National Progress Reports in Agrometeorology

The WMO Secretariat prepared and circulated a detailed questionnaire for the preparation of National Reports on Progress Made in Agricultural Meteorology by Members per Recommendation 1 of CAgM-XIV. In accordance with this recommendation, the WMO Secretariat will continue to compile the information in a comprehensive database to make it available to members.



South Africa

  1. Part 1 - Organization
    1. 1.1. Number of institutions engaged in Agrometeorology-related work in your country .....7
    2. 1.2. Resources and Facilities (please give number)
      1. 1.2a. Approximate no. of persons in Agricultural Meteorology
        1. NMHS
          1. - Total Number .....39
          2. - Class I-II .....5
          3. - Class III-IV .....8
          4. - Others .....11
          5. - PhD .....15
      2. 1.2b. Facilities available to Agricultural Meteorology Division
        1. NMHS
          1. - Mainframe computers .....1
          2. - Personal computers .....1
          3. - Geographic Information Systems (GIS) .....2
          4. - Remote Sensing and Image Analysis .....2
    3. 1.3. Training and Education (Training and Education of Agricultural Meteorology personnel since 1999)
      1. NMHS
        1. - No of persons who received advanced degrees (M.Sc, Ph.D) .....9
        2. - No of persons who attended long term training courses .....N/A
        3. - No of persons who attended short term seminars, workshops (1-2 weeks) .....N/A
  2. Part 2 - Agrometeorological Observations
    1. NMHS
      1. Prior to 2006 (num)
        1. - Number of stations in the network of agrometeorological observations .....155
        2. - New instruments added .....466
        3. - Automatic weather stations in use .....N/A
      2. Current (2009) (num)
        1. - Number of stations in the network of agrometeorological observations .....155
        2. - New instruments added .....466
        3. - Automatic weather stations in use .....N/A
  3. Part 3 - Agrometeorological Services for Agriculture
    1. 3.1. Service structure (Indicate where agrometeorological services are located in your country)
      1. - Is the agrometeorological service constituted as a separate unit? .....Yes
      2. - Is the agrometeorological service at headquarters only? .....No
      3. - Are there agrometeorological services in different regions? .....Yes
    2. 3.2. Please list the agrometeorological products and other services for agriculture products provided by your service
      long-term climate data to users

      daily disease warnings for wine industry

      monthly bulletin – NDVI, precipitation, temperature

      map of climate variables – heat units; chill units; NDVI; temperatures; wind etc

      monthly early warning advisories, precipitation; temperature; NDVI; vegetation cover; livestock status.

      Ad hoc research projects to solve specific climate related problems.

      Seasonal forecast rainfall forecast

      Climate Advisory

      Press release

      Weather and Climate capacity building training

      Daily extreme weather warnings
    3. 3.3. Types and forms of service provided by the agrometeorology unit
      1. - Bulletins .....Yes
      2. - Brochures .....Yes
      3. - Radio and TV .....Yes
      4. - Press releases .....Yes
      5. - Workshops and seminars .....Yes
      6. - Interactions with farmers and/or farmer groups .....Yes
    4. 3.4. Agrometeorological Information on the Internet
      1. - Does your service have an Internet web page?
      2. - Specify the agrometeorological products posted on your website
    5. 3.5. Collaboration with other organizations (including important achievements)
      1. 3.5a. Please list the names of the governmental ministries/institutions that your service collaborated with during 2002-2005
        Agricultural Research Council – Institute for Soil, Climate & Water

        Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

        University of the Free State

        University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal

        University of Cape Town

        University of Witwatersrand

        University of Pretoria

        Water Research Commission (South Africa)

        Provincial Departments of Agriculture

        Department of Water Affairs and Environment

        Department of Science and Technology

        South African Weather Service

        National Treasury


        Dept of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs (COGTA)

        Regional Organizations e.g. Drought Management Centre, SARCOF, etc

        National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC)

        Dept of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs (COGTA)
      2. 3.5b. Please list the names of the non-governmental organization (NGOs) that your service collaborated with during 2002-2005
        Organized Agriculture e.g. NAFU, AgriSA, etc

