The South African Weather Service maintains a network of various types of weather stations throughout South Africa. The country is divided into different areas and a Weather Office is responsible for maintaining the weather stations in its area of responsibility.

Types of station

First order stations: Visual observations are done which include cloud identification, visibility, dew, frost and present- and past weather conditions. Synoptic reports are sent after each observation. First order stations do three-hourly observations from 05:00 to 20:00.

Second order stations: Limited visual observations are done and no synoptic reports.

Third order stations: Only maximum and minimum temperatures and rainfall are done. Some observers at third order stations undertake to submit further elements voluntarily.

Rainfall stations: These stations are equipped with a 127 mm rain gauge only. Rainfall is measured daily at 08:00.

Sea-surface stations: The sea-surface temperatures are measured daily and the data is processed by selected Weather Offices.

Observation times (SAST)
14:00 - only first and second order stations
20:00 - only first order stations