Mary-Jane Bopape

email:                [email protected]
Tel:                    +27 (0) 12 534 3509


Research profile

Mary-Jane Bopape is the Managing Director: National Research Foundation (NRF) - South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON). Prior to joining the NRF, she was the Research Senior Manager and Chief Scientist: Weather Research at the South African Weather Service and Senior Researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Dr Bopape has a C2 (established researcher) NRF rating. She is currently leading activities on a weather and climate project to implement the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Cyber-Infrastructure Framework. She is one of twenty one 2019 Climate Research for Development (CR4D) fellowship grantees and a 2021 AIMS Women Fellow in Climate Change Science. She was recognised by the President of South Africa as a pathfinder in 9 August 2019 speech on women’s day. She is a co-recipient of the 2008 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) award for young researchers, and a recipient of the 2013 Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE) most promising young researcher award. She served as the co-President of the South African Society for Atmospheric Sciences (SASAS) during the 2018-2020 term. She was listed as one of the most influential Africans of 2021 by the New African magazine.


  • PhD (Meteorology) – University of Pretoria (2013)
    • Title of thesis: Simulations of moist convection with the quasi-elastic equations

  • MSc (Meteorology) - University f Pretoria (2007)
    • Title of the dissertation: The internal variability of the regional climate model, RegCM3 over southern Africa

  • BSc Hons (Meteorology) – University of Pretoria (2003)
  • BSc Earth Sciences – University of Pretoria (2002)