        National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC)

        Ecolink, South Africa

        Community based farmers groups all over country
    6. 3.6. Media interaction: routinely/in person
      1. - Television .....Yes
      2. - Radio .....Yes
      3. - Electronic .....Yes
      4. - Newspaper/magazine .....Yes
    7. 3.7. Awareness and training events conducted with
      1. - Cooperatively with other Ministry or Sector .....Yes
      2. - Cooperatively with other University .....Yes
      3. - Cooperatively with NGO .....Yes
      4. - At regular intervals? .....Yes
      5. - Do meteorologists/climatologists attend with sector reps.? .....Yes
  4. Part 4 - Agrometeorological Research
    1. Please indicate the agrometeorological research conducted in your service
      1. 4.1. Influence of meteorological factors on the growth, development, yield and quality of agricultural crops .....Yes
      2. 4.2. Development of methods for agrometeorological forecasting and assessment of present condition .....Yes
      3. 4.3. Linkage between agrometeorological models and atmospheric forecast and general circulation models .....Yes
      4. 4.4. Development of applications using seasonal to interannual predictions in agriculture .....Yes
      5. 4.5. Macroclimatic, mesoclimatic and microclimatic research .....Yes
      6. 4.6. Influence of meteorological factors on livestock husbandry .....No
      7. 4.7. Influence of meteorological and climatological factors on inland coastal and marine fisheries .....No
      8. 4.8. Protection of plants and livestock against adverse weather .....Yes
      9. 4.9. Agrometeorological conditions for the development of crop and livestock pests and diseases .....Yes
      10. 4.10. Research on the impact of agricultural activities that possibly influence weather and climate at local, national, and global levels .....Yes
      11. 4.11. Research on remote-sensing application in agrometeorology .....Yes
      12. 4.12. Research into agrometeorological aspects of drought and desertification .....Yes
      13. 4.13. Research on potential impacts of climate change/variability on national agriculture, rangelands, forestry, and fisheries .....Yes
      14. 4.14. Research on mitigation and adaptation strategies due to impacts of climate change/variability and natural disasters in agriculture .....Yes
      15. 4.15. Research on the impact of natural disasters on agriculture, rangelands, forestry, and fisheries .....Yes
      16. 4.16. Research on fire weather agrometeorology .....Yes
  5. Part 5 - Socio-Economic Benefits
    1. - Please list any case studies demonstrating the socio-economic benefits of your agrometeorological service.
  6. Part 6 - Models
    1. - Information on practical crop-yield models, irrigation, disease/pest model, etc. (even if they are in the initial stages of development). Please list the ten most-used models in your service.









  7. Part 7 - Drought Indicies
    1. - Please list the five most-used drought indices in your service.
      Palmer Drought Index

      SPI – Standardized Precipitation Index


  8. Part 8 - Societies
    1. - Please list any agricultural meteorology societies active in your country.
      South African Society for Atmospheric Sciences

      South African Society of Crop Production
  9. Part 9 - Bibliography
    1. - Please provide a short bibliography of relevant papers/reports published by your service.
      Abraha, M.G. and M.J. SAVAGE, 2006. Potential impacts of climate change on the grain yield of maize for the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Agric., Ecosystems Environ. 115, 150-160.

      Abraha, M.G. and M.J. SAVAGE, 2008. Comparison of estimates of daily solar radiation from air temperature range for application in crop simulations. Agric. For. Meteorol. 148, 401-416.

      Abraha, M.G. and M.J. SAVAGE, 2008. The soil water balance of rainfed and irrigated oats, Italian rye grass and rye using the CropSyst model. Irrigation Science 26, 203–212.

      Abraha, M.G. and M.J. SAVAGE, 2009. Soil water balance and yield of dryland maize using the CropSyst model. In Corn Crops: Growth, Fertilization, and Yield, Chapter 8, Editor: Arn T. Danforth, Nova Science Publishers. ISBN 978-1-60741-955-6.

