Cold snap set to hit NC
THE SOUTH African Weather Service has warned of unseasonal cold weather – including snow and rain in some parts of the country – which is expected to hit the Northern Cape later this week.
According to the weather office, most parts of the country will be affected by the cold snap from tomorrow onwards.
“A steep upper-air trough, having the potential to cut off and further intensify, will result in significantly cooler weather over most parts of the country on Wednesday into Thursday, with the expectation of snowfalls on some southern mountains,” a spokesperson for the weather office, Wayne Venter, said yesterday.
Maximum temperatures of the order of 16 to 19 degrees Celsius will affect the southern parts of the Western Cape today, with cold weather spreading further eastwards and northwards tomorrow and on Thursday.
The cold weather will invade the Eastern Cape, southern KwaZuluNatal, southern Free State and the Northern Cape tomorrow, spreading to reach the remainder of KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State, Gauteng and Mpumalanga on Thursday, accompanied by maximum temperatures in the midteens.
Very cold weather, characterised by single digit maximum temperatures (nine degrees C or less), will dominate high-lying areas of the Eastern Cape and south-western KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.
The weather office has advised small stock farmers to take preemptive measures at an early stage, ahead of the onset of the inclement weather, in order to protect their livestock during this unseasonal cold snap.
The significantly cooler weather in the upper-air will result in light snowfall over the high ground of the Western Cape as well as the western high ground of the Eastern Cape from tomorrow onwards.
“Snow is expected to subsequently spread eastwards to include the eastern parts of the Eastern Cape by Wednesday (tomorrow) afternoon, where it will become heavy and disruptive (with respect to traffic and infrastructure) over the north-eastern mountains of the Eastern Cape (Rhodes, Barkly East) and Lesotho,” Venter said.
“Snowfalls of this nature typically lead to the closing of mountain passes, resulting in associated disruption to traffic flow. Further snowfalls, of a light to moderate nature, are expected to spread to the south-western and western high ground of KwaZulu-Natal as well as the south-eastern and eastern extremities of the Free State on Thursday.”
Widespread rainfall can also be expected over much of the southern and eastern parts of South Africa.
“A strong ridging high pressure system will start to move in along the southern parts of the Western Cape on Tuesday (today), accompanied by onshore flow along the coast and adjacent interior regions, resulting in heavy rainfall (in excess of 50mm in places in the Eden Districts) spreading eastwards to parts of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and eastern parts of Mpumalanga on Wednesday (tomorrow).”
Although rainfall is expected across most parts of the country tomorrow, the heaviest rainfall is likely to be restricted to the aforementioned provinces.
Instances of flooding can also be expected during this period.
The intensity of rainfall is expected ease off from the west on Thursday but it will persist over parts of Mpumalanga, KwaZuluNatal, the eastern parts of the Free State and in the Eastern Cape.
It will remain cold and windy over much of the interior of South Africa on Thursday.
In Kimberley, the temperature is expected to drop by about 10 degrees C from a high of 33 degrees C today, to only 23 degrees C tomorrow. The minimum will be five degrees C.
On Wednesday and Thursday, a minimum of four degrees is predicted, with a high of 19 and 23 degrees C respectively.
By Sunday, however, the maximum will again be in the high 30s.
There is a 30 percent chance of rain in the city today, as well as tomorrow and Thursday.