Courses presented

  • WKD781 – Cloud Dynamics

Research publications

  • Ndarana T, T Rammopo T, C Reason, M Bopape, F Engelbrecht, and H Chikoore, 2021: Two types of ridging South Atlantic Ocean anticyclones over South Africa and the associated dy-namical processes. Atmospheric Research. 265. 105897. 10.1016/j.atmosres.2021.105897.
  • Mulovhedzi PM, GT Rambuwani, MM Bopape, R Maisha, and N Monama, 2021: Model in-ter-comparison for short range forecasts over the Southern African domain. South African Journal of Science. 117(9/10).
  • Thapelo TS, M Namoshe, O Matsebe, T Motshegwa, and M-JM Bopape, 2021. SASSCAL WebSAPI: A Web Scraping Application Programming Interface to Support Access to SASS-CAL’s Weather Data. Data Science Journal, 20(1), p.24. DOI:
  • Bopape MM, H Cardoso, R Plant, E Phaduli, H Chikoore, T Ndarana, L Khalau, and E Rakate, 2021: Sensitivity of tropical cyclone Idai simulations to cumulus. Atmosphere, 12(8), 932;
  • Chikoore H, MM Bopape, T Ndarana, TP Muofhe, M Gijben, RB Munyai, TC Manyanya, and R Maisha, 2021: Synoptic structure of a sub-daily extreme precipitation and flood event in Thohoyandou, north-eastern South Africa. Weather and Climate Extremes. Volume 33, 100327,
  • Meroni AN,  KA Oundo,  R Muita,  M Bopape,  TR Maisha,  M Lagasio,  A Parodi,  and G Ve-nuti, 2021: Sensitivity of some African heavy rainfall events to microphysics and planetary boundary layer schemes: impacts on localised storms. Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteoro-logical Society.
  • Lekoloane LE, MM Bopape, G Rambuwani, S Landman, P Mofokeng, M Gijben, M and N Mohale, 2021: A dynamic and thermodynamic analysis of the 11 December 2017 tornadic supercell in the Highveld of South Africa, Weather Clim. Dynam. ., 2, 373–393,
  • Bopape MM, E Sebego, T Ndarana, B Maseko, M Netshilema, M Gijben, S Landman, E Phaduli, G Rambuwani, L Van Hemert, M Mkhwana, 2021:  South African Weather Service Idai tropical cyclone and KwaZulu-Natal flood early warnings. South African Journal of Science. 117, NO 3/4 (2021).
  • Bopape M, D Waitolo, R Plant, E Nkonde, H Simfukwe, N Sikanyika, S Mkandawire, E Raka-te, and R Maisha, 2021: Sensitivity of simulations of a Zambian heavy rainfall event to the atmospheric boundary layer schemes. Climate 2021, 9(2), 38; .
  • Ndarana T, TS Rammpopo, MM Bopape, and H Chikoore, 2020: Downstream development during South African cut-off low development. Atmospheric Research. , 249, .
  • Somses S, M Bopape, T Ndarana, A Fridlind, T Matsui, E Phaduli, A Limbo, S Maikhudumu, R Maisha, E Rakate, 2020: Convection parametrization and multi-nesting dependence of a heavy rainfall event over Namibia with Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Climate, 8(10), 112;
  • Muofhe TP, H Chikoore, M Bopape, NS Nethengwe, T Ndarana, and GT Rambuwani, 2020: Forecasting intense cut-off lows in South Africa using the 4.4 km Unified Model. Climate. 8(11), 129;
  • Bopape MM, RS Plant, and O Coceal, 2020: Resolution Dependence of the turbulence structure in convective boundary layer simulations. Atmosphere, 11(9), 986;
  • Bopape MM, R Plant, O Coceal, G Efstathiou, and M Valdivieso, 2020: Effects of stability functions in a dynamic model convective boundary layer simulation. Atmospheric Research Letters, e1008.
  • Ndarana T, TS Rammopo, H Chikoore, MS Barnes and M Bopape, 2020: A quasi-geostrophic diagnosis of the zonal flow associated with cut-off lows over South Africa and surrounding oceans. Climate Dynamics 55, 2631–2644.
  • Ndarana T, S Mpati, M Bopape , F Engelbrecht and H Chikoore, 2020: The flow and moisture fluxes associated with ridging South Atlantic Ocean anticyclones during the subtropical southern African summer. International Journal of Climatology, 41,
  • Xulu N, C Chikoore, M Bopape, and N Nethengwe, 2020: The influence of the Mascarene High on weather and climate over southern Africa. Climate, 8(7), 86;
  • Mbokodo I, M Bopape, H Chikoore, F Engelbrecht, N Nethengwe, 2020: Heatwaves in the future warmer climate of South Africa. Atmosphere, 11(7), 712;
  • Burls NJ, RC Blamey, BA Cash, ET Swenson, A Fahad, MJM Bopape, DM Straus, CJC Reason,2019: The Cape Town “Day Zero” drought and Hadley cell expansion. Npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, 2(1), 1–8, doi:s41612-019-0084-6
  • Bopape, M-JM, HM Sithole, T Motshegwa, E Rakate, F Engelbrecht, E Archer, A Morgan, L Ndimeni, and J Botai, 2019: A Regional Project in Support of the SADC Cyber-Infrastructure Framework Implementation: Weather and Climate. Data Science Journal, 18: 34, pp. 1–10. DOI:
  • Keat WJ, THM Stein, E Phaduli, S Landman, E Becker, MM Bopape, KE Hanley, HW Lean, S Webster, 2019: Convective initiation and storm life‐cycles in convection‐permitting simulations of the Met Office Unified Model over South Africa. Quarterly journal of the Royal Meteorological Society.
  • Efstathiou GA, RS Plant and MM Bopape, 2018: Simulation of an evolving convective boundary layer using scale-dependent dynamic Smagorinsky model at near grey-zone resolution. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 57(9), Sep, pp. 2197-2214. https//
  • Ndarana T, M Bopape, D Waugh and L Dyson, 2018.  The influence of the lower stratosphere on ridging Atlantic Ocean anticyclones over South Africa.  Journal of Climate, 31(15), Aug, p. 6175-6187. https//
  • Garland R, M Matooane, FA Engelbrecht, M Bopape, W Landman, M Naidoo, J van der Merwe and C Wright, 2015: Regional projections of extreme apparent temperature days in Africa and the related potential risk to human health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12(10), 12577-12604.
  • Engelbrecht FA,  J Adegoke, M Bopape, M Naidoo, R Garland, M Thatcher, J McGregor, J Katzfey and M Werner, 2015: Projections of rapidly rising surface temperatures over Africa under low mitigation. Environmental Research Letters. 10, 085004.
  • Bopape MM, FA Engelbrecht, DA Randall and WA Landman, 2014: Advances towards the development of a Cloud Resolving Model in South Africa. South African Journal of Science, 110, 9/10, 61-62.
  • Bopape MM, FA Engelbrecht, DA Randall and WA Landman, 2014: Simulations of an isolated two-dimensional thunderstorm: sensitivity to cloud droplet size and the presence of graupel. Asia Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Science,50(2); 139-151, DOI:10.1007/s13143-014-0003-z.
  • Engelbrecht FA, WA Landman, CJ Engelbrecht , S Landman, MM Bopape, B Roux, JL McGregor, and M Thatcher, 2011: Multi-scale climate modelling over southern Africa using the variable-resolution global model, Water SA, 37, 647-658.
  • Landman W, M Kgatuke, M Mbedzi, A Beraki, A Bartman, and A du Piesanie, 2009: Perfor-mance comparison of some dynamical and empirical downscaling methods for South Africa from a seasonal climate modelling perspective. International Journal of Climatology, 29, 1535-1549.
  • Kgatuke M, W Landman, A Beraki and M Mbedzi, 2008: The internal variability of the RegCM3 over South Africa. International Journal of Climatology, 28, 505-520.

Postgraduate students

  • Kelebogile R. Mathole. PhD thesis (current). Stratospheric dynamics and predictability over South Africa. Supervisor: Thando Ndarana, Co-supervisor: Ted Shepherd (University of Reading), Co-supervisor: Mary-Jane Bopape (South African Weather Service).
  • Robert Maisha. PhD thesis (current). The dynamics of the urban heat island in eThekwini municipality. Supervisor: Thando Ndarana, Co-supervisor: Francois Engelbrecht (University of the Witwatersrand), Co-supervisor: Mary-Jane Bopape.

Scientific Correspondence

  • Bopape MM, FA Engelbrecht, B Abiodun, A Beraki,  T Ndarana, L Ntsangwane, H Sithole, M Sovara, J Witi, 2019: Programme for the development of Weather and Climate Numerical Models in South Africa. South African Journal of Science;115(5/6), Art. #5779, 3 pages. sajs.2019/5779

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