      Archer, E., Mukhala, E., Walker, S., Dilley, M. and Masamvu, K., 2007. Sustaining agricultural production and food security in Southern Africa: An improved role for climate prediction? Climatic Change 83:287-300. Tesfaye, K., Walker, S. and Tsubo, M., 2006. Radiation interception and radiation use efficiency of three grain legumes under water deficit conditions in a semi-arid environment. European Journal of Agronomy 25, 60-70.

      Crespo, O., Bergez, EJ., Garcia,F , (2009) P2 hierarchical decomposition procedure: application to irrigation strategies design. Operational Research, In press,

      Crespo, O. , J.É. Bergez, F. Garcia ,P2q hierarchical decomposition algorithm for quantile optimization: application to irrigation strategies design. Annals of Operations Research, In press.

      Crespo., O., Hachigonta, S., Tadross, M. 2010. Sensitivity of southern African maize yields to the definition of sowing dekad in a changing climate. Climatic Change, Submitted.

      Dye, P.J., M.B. Gush, C.S. Everson, C. Jarmain, A.D. Clulow, M.G. Mengistu, C.J. Geldenhuys, R. Wise, R. Scholes, S. Archibald and M.J. SAVAGE, 2008. Water use in relation to biomass of indigenous tree species in woodland, forest and/or plantation conditions. Water Research Commission Report No. TT 361/08, p156, ISBN 978-1-77005-744-9.

      Elhag, M. and Walker, S., 2009. Impact of climate variability on vegetative cover in the Butana area of Sudan. African Journal of Ecology 47: (Suppl. 1), 11–16.

      Fanadzo M; Chiduza C; Mnkeni PNS; van der Stoep I; Stevens J, 2010. Crop production management practices as a cause for low water productivity at Zanyokwe Irrigation Scheme. Water SA 36 (1), 27-36.

      Frezghi MS; Smithers JC, 2009. Merged rainfall fields for continuous simulation modeling (CSM) . Water SA 34(5), 523-528.

      Gebregiorgis, M.F. and M.J. SAVAGE, 2006. Determination of the timing and amount of irrigation of three winter cover crops. S. Afr. J. Plant Soil 23, 145-151.

      Gebregiorgis, M.F. and M.J. SAVAGE, 2006. Field, laboratory and estimated soil water content limits. Water SA 32, 155-161.

      Jarmain, C., C.S. Everson, M.J. SAVAGE, M.G. Mengistu, A.D. Clulow and M.B. Gush, 2009. Refining tools for evaporation monitoring in support of water resources management. Water Research Commission Report No. 1567, p137, ISBN 978-1-77005-798-2.

      Johnston PA, DB Louw, Crespo O and Lumsden TG, 2008, Quantifying the costs, benefits and risks associated with planning and management alternatives associated with climate risk for water resource development – the Berg River Catchment Area Case Study (South Africa) - Moving best samples into good practice in Petermann T 2008, Towards Climate Change Adaptation, InWent, GermanyMackellar NC, Tadross MA, Hewitson BC, 2009: Synoptic based evaluation of climatic response to vegetation change over southern Africa. International journal of climatology. DOI 10.1002/joc.1925.

      Landman W; Engelbrecht F; Beraki A; Mbedzi M; Gill T; Ntsangwane L; 2008. Model output statistics applied to multi-model ensemble long-range forecasts over South Africa, Water Research Commission Research Report No.1492/1/08.

      Landman W; Kgatuke M-J; Mbedzi M; Bartman A; Du Piesani A; 2006. Skill comparison of some dynamical and empirical downscaling methods for Southern Africa from a seasonal climate modelling perspective/01/01; Water Research Commission Research Report No.1334/1/06.

      Lloyd P, 2009. On the determination of trends in rainfall. Water SA 35(3), 237-244.

      Lukanu, G. and M.J. SAVAGE, 2006. Calibration of a frequency-domain reflectometer for determining soil water content in a clay loam soil. Water SA 32, 37-42.

      Lumsden TG; Schulze RE; Hewitson BC, 2009. Evaluation of potential changes in hydrologically relevant statistics of rainfall in Southern Africa under conditions of climate change. Water SA Vol. 35 No. 5, 649-656.

