Become a South African Climate Expert
The highest worldwide temperature was recorded in AlAziziya, Libya measuring 57.7 ºC on 13 September 1922 and in South Africa at Dunbrody (Sundays River Valley in Eastern Cape) measuring 50.0 ºC on 3 November 1918. The hottest place in South Africa is Letaba (Limpopo Province) with a mean annual temperature of 23.3 ºC and an average annual maximum temperature of 35.0 ºC. The lowest worldwide temperature was recorded in Vostok, Antarctica at -89.2 ºC on 21 July 1983 and in South Africa at Buffelsfontein near Molteno (Eastern Cape) measuring -18.6 ºC on 28 June 1996.
The coldest place in South Africa is Buffelsfontein near Molteno (Eastern Cape) with a mean annual temperature of 11.3 ºC and an average annual minimum temperature of 2.8 ºC. The highest worldwide monthly rainfall occurs at Cherrapunji, India (9300 mm) and in South Africa at Matiwa in the Limpopo Province (1510 mm measured in January 1958). The highest worldwide 24 hour rainfall was measured at Fac Fac, Reunion Island (1825 mm) and in South Africa at St Lucia in KwaZulu-Natal (597 mm measured on 31 January 1984). This was rainfall associated with the passage of tropical cyclone Domoina. In South Africa the highest ever rainfall in one year was measured at Woodbush in the Limpopo Province (4359 mm in 2000). The wettest place in South Africa is Matiwa with an average annual rainfall of 2004 mm (calculated over a 60-year period). The driest Place in South Africa is Alexander Bay in the Northern Cape with an average annual rainfall of only 46 mm.
The windiest place in South Africa is Cape Point (Western Cape) which experiences only 2% of all hours in the year with calm conditions. The average wind speed is 6.9 m/s with 42.1% of the wind speeds greater than 8 m/s. The strongest wind gust ever in South Africa occurred at Beaufort West (Western Cape) on 16 May 1984 and measured 186 km/h. Which is the windiest place Cape Town or Port Elizabeth? This is a difficult question to answer. What magnitude of wind is more noticeable than others? Possibly we can resolve the issue by referring to the Beaufort Wind Scale. If one uses the Beaufort Wind Scale, wind only really becomes felt by human beings when the wind speed exceeds 1.5 m/s. Cape Town experiences wind of 1.6 m/s or more on 95.6% of the days of the year and Port Elizabeth on 95.7% of the days of the year. The Beaufort Wind Scale classifies any wind greater than 8 m/s as a Fresh Breeze.
In Cape Town a fresh breeze is experienced on 18.7% of the days in the year (68 days of the year) and in Port Elizabeth on 20.2% of the days in the year (73 days of the year). How often, and during which months, does the South Easter usually blow in Cape Town? South Easterly winds are experienced throughout the year, but are not that frequent when compared to winds blowing from other directions. South Easterly winds blow about 3% of the time in Cape Town, mainly in August (average wind speed 5 m/s) and October (average wind speed 6 m/s). The strongest South Easterly winds occur in the summer months of December and February. During these months the average speed of the South Easterly winds is 7 m/s, but they occur less frequently during these months. How windy is South Africa compared with the windiest place on earth? The windiest place on earth is the coastal part of Antarctica. Cape Denison on Commonwealth Bay in Antarctica has an average wind speed of 20 m/s. The windiest place in South Africa is Cape Point with an average wind speed of 6.9 m/s.