1. WeatherSpark.com
  2. South Africa
  3. Orange Free State

Average Weather in Bethlehem South Africa

In Bethlehem, the summers are long and warm; the winters are short, cold, and dry; and it is mostly clear year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 30°F to 79°F and is rarely below 24°F or above 86°F.

Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Bethlehem for warm-weather activities is from early December to early April.

Climate Summary

warmcomfortablecoolcomfortablewarmJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecNowNow89%89%64%64%clearprecipitation: 3.1 inprecipitation: 3.1 in0.2 in0.2 inmuggy: 0%muggy: 0%0%0%drydrytourism score: 7.6tourism score: 7.63.13.1
Click on each chart for more information.

Temperature

The warm season lasts for 4.1 months, from November 10 to March 14, with an average daily high temperature above 75°F. The hottest day of the year is January 2, with an average high of 79°F and low of 56°F.

The cold season lasts for 2.4 months, from May 27 to August 6, with an average daily high temperature below 64°F. The coldest day of the year is July 5, with an average low of 30°F and high of 60°F.

Average High and Low Temperature

Average High and Low Temperature in BethlehemwarmwarmcoldJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0°F0°F10°F10°F20°F20°F30°F30°F40°F40°F50°F50°F60°F60°F70°F70°F80°F80°F90°F90°F100°F100°FJul 560°FJul 560°FJan 279°FJan 279°F30°F30°F56°F56°FNov 1075°FNov 1075°FMar 1475°FMar 1475°FMay 2764°FMay 2764°FAug 664°FAug 664°F51°F51°F53°F53°F35°F35°F33°F33°FNowNow
The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.

Average Hourly Temperature

Average Hourly Temperature in BethlehemJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM12 AM4 AM4 AM8 AM8 AM12 PM12 PM4 PM4 PM8 PM8 PM12 AM12 AMNowNowvery coldvery coldcoldcoldcoolcomfortablecomfortablewarmwarmfreezing
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Mutquín, Argentina (5,571 miles away); Achiras, Argentina (5,361 miles); and Oakdale, Australia (6,717 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Bethlehem (view comparison).

Clouds

In Bethlehem, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The clearer part of the year in Bethlehem begins around February 14 and lasts for 7.5 months, ending around September 28. On July 25, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 89% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 11% of the time.

The cloudier part of the year begins around September 28 and lasts for 4.5 months, ending around February 14. On November 14, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 36% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 64% of the time.

Cloud Cover Categories

Cloud Cover Categories in BethlehemclearercloudiercloudierJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%Jul 2589%Jul 2589%Nov 1464%Nov 1464%Feb 1476%Feb 1476%Sep 2877%Sep 2877%NowNowclearmostly clearpartly cloudyovercastmostly cloudy
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds.

Precipitation

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Bethlehem varies significantly throughout the year.

The wetter season lasts 5.6 months, from October 11 to March 30, with a greater than 24% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 45% on January 22.

The drier season lasts 6.4 months, from March 30 to October 11. The smallest chance of a wet day is 2% on July 16.

Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 45% on January 22.

Daily Chance of Precipitation

Daily Chance of Precipitation in BethlehemwetwetdryJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%0%10%10%20%20%30%30%40%40%50%50%60%60%70%70%80%80%90%90%100%100%Jan 2245%Jan 2245%Jul 162%Jul 162%Jan 142%Jan 142%Oct 1124%Oct 1124%Mar 3024%Mar 3024%rain
The percentage of days in which various types of precipitation are observed, excluding trace quantities: rain alone, snow alone, and mixed (both rain and snow fell in the same day).

Rainfall

To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Bethlehem experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.

The rainy period of the year lasts for 9.0 months, from August 11 to May 9, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around January 24, with an average total accumulation of 3.1 inches.

The rainless period of the year lasts for 3.0 months, from May 9 to August 11. The least rain falls around July 5, with an average total accumulation of 0.2 inches.

Average Monthly Rainfall

Average Monthly Rainfall in BethlehemrainrainJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 in0 in1 in1 in2 in2 in3 in3 in4 in4 in5 in5 in6 in6 inJan 243.1 inJan 243.1 inJul 50.2 inJul 50.2 inDec 153.0 inDec 153.0 inAug 110.5 inAug 110.5 inMay 90.5 inMay 90.5 in
The average rainfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average liquid-equivalent snowfall.

Sun

The length of the day in Bethlehem varies over the course of the year. In 2021, the shortest day is June 21, with 10 hours, 21 minutes of daylight; the longest day is December 21, with 13 hours, 56 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in BethlehemJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 hr24 hr4 hr20 hr8 hr16 hr12 hr12 hr16 hr8 hr20 hr4 hr24 hr0 hr12 hr, 7 minSep 2212 hr, 7 minSep 2213 hr, 56 minDec 2113 hr, 56 minDec 2112 hr, 9 minMar 2012 hr, 9 minMar 2010 hr, 21 minJun 2110 hr, 21 minJun 21daydaynightNowNow
The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line). From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray), the color bands indicate: full daylight, twilight (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and full night.

The earliest sunrise is at 5:01 AM on December 2, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 57 minutes later at 6:59 AM on July 2. The earliest sunset is at 5:17 PM on June 9, and the latest sunset is 1 hour, 51 minutes later at 7:08 PM on January 10.

Daylight saving time (DST) is not observed in Bethlehem during 2021.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight in BethlehemJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM2 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AMDec 25:01 AMDec 25:01 AM7:08 PMJan 107:08 PMJan 10Jun 95:17 PMJun 95:17 PM6:59 AMJul 26:59 AMJul 2daynightSolarMidnightSolarMidnightSolarNoonSunriseSunsetNowNow
The solar day over the course of the year 2021. From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray.

