Cold snap set to hit NC

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - PATSY BEANGSTROM NEWS ED­I­TOR

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.

Mea­sures

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.

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