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Cape Doctor

"Cape Doctor" (usually The Cape Doctor or "die Kaapse dokter" in Afrikaans) is the local name for the strong, persistent and dry south-easterly wind that blows on the South African coast from spring to late summer (September to March in the southern hemisphere). It is known as the Cape Doctor because it has long been held to clear Cape Town of pollution and 'pestilence'.

Although the wind smites a wide area of the sub-continent, it is notorious especially in and around the Cape Peninsula, where it can be unpleasantly strong and irritating. The 'Cape Doctor' is to some extent an obsolescent term; many now simply call it the "South-Easter". An ironic fact is that the meteorological records for Cape Town show that the north-west winds of winter can be far stronger and more destructive than the South-Easter.

Although usually accompanied by fair weather, if the SE wind is accompanied by a cut-off low as occasionally happens in the spring and autumn months, this can cause heavy rains to fall over the Western Cape.[1] This phenomenon is popularly known as a black South-Easter. The Laingsburg flood of 24 and 25 January 1981 is an example of this.

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