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21 October 2008

South African Weather Record History

Herewith some interesting weather record history that
published in the 1968 Guinness Book of Records. Some records might have changes from 1968 to 2008 but I still found it to be interesting reading.

  • The highest shade temperature recorded in South Africa has been 51.5°C during a "Berg Wind" at Main in Tembuland, Transkei on 23 January 1903.
  • The lowest temperature recorded in South Africa was -14.7° of frost at Carolina Eastern Transvaal during the widespread cold spell on 23 July 1926.
  • The highest recorded rainfall in a year in South Africa has been 180.5 inches (4.585mm) at Jonker's Hoek, near Stellenbosch in 1964. The most intense recorded rainfall figures recorded have been at Port Elizabeth on 31 Aug-1 Sept. 1968, nearly 431.8mm (17 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours
  • The most destructive recorded snow-storm in South African meteorological history was in November 1853 near Burgersdorp, when, according to the Graaff-Reinet Courant many people were killed.
  • The highest recorded sea-level barometric pressure in South Africa has been 1042 millibars at Port Elizabeth in August 1958. The lowest figure has been 987 millibars, reported in Cape Town in June 1967.
  • The largest hailstones were recorded at Mafeking in December 1915. Hail punched 7.62cm (3 inch) holes through galvanized iron roofs. One reportedly weighed 1.8 kg (4 pounds) but this was probably a coalescence of several stones since meteorologists have not yet accepted a proven case of a single stone weighing more than 680 g. (1.5 pounds)
  • The only station which has recorded a 160 km/h (100 m.p.h.) wind in South Africa is Beaufort West. The windiest station in the country is Wingfield Airport where measured winds blew 88.2 hours per 100 hours at an average speed of 18.1 km/h. (11.3 m.p.h.)
  • The calmest place in South Africa is Pretoria where the wind is not measured for 45.7 hours in each 100 hours and averages only 6.1 km/h (3.8 m.p.h.)
  • The driest place in South Africa is Port Nolloth with an annual average of 60 mm rain and 341 rainless days.
  • An official drought lasting 34 months occurred in the Namaqualand-Bushmanland area of the North Western Cape from June 1895 to March 1898.
Note: The above records were published in 1968.