If you can read the wind direction, you can forecast the weather. It’s that simple.
THE SOUTH EASTER (SE)
This famous summer wind known as the ‘Cape Doctor’ blows prominently from late November till early March. It’s given that nickname because it clears away clouds, smog and brings warmer weather the next day
Typically the SE wind comes up in the afternoon. The earlier in the day it arrives the stronger it will be. It tends to fizzle out after a couple of days, coming on later and later in the evening.
It blows in 1-4 days cycles, weakening with each successive day. There are hot spells of up to a week in-between. By direction, it blows down the mountain.
To spot an oncoming SE wind look to the sea on the Hout Bay side. If you see ‘white horses’ and windspray blowing out to sea, you know its on its way. The stronger SE winds will pour clouds over the mountain, through the gap near the cable car. This is often referred to as the ‘table cloth’.
South Easterly sunsets are spectacular. Taking a cocktail at wind-protected Caprice or Sandbar and see what we mean.
When a true full SE blows, Clifton is completely protected and a recommendable option
So in summary:
When the SE wind blows, the next day will be hotter.
The sea will be calmer.
The tide change will be less noticeable.
THE SOUTH WESTER (SW)
This wind is noteworthy for one reason. It can make the beach cold even when the sun is strong and sky is clear blue. This is because it comes onshore, off the sea.
By direction, it blows along the beach from the Hout Bay Side towards Sea Point..
It gets strong during the day but fortunately dies off by 6pm, or changes into a SE wind.
But no worries, if you have had enough, just walk just across the road and its warmer already, i.e. the SW wind doesn’t affect you much if you are off the beach.
THE NORTHWESTER (NW)
This wind blows occasionally, and is very mild, quite pleasant in fact. It comes off the sea, i.e. it blows from sea to beach, directly and so cools you down. It’s not freezing like the SW, in fact it’s much more pleasant and gentle, most times.
So in summary:
If a NW wind blows consistently the next day the next day will be cooler, i.e. it brings rain and cooler weather.
The waves will increase in size.
And the difference between high and low tide will be much more extreme.