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The Northern Cape is a dry region with fluctuating temperatures and differing topographies. Its weather is typically that of desert and semi-desert areas.
In South Africa summer is from December to February and in January temperatures in the Northern Cape usually vary from 33 and 36 degrees Celsius. Although this is rare, summer temperatures in the Northern Cape have been known to exceed 40 degrees Celsius.
During winter (June to August), day temperatures are mild (22 degrees Celsius), but the evenings can be cold (freezing point), after dew and frost have cooled down the earth. In winter, snow can often be seen on the mountains surrounding Sutherland, one of the coldest towns in Southern Africa.
The annual rainfall is never high (50 to 400 mm) and it is always lower than the rate of evaporation. The western areas of the province, which include the Namakwa region and small sections of the Green Kalahari, receive rainfall during the winter months. These rains bring to life the glorious displays of wild flowers that decorate these regions from late August until the end of September.
The central and eastern parts of the province get their rain during the summer months (December to February). These summer rains are often accompanied by heavy thunderstorms.