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CR 28:67-82 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/cr028067

Review of seasonal forecasting in South Africa: producer to end-user

P. A. Johnston1,*, E. R. M. Archer1, C. H. Vogel2, C. N. Bezuidenhout3, W. J. Tennant4, R. Kuschke5

1Climate Systems Analysis Group, University of Cape Town, Private Bag Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
2School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2050, South Africa
3School of Bioresources Engineering & Environmental Hydrology, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg 3209, South Africa
4South African Weather Service, Private Bag X097 Pretoria 0001, South Africa
5Institute for Soil, Climate and Water, Agricultural Research Council, Private Bag X79 Pretoria 0001, South Africa

ABSTRACT: Reliable seasonal forecasting of climate, particularly for the rainy season for South Africa, has the potential to be of great benefit to users. Foreknowledge of temperature and rainfall conditions can assist planning, management and mitigation decisions for users from many sectors of the economy. Pre-requisites of a useful seasonal forecast, however, would include ease of interpretation, acceptable accuracy as well as efficient dissemination. This paper describes the process of the development, dissemination and use of seasonal climate forecasts in South Africa. We critically analyse the process and suggest proposals for further research and development. Also addressed are the needs of users, maximisation of potential forecast benefits and some proposals for more efficient distribution.

KEY WORDS: Seasonal forecasts · Forecast dissemination · Forecast applications

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