      MacKellar NC, Tadross MA, Hewitson BC, 2009: Effects of vegetation map change in MM5 simulations of southern Africa's summer climate, Int. J. Climatology, 29(6), 885 898, DOI 10.1002/joc.1754

      Mengistu, M.G. and M.J. SAVAGE, 2010. Surface renewal method for estimating sensible heat flux. Water SA 36, 9–17.

      Mupangwa W., Twomlow S. and Walker S., 2008. The influence of conservation tillage methods on soil water regimes in semi-arid southern Zimbabwe. J. Phys. Chem. Earth, 33:762-767 (doi:10.1016/j.pce.2008.06.049).

      Mupangwa, W., Twomlow, S., Walker, S. and Hove L., 2007. Effect of minimum tillage and mulching on maize (Zea mays L.) yield and water content of clayey and sandy soils. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 32: 1127–1134.

      Mzezewa J; Misi T; van Rensburg LD, 2010. Characterisation of rainfall at a semi-arid ecotope in the Limpopo Province (South Africa) and its implications for sustainable crop production. Water SA 36 (1), 19-26.

      Naiken, V., M. Govender, M. Moodley and M.J. SAVAGE, 2009. The research outputs: catchment runoff and river flows. In: Monteiro P.M.S. and M. Marchand (Eds.), Catchment2Coast: A Systems Approach to Coupled River-Coastal Ecosystem Science and Management. IOS Press BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, ISBN 978-1-60750-030-8. pp 22-27.

      Odhiambo, G.O. and M.J. SAVAGE, 2009. Surface layer scintillometer and eddy covariance sensible heat flux comparisons for a mixed grassland community as affected by Bowen ratio and MOST formulations. J. Hydrometeorol. 10, 479-492.

      Odhiambo, G.O. and M.J. SAVAGE, 2009. Surface layer scintillometry for estimating the sensible heat flux component of the surface energy balance. S. Afr. J. Sci. 105, 208-216.

      Odhiambo, G.O. and M.J. SAVAGE, 2010. Influence of wind direction on estimates of sensible heat flux by a slanting beam-angle scintillometer in the atmospheric surface layer. Revised version to be submitted to J. Hydrometeorol.

      O’Leary, G.J., Joshi, N.L., White, J.W. and Walker, S., 2010 (in press). Relationships between the design and operation of rainfed farming systems with respect to water availability and use. Ch4. In ‘Rainfed Agricultural Land Management: A Systems Approach’. Kluwer Publishers. Accepted .

      Pegram G; Sinclair S; Wesson S; 2006. Daily rainfall mapping over South Africa: Modelling, Water Research Commission Research Report No.1425/1/06

      Ramesh, K. and Walker, S., 2010(in press). Developing scales and tools for weather and climate related risk quantifications for multiple cropping, ch. III.3.5.b. In Applied Agrometeorology K. Stigter (ed.), Springer, Heidelberg.

      Ramesh, K. and Walker, S., 2009 (in press). Improving weather & climate related risk assessments in agricultural production for multiple cropping, ch. III.3.5.c. In Applied Agrometeorology K. Stigter (ed.), Springer, Heidelberg.

      Savage, M.J., 2009. Estimation of evaporation using a dual-beam surface layer scintillometer and component energy balance measurements. Agric. For. Meteorol. 149, 501–517.

      Savage, M.J., C.S. Everson and B.R. Metelerkamp, 2009. Bowen ratio evaporation measurement in a remote montane grassland: Data integrity and fluxes. J. Hydrol. 376, 249–260.

      Savage, M.J. and J.L. Heilman, 2009. Infrared calibration of net radiometers and infra red thermometers. Agric. For. Meteorol. 149, 1279–1293.

      Savage, M.J., 2010. Field evaluation of polymer capacitive humidity sensors for Bowen ratio energy balance flux measurements. Sensors. Accepted for publication subject to minor revision.

      Savage, M.J., G.O. Odhiambo, M.G. Mengistu, C.S. Everson, and C. Jarmain, 2010. Measurement of grassland evaporation using a surface-layer scintillometer. Water SA 36, 1–8.

