Cape Town’s Super Cool Climate

An insight into the temperatures and climate of Cape Town and Surrounds

Cape Town has a Mediterranean-style climate: wet and cool winters, dry and warm summers. The annual average temperature in Cape Town is a delightful 17 degrees.

As in the city of Cape Town itself, the weather on the Cape Peninsula is quite unique. The weather in Cape Town is influenced by two currents: the warm Agulhas current from the Indian Ocean side and the cold Benguela current on the Atlantic side.

Tourists flock to Cape Town during summer, but don’t let the word ‘winter’ scare you away. Winters in Cape Town are not like winters in Germany, Holland or England. Imagine a spring day in London, Amsterdam or Berlin. That’s what winters are like in Cape Town. Sometimes windy and rainy, mostly soft and breezy.

Gorgeous sunsets in Cape Town

Cape Town offers the most scenic sunsets, thanks to the meeting of two oceans (the warm Indian Ocean from East Africa and the cold Atlantic Ocean from the South Pole) at Cape Agulhas and the warm berg winds from inland South Africa. Especially during cloudy or overcast weather, the sunsets gives a really stunning perspective.

The temperatures can vary substantially throughout Cape Town and Surrounds. For example, the sun might shine in Tamboerskloof, but in Camps Bay you won’t be able to see the sea because of thick mist. Newlands is the suburb with the most rainfall in Cape Town. However, when it rains in Newlands, the sun might shine in nearby Rondebosch.

Average temperatures

While the average annual temperature in Cape Town is 17 degrees, the average high temperature is a comfortable 21 degrees.

 Cool fact: more than fifty percent (189 days a year) of the time you will experience temperatures of over 21 degrees in Cape Town.

Average sea temperatures range between a chirpy 13 degrees or less on the Atlantic Seaboard to a warm 17 degrees or more in False Bay. That makes Muizenberg a nice ‘hot’-spot to go for a swim and Clifton the perfect spot for a cooling down dip from the hot weather.

Witches’ cauldron

You’ll find one of Cape Town’s most extraordinary features on the Table Mountain range. Locals have named it the ‘table cloth’. It looks like a witches’ cauldron steaming with mist. The warm clouds being pushed up on the Eastern side of Table Mountain finally meets colder air on a higher attitude on top of the mountain and starts condensating.

The cloth is pulled over the flat table top of the mountain further towards the Twelve Apostles and now the process is reversed. The cold clouds meet warm air in Cape Town’s city bowl. This is the scientific way of explaining the table cloth and why it stays put on the top of the mountain. Urban legend has it that the table cloth is caused by a smoking contest between the devil and a legendary local pirate called Van Hunks.

The climate in Cape Town contributes to the fact that Cape Town is the tourist city of South Africa. Whether its winter, summer, spring or autumn, you’ll be able to do the activities you want to do. Hiking, touring the Cape Winelands, kitesurfing, shark cage diving, visiting Robben Island or climbing Table Mountain: no season will hold you from enjoying Cape Town to the max.

Nice to know is that Cape Town is not even trying to have a real winter, compared to other cities in the Northern Hemisphere. However, if you’re used to warmer climates you might disagree...

By Elske van der Velden

For more information be sure to check out Weather in Cape Town, Seasons in Cape Town, The Cape Doctor, Top Ten Reasons to Love the Weather and our Weather Forecast.

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