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CAPE TOWN'S WEATHER

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The Western Cape has a Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and mild, moist winters and low summer rainfall prevail. The coastal summer temperatures rise from a pleasant low of 15°C to a warm 27°C. Inland temperatures are some 3-5°C higher. Coastal winters see the mercury dropping to a mild 7°C at night and rising to a comfortable 18°C by day. Away from the beach, morning wakens to an invigorating 5°C and midday peaks at 22°C.

To many, March and April signal idyllic weather. Summer's heat subsides, the wind settles and autumn casts its brightly coloured mantle over the vineyards, generating red, burnished vistas spreading from the mountain tops to the sea. In keeping with its sunny, tranquil character, a temperate climate with gentle, intermittent precipitation complements the warm summers and mild winters of the Garden Route.

In winter (from May to July), the snow-capped peaks of the Boland and the Cederberg Mountains and the lush, moist earth evoke an atmosphere conducive to log fires in cosy taverns. However, with the onset of spring (from August to October), the fast-retreating winter merges with the summer sun, bringing forth some of the world's most spectacular wild flower displays.

Visitors not delighted by the endless sunshine may well be literally swept off their feet by the “Cape Doctor”, a powerful south-easterly wind clearing the Cape Town air of pollution (hence the name “Cape Doctor"). Though forceful in character, the “Cape Doctor” visits infrequently, arriving only when the Fairest Cape needs to freshen up. The wind drapes the Table Mountain flat-topped summit with a white "tablecloth" of cloud.

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