Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate, with the city’s official annual average temperature almost exactly the same as that of Santa Barbara and Barcelona (measured on the Cape Flats, near the airport). The Cape receives far more sunshine than any large city in Europe however, with its annual sunshine-hour count being similar to much of Coastal California.
Due to its extreme geography Cape Town’s climate ranges from a Hot Summer Mediterranean Climate on the Atlantic Seaboard (Koppen Classification CSa, similar to places like Athens or Los Angeles) to a Warm Summer Mediterranean Climate (Koppen Classification CSb, similar to places like Northern Portugal and San Luis Obispo). The suburb of Fish Hoek falls into the latter category, which means that it seldom becomes unpleasantly hot or unpleasantly cold.
Here is a rough breakdown by season:
Summer (December to March):
Warm to hot and dry, with daily highs typically 26 / 27’C (79 / 81’F).
Days are long, peaking at 14 hours 25 minutes on December 21st and 22nd (the greatest duration of light, between astrological twilights, is 17 hours 54 minutes). December is typified by a prevailing South Easterly Wind. This wind is an especially clean one (hence its local name ‘Cape Doctor’, as it cleans up any pollution that may have gathered. The Southern Peninsula on which Fish Hoek rests is consequently amongst the cleanest air of any inhabited place in the world) and usually subsides some time in early January. This is why February and March are usually the warmest months, as the moderating influence of the wind is lessened. Nights are coo, though not cold, with typical night time low temperatures being 16’C (60’F).
Autumn / Fall (April and May):
Warm and mostly dry, with typical daily highs being in the low 20s C (low 70s F). Rain is not unheard of, but is unusual, and there is little wind. This season is often regarded by locals as the very best in the Cape, as it is temperate and beautiful. With the return of some rain the landscape becomes greener, and the vines gradually begin to change colour to the multicoloured patchwork made famous in local art and photographs. It is an especially beautiful time to explore the vineyards, though it’s also a great season for hiking and the beach.
Winter (June to August / September):
Winter in the Cape is actually rather temperate by international standards, with average daily highs around 18’C (65’F), and temperatures approaching 30’C (mid 80s – 90s F) actually quite common. It is nonetheless the wet and rainy season in Cape Town, characterized by some rain on roughly one in three days. This figure may be misleading however, as the average sunshine received is still over 6.5 hours per day, or almost 65% of available sunshine (this is roughly the same as Southern Italy’s or Melbourne’s Spring).
Spring (September / October to November):
Spring in the Cape is a variable season, with daily highs in the low to mid 20s C (low to mid 70s F). Many locals find this the most beautiful season, as the mountainsides are cloaked in green from the wetter winter and the floral kingdom bursts to life with a multitude of flowers that is to be seen to be believed. The Ocean warms up during this time, with False Bay usually breaking the 20’C barrier (68’F) some time in November, heralding the start of swimming season.
In Spring it is more obvious than at any other time that the peninsula is in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, which is a high pollen count area, so those who suffer from hay-fever and allergies are advised to bring Antihistamines or to get some from our excellent local pharmacies!
The floral kingdom is by far the most species dense of the world’s floral kingdoms, with a species density per unit area four times that of the second densest (that being the Neotropical Kingdom, of which the Amazon Rain Forest is the most famous area). Table Mountain alone has more plant species than the whole of the UK!
Nonetheless, braving some pollen is certainly worth it for the magnificent sight of thousands of plant species draping the mountainsides and contrasting against a crystal blue Ocean. The famous soubriquet coined by English admiral, Sir Francis Drake, “Fairest Cape In All The World” is especially apposite during Spring.
You should view Accuweather. a couple of days before arriving to plan your activities around that.
Cape Town is an incredible city, and offers an incredible amount to do. Shout if you have any other questions!