quantities too.

We had to go into the city for a friend's birthday party, and both wondered at times whether it wouldn't have been better to take a motorboat or canoe instead of our car. There's been flooding in quite a few areas, including Camps Bay, Newlands and Somerset West. Fortunately our neighbourhood seems to have escaped with a bit less rain than everywhere else, so we weren't affected in any way (apart from getting a bit wet walking from our car to the restaurant from which this photo was taken).

Of course, the great thing about Cape Town's winter is that we get all the cold, rainy weather in a few short, intense bursts, and for the rest of the time it's sunny and clear. ;-)

Cape Town’s winter weather

Ice-cream at the beach

I just can't believe the weather that we're having this year. I'm sure it's usually cold with a fair share of rain in July!

We took a drive out to Blouberg beach today to take a few photos and have some ice-cream at the seaside. Clearly similar thoughts about ice-cream at the seaside went through many people's minds. It seemed as though wherever I looked there were people eating ice-cream!

The only sad thing about the weather we're having is that most tourists only visit the city in the summer months and so miss out on these clear and sunny winter days. What I hope for is that next year we have similarly good weather for the 2010 Football World Cup - it'll make our visitors' stay in Cape Town extraordinarily awesome!

Buildings, banners and winds

Banner torn by high winds

Thankfully we haven't been in Cape Town to experience this week's storms, which seem to have been an illustration of why the Dutch at first called the area the "Cape of Storms". Mandy, on the other hand, has been there, but absolutely refused to walk about in the rain taking photos of the carnage! (Which I completely understand.)

As quickly as the storms arrive, they disappear, leaving in their wake blue skies and, in this case, torn banners. Normally, once the storm has subsided, we find that our beaches and seaside roads are covered in foam and debris from the ocean. One good thing resulting from these kinds of storms is that the skies are cleared completely of all the smog that would have hung low in the air, obscuring the beautiful nature that surrounds the city.

Driving rain

Driving rain

We woke up early this morning, with about 42 fire trucks blasting our house with their huge fire hoses. When the pounding water eventually held up, I looked outside and found that every single fire-truck and fireman had mysteriously disappeared without a trace... leaving behind pools of water all through our garden.

Oh alright... you saw right through my story, didn't you? It wasn't really firemen, of course, but rather the biggest and heaviest cloud that we've seen for a long while, unleashing all its rain in one enormous downpour. I must say, I'm not particularly looking forward to this winter; it's been icy cold this afternoon - around 11°C (which is freezin' for a Cape Town afternoon)!

We're heading off to a friend's birthday party at FTV in Cape Town this evening. It's storming outside, but Shana's convinced it's going to be hot inside. ;) I'll let you know tomorrow how it went!