South Africa’s climate ranges from Mediterranean in the southwest part of the country to temperate in the interior plateau, as well as subtropical in the northeast. A small area in the northwest has a desert climate. Most of the country has warm, sunny days and cool nights. Rainfall generally occurs during summer (November through March), although in the southwest, around Cape Town, rainfall occurs in winter (June to August).
There is very little difference in average temperatures from the south to the north. The average annual temperature in Cape Town is 63°F (17°C), and in Pretoria the average is 64°F (17.5°C), although these cities are separated by almost ten degrees of latitude.
Maximum temperatures often exceed 90°F (32°C) in the summer, and reach 100°F (38°C) in some areas of the far north. The country’s record highs, close to 118°F (48°C), have occurred in both the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga.
Frost occurs in high altitudes during the winter months. The coldest temperatures have been recorded about 250 kilometers northeast of Cape Town, where the average annual minimum temperature is 21°F (-6.1°C). Record snowfalls (almost fifty centimeters) occurred in July 1994 in mountainous areas bordering Lesotho.
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