February 18, 2014
Your Ultimate Guide to Surviving the Weather in Cape Town
Cape Town has notoriously capricious weather, unspeakably gorgeous the one minute and atrociously grumpy the next, lashing you with rain and then loving you with sunlight like your favourite tempestuous relationship. Since we all know the mountain has its own personal weather system. we’ve compiled a simple breakdown to guide you through Cape Town’s fickle ways (but don’t we love her so!) With no further ado, we present your ultimate guide to surviving the weather:
Summer: November – January
Cape Town’s mecca season, summer is exquisitely hot and dry, with sparkling conditions starting in November and lasting until February. Alongside the gorgeous African sun a blustery wind from the South-East, the famous 'Cape Doctor', is also a frequent visitor. Average temperatures range between 25 and 35 degrees during the day, with January and February the toastiest.
Cape Town glistens for 11 hours of sunshine in low humidity during the days, so you’ll just need lotion for your sun-kissed skin and Cape Town’s casual coolness for cocktails in Camp’s Bay! After sundown the temperatures will seldom creep below 14 degrees, so the most you’ll need is a light jersey in the moonlight. Don’t worry about rain, the average rainfall is a mere 14-24mm – it’s the time of beach swag and skirts!
Autumn: March – April
The scarlet, brown, orange, gold, and pale yellow pallets of the wine farms have enchanted many a traveller during Cape Town’s autumns, a time of temperate heat and mellow weather. With average temperatures between 13-24 degrees with the occasional scorcher in the 30s during, Autumn offers a number of windless days in March and other days that blast with the usual persistence throughout April.
March is perfect for hiking whilst April is dedicated to Cape Town’s famous café culture. Ensure your smart casual gear is up to scratch for evening wear and keep your light jerseys and windbreakers handy.
Things to do in Autumn
Winter: May - August
The cold front from the Atlantic heralds the arrival of the green season, as Capetonians burrow into their homes like furry forest creatures for the winter. Nasty North-West winds gleefully pick up the rain, which sweeps sideways through the city. But don’t rely on it.
In fact don’t rely on anything.
The sun will wink knowingly for a few hours until it drops fat drizzle on your head, only to bath your face in gold so you take off your jacket, allowing the wind to drag it down the street for the few seconds it takes to be instantly overcast again. Yay! Good old Capetownian winters. Blasting up skirts out of nowhere since time immemorial. But you won’t find Cape Town any greener as forests gratefully absorb the rain and blossom all the way down the mountainside.
Spring: August - October
The ‘Cape of Storms’ moniker comes from August, when lashing rain and wind on broody waves can give way to crisp sunny days, with still bright skies and bursting blooms of flowers, most famously on the west coast.
Pack your rain coats and wet weather woollies, but bear in mind the weather can be temperamental – changing depending on what side of the mountain you’re on! Average spring temperatures range from 15 degrees to the mid-twenties. In October, you can expect between 12 and 13 and a half hours of daylight, making sun-downers a staple diet.