National Climate Change Information System

Observed Trends in Climate

Temperature Trends

South Africa has been warming significantly over the period 1931-2015. Over the western parts of the country, including much of the Western and Northern Cape, and also in the east over Gauteng, Limpopo and the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal, the observed rate of warming has been 2 °C/century or even higher – in the order of twice the global rate of temperature increase. Associated increases in the annual number of hot days have also occurred, but there have been decreases in the annual number of cold nights over most of the country.

Rainfall Trends


Provincial Annual Rainfall Trends


  • DEA, 2018. South Africa’s third national communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Download.

  • Kruger, A.C. and Sekele, S.S., 2013. Trends in extreme temperature indices in South Africa: 1962–2009. International Journal of Climatology, 33(3), pp.661-676. Download.

  • MacKellar, N., New, M. and Jack, C., 2014. Observed and modelled trends in rainfall and temperature for South Africa: 1960-2010. South African Journal of Science, 110(7-8), pp.1-13. Download.