Thanks to the oceans surrounding South Africa, the country has a generally temperate climate, though there is no obvious rainfall pattern through out the year. The Western Cape's Mediterranean winter rainfall is brought by strong north-westerly winds. Coastal areas have rainfall throughout the year, while 80% of the countries rain falls during the summer months of October to March, often in the form of hail and in spectacular thunderstorms.
The annual average rainfall in South Africa is 464mm where the world average is 857mm, although more than half of the country only receives up to 500mm of rain per year. In some of South Africa 's mountain chains 2000mm of rain can fall, but along the west coast this average drops to below 50mm. As in many areas in sub-Saharan Africa, severe droughts are often experienced.
Bush fires occur quite commonly through out Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and parts of gauteng during the dry winter months of August to October. These fires are quite common and are generally left to burn out.
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