Moon

The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for 2021. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases.

Moon Rise, Set & Phases

The time in which the moon is above the horizon (light blue area), with new moons (dark gray lines) and full moons (blue lines) indicated. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Humidity

We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.

The perceived humidity level in Bethlehem, as measured by the percentage of time in which the humidity comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable, does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining a virtually constant 0% throughout.

Humidity Comfort Levels

Humidity Comfort Levels in BethlehemJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%0%10%10%20%20%30%30%40%40%50%50%60%60%70%70%80%80%90%90%100%100%Jul 230%Jul 230%Feb 70%Feb 70%comfortablecomfortabledrydryhumidhumid
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point.

Wind

This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.

The average hourly wind speed in Bethlehem experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The windier part of the year lasts for 4.4 months, from August 3 to December 16, with average wind speeds of more than 8.2 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is September 24, with an average hourly wind speed of 9.7 miles per hour.

The calmer time of year lasts for 7.6 months, from December 16 to August 3. The calmest day of the year is March 31, with an average hourly wind speed of 6.8 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed

Average Wind Speed in BethlehemwindyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 mph0 mph2 mph2 mph4 mph4 mph6 mph6 mph8 mph8 mph10 mph10 mph12 mph12 mph14 mph14 mph16 mph16 mphSep 249.7 mphSep 249.7 mphMar 316.8 mphMar 316.8 mphAug 38.2 mphAug 38.2 mphDec 168.2 mphDec 168.2 mphNowNow
The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

The predominant average hourly wind direction in Bethlehem varies throughout the year.

The wind is most often from the east for 2.7 months, from January 7 to March 30, with a peak percentage of 45% on February 19. The wind is most often from the west for 9.3 months, from March 30 to January 7, with a peak percentage of 37% on January 1.

Wind Direction

Wind Direction in BethlehemEWJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%NowNowwesteastnorthsouth
northeastsouthwest
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions, excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1.0 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Best Time of Year to Visit

To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Bethlehem throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.

The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Bethlehem for general outdoor tourist activities is from early December to early April, with a peak score in the last week of February.

Tourism Score

Tourism Score in Bethlehembest timeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec002244668810107.67.63.13.1NowNowprecipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperature tourism score
The tourism score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Bethlehem for hot-weather activities is from mid December to early March, with a peak score in the third week of January.

Beach/Pool Score

Beach/Pool Score in Bethlehembest timeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec002244668810104.74.70.00.0NowNowprecipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperature beach/pool score
The beach/pool score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

Methodology

For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.

Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.

Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.

Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.

Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.

Growing Season

Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).

The growing season in Bethlehem typically lasts for 8.4 months (253 days), from around September 4 to around May 15, rarely starting before August 13 or after September 30, and rarely ending before April 21 or after June 6.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in Bethlehemgrowing seasonJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%50%Sep 450%Sep 450%May 1550%May 1590%Sep 3090%Sep 3090%Apr 2190%Apr 2110%Aug 1310%Aug 1310%Jun 610%Jun 60%Jul 60%Jul 6Jan 7100%Jan 7100%very coldcoldcoolcomfortablewarm
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
The percentage of time spent in various temperature bands. The black line is the percentage chance that a given day is within the growing season.

Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.

Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Bethlehem should appear around August 1, only rarely appearing before July 26 or after August 7.

Growing Degree Days

Growing Degree Days in BethlehemJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0°F0°F500°F500°F1,000°F1,000°F1,500°F1,500°F2,000°F2,000°F2,500°F2,500°F3,000°F3,000°F3,500°F3,500°FAug 190°FAug 190°FNov 5900°FNov 5900°FJun 303,589°FJun 303,589°F
The average growing degree days accumulated over the course of the year, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Solar Energy

This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.

The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.6 months, from October 29 to February 18, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 7.2 kWh. The brightest day of the year is December 30, with an average of 8.0 kWh.

The darker period of the year lasts for 3.0 months, from May 4 to August 5, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 4.8 kWh. The darkest day of the year is June 21, with an average of 4.0 kWh.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in BethlehembrightbrightdarkJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 kWh0 kWh1 kWh1 kWh2 kWh2 kWh3 kWh3 kWh4 kWh4 kWh5 kWh5 kWh6 kWh6 kWh7 kWh7 kWh8 kWh8 kWh9 kWh9 kWh10 kWh10 kWhDec 308.0 kWhDec 308.0 kWhJun 214.0 kWhJun 214.0 kWhOct 297.2 kWhOct 297.2 kWhFeb 187.2 kWhFeb 187.2 kWhMay 44.8 kWhMay 44.8 kWhAug 54.8 kWhAug 54.8 kWhNowNow
The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Topography

For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Bethlehem are -28.231 deg latitude, 28.307 deg longitude, and 5,348 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Bethlehem contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 440 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 5,462 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (1,375 feet). Within 50 miles contains very significant variations in elevation (6,545 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Bethlehem is covered by artificial surfaces (52%) and cropland (46%), within 10 miles by cropland (75%) and grassland (21%), and within 50 miles by grassland (50%) and cropland (44%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather in Bethlehem, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.

Temperature and Dew Point

There are 2 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Bethlehem.

For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Bethlehem according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.

The estimated value at Bethlehem is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Bethlehem and a given station.

The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Bethlehem (98%, 3.4 kilometers, southeast) and Frankfort (1.7%, 109 kilometers, north).

Other Data

All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.

All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.

Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .

Time zones for airports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .

Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.

Disclaimer

The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.

We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.

We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.