      Schulze RE; 2007. Climate change and water resources in Southern Africa, Water Research Commission Research Report No.1430/1/05

      Stone, D, 2009. Review of ``Earth under fire: how global warming is changing the world'' , Polar Research, In press.

      Tadross M. (2008) Climate Analysis and Technical Assistance for Climate Modelling. Final report on providing technical assistance for mainstreaming climate risk management in the agriculture sector of the Philippines. report to the World Bank, Washington DC. pp 36.

      Tadross M., Lotsch A. (2008) Weather risk management in Mozambique: Technical note on current and planned weather stations and their potential viability for designing and monitoring agricultural weather risk insurance. report to the World Bank, Washington DC. pp 12.

      Tadross M., Suarez P., Lotsch A., Hachigonta S., Mdoka M., Unganai L., Lucio F., Kamdonyo D., Muchinda M. (2009) Growing-season rainfall and scenarios of future change in southeast Africa: implications for cultivating maize. Climate Research. Vol. 40. 147-161. DOI: 10.3354/cr00821.

      Tesfaye, K., Walker, S. and Tsubo, M., 2008. Comparison of water relations, leaf gas exchange and assimilation of three grain legumes under reproductive period water deficit. Journal of Agronomy 7(2):102-114.

      Thomas, D.S.G., Twyman, C., Osbahr, H. and Hewitson, B., 2007. Adapting to climate change and variability in southern Africa: farmer responses to intra seasonal precipitation trends, Climatic Change, 83(3), DOI 10.1007/s10584 006 9205 4.

      Tsubo, M., and Walker, S., 2007. An assessment of productivity of maize grown under water harvesting system in a semi-arid region with special reference to ENSO. Journal of Arid Environments 71: 299–311.

      Twomlow S., Love, D. and Walker S., 2008. The nexus between integrated natural resources management and integrated water resources management in southern Africa. J. Phys. Chem. Earth, 33:889-898.

      Walker, S., 2006. Dissemination of agrometeorological information. Eds RP Motha, MVK Sivakumar & M Bernardi, In Strengthening Operational Agrometeorological Services at the National Level. Proceedings of the Inter-Regional Workshop, 22-26 March, 2004, Manila, Philippines. Technical Bulletin WAOB -2006-1 and AGM-9, WMO/TD no.1277, Sponsored by USDA & WMO & FAO & PAGASA. p145-155.

      Walker, S., Nanja, D., Gondwe, P., & Dimes J et al., 2009. Mujika community climate - cropping systems modelling exercise. Van Ittersum, M.K., J. Wolf & H.H. Van Laar (Eds), 2009. Proceedings of the Conference on Integrated Assessment of Agriculture and Sustainable Development: Setting the Agenda for Science and Policy (AgSAP 2009). Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands, 10-12 March 2009. Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen, p432-433 (ISBN: 978-90-8585-401-2).

      Walker, S., Stigter, C.J., Ofori, E. and Kyei-Baffour, N., 2010 (in press). Intercropping and its Implications for Soil Management. Chapter in ‘Soil Management: Building a Stable Base for Agriculture’. Ed. J Hatfield. American Society of Agronomy Series.

      Walker, S. and Stigter, K., 2010 (in press). Designing and selecting early warning strategies and increasing their efficiencies: Multiple cropping, ch. III.3.3.b. In Applied Agrometeorology K. Stigter (ed.), Springer, Heidelberg.

      Ziervogel, G., Nyong, A., Osman Elasha, B. Conde, C., Cortés, S. and Downing, T. (2008) “Household food security and climate change: comparisons from Nigeria, Sudan, South Africa and Mexico”. In Leary, Conde, Kulkarni, Nyong and Pulhin. Climate Change and Vulnerability. Earthscan.

      Ziervogel, G. and Taylor, A. (2008). Feeling Stressed: Integrating Climate Adaptation with Other Priorities in South Africa. Environment. 50, 2. 32 41.

      Ziervogel G and Zermoglio F (2009) Climate change scenarios and the development
      of adaptation strategies in Africa: challenges and opportunities. Climate Research, 40(2 3): 133 146
↑ back to top