<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >


Grade 5

Climate and vegetation regions of south africa

Module 13

The climate of south africa: rainfall

Rainfall regions in South Africa

  • South Africa’s rainfall is seasonal and very erratic. It therefore rains mainly just in summer or just in winter. A small part along the southeast and northeast coasts receives rain throughout the year.
  • We already know that the relief or topography of the country and the occurrence of the warm Mozambique and cold Benguela currents have a great effect on the temperatures in the country.
  • When studying the map above, you will notice that the rainfall regions of the country are divided into:
  1. winter rainfall regions
  2. summer rainfall regions
  3. rain throughout the year
  4. dry regions

Each of them is discussed briefly below.

  1. The winter rainfall region

This occurs only in the southwestern part of the RSA, particularly in the Cape Peninsula. It stretches more or less from the mouth of the Olifants River (northwest) to the mouth of the Breede River (south). The cyclonic rain falls softly and persistently from May to August and the rain therefore gets a chance to drain into the soil. Little erosion occurs.

The average rainfall is between 500 and 1 000 mm per year. The rain-bringing winds are the northwest winds that cause the well-known cold fronts.

The vegetation in the winter rainfall regions consists of indeciduous (evergreen) shrubs and the well-known Cape fynbos like the protea and various types of heath. These plants are very well adapted to survive the dry summers. Types of root systems or bulbs with small, waxy leaves with fine hairs ensure that the plants lose the minimum water in the summer.

Graphic representation of the rainfall in Cape Town

  1. Summer rainfall region

The biggest part of our country gets rain in summer, particularly from October to February, in the form of thunderstorms. During these warm months the earth’s surface is heated intensely and upwards or convection air currents develop. The southeast winds bring moisture-laden air in, and after condensation has occurred, large cumulonimbus clouds are formed. Such a thunderstorm is accompanied by a short, hard shower of rain, thunder and lightning. Because the rain falls so hard and quickly, erosion is a serious problem in these regions. Hail also occurs regularly during thunderstorms, which can cause great damage to crops.

Because the region is so big, all the parts do not get an equal amount of rain. The east is much wetter (300 - 500 mm), because the air that is blown across the escarpment still contains a lot of moisture. Further to the west the air loses virtually all this moisture and that is why it also becomes increasingly dry to the west (50 - 300 mm).

The vegetation in the summer rainfall regions consists of grass plains with sparse trees. In the east of the country the grass plains are higher, with more trees, reducing to the west.

Activity 1:

To record the rainfall figures of pretoria graphically by means of a bar graph

[lo 1.4; 1.7]

Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Rainfall in mm 138 120 102 50 25 5 10 10 18 70 110 130

Questions & Answers

what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Social sciences: geography grade 5. OpenStax CNX. Sep 23, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10986/1.2
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Social sciences: geography grade 5' conversation and receive update notifications?