The Weather in Johannesburg

Joburgers boast they enjoy the best climate in the world.


Let’s take a closer look:

No kidding: When asked why they wanted to move abroad, one of the most popular answers given by expats is:
the weather.

Fall in love

In Johannesburg, expats will not be disappointed. In fact, most of them fall in love with the climate in this city.
And soon they agree with the locals who claim that Johannesburg has the best weather in the world.

Let’s start with spring in Johannesburg

Other than in the northern hemisphere, spring in South Africa takes place from August to October.
In Johannesburg, it usually starts around mid-August. In September the days start to get well over 20 degrees, while the nights are still cool. I find it a wonderful season, with the air filled with the fragrance of Jasmine blossoms and colourful flowers abound.
Spring is dry and short.

Johannesburg’s summer: long, hot and spectacular

Summer is without a doubt the main character of Johannesburg’s seasons, the most important of them all in this city.
Predictable as the weather is here, a summer day’s highest temperature usually hovers around 30º C (86 degrees Fahrenheit). The heat is not difficult to take as it is dry, not humid like in many other places.
But beware: summer days are very often not completely dry. On most days, towards 4 to 5 pm, you will see dark clouds covering the sun, and you will experience some of the most spectacular thunderstorms of your life.
Ever heard the saying “lightning never hits twice”? Now that’s a myth. We got hit twice in the same night! Fortunately, this was the only time lightning hit our house in the many years we have been living here.

The surprising star

I get surprised by autumn every year: suddenly, there is this outburst of golden, orange and red.
This is a short season again. It takes place from about mid-April to mid-May only.

And suddenly winter

Most years, towards the end of May, there is a sudden drop in temperature. One day you spend your day in a t-shirt, and the next, the temperature has dropped around 10º Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), and you grab your fleece jacket.
While it can be bitter cold (or at least that’s what it feels like after a long hot Johannesburg summer) at night, when you will often see frost on the ground, it is a charming season, too. Many expats find it their favourite. The days are mild and sunny, with a peculiar golden light, and completely dry. Between June and September, there will be no rainfall.

Strikingly predictable

At least that’s what I find of the weather in Johannesburg: you can count on it. I like that.

If you want to find out more about the reasons why people move abroad, take a look at our free eBook: Should I stay? Or should I go?

Picture : © Csaba Vero;

About Barbara Bruhwiler

Barbara is author of several books and co-founder of She has her "Expat Advice" column in a local magazine, and she authored the Guide to Johannesburg.

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