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Climate of the Limpopo River Basin: Climatic Classification

In the Köppen climatic classification, the Limpopo River basin falls into several different classes (Köppen 1918; Rosenberg 1999; Rubel and Kottek 2010):

  • The basin as a whole is classified as semi-arid, dry and hot - BSh
  • The central river valley, arid, dry and hot - BWh
  • The highveld of South Africa is classified as temperate, with summer rainfall and cool to hot summers - Cwc and Cwa.

The map below shows the distribution of the Köppen classes for the Limpopo River basin. These data are calculated at a global scale, hence the coarse nature of the map data.

Köppen-Gieger Climate Classification for the Limpopo River basin.
Source: Kottek et al. 2006
( click to enlarge )

For more information on the criteria used to define the Köppen classification, please refer to the University of Veterinary Medicine of Vienna Köppen-Gieger website http://koeppen-geiger.vu-wien.ac.at/index.htm

This institute has also used historical climate records from the German Weather Service Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC), to develop a global retrospective assessment of Köppen-Gieger Classes for the period of 1901 to 1925.  Furthermore, they have used inputs from global climate models to develop a projected Köppen-Gieger Climate Classification for 2076 to 2100.

Retrospective Köppen-Gieger Climate Classification for the Limpopo River basin (1901 - 1925).
Source: Rubel and Kottek 2010
( click to enlarge )
Projected Köppen-Gieger Climate Classification for the Limpopo River basin (2076 - 2100).
Source: Rubel and Kottek 2010
( click to enlarge )