Ex­treme weather head­ing our way

The Times (South Africa) - - News - By APHIWE DEKLERK

● It’s time to haul out the win­ter cloth­ing and rain­coats‚ spring or not – bit­ing cold‚ heavy rain‚ gale-force winds and dis­rup­tive snow­falls have been fore­cast for the next two days in South Africa.

Gaut­eng will ex­pe­ri­ence chilly con­di­tions when the mer­cury dips to eight de­grees on Thurs­day‚ ris­ing to a max­i­mum of about 16°.

Small stock farm­ers across the coun­try have been ad­vised to “take pre-emp­tive mea­sures at an early stage‚ ahead of the on­set of the in­clement weather” to pro­tect live­stock.

An ad­vi­sory by the SA Weather Ser­vice warned heavy rain‚ which could lead to flood­ing‚ was ex­pected over the Eden District of the Over­berg in the Western Cape from Tues­day.

Se­vere thun­der­storms are also ex­pected over the Highveld ar­eas of Mpumalanga and east­ern Free State.

Weather fore­caster Madimetja Thema urged peo­ple to heed the warn­ings. An in­tense up­per-air trough was ex­pected to bring dis­rup­tive snow­falls to the Win­ter­berg and Sneeuw­berg in East­ern Cape early on Wed­nes­day‚ and to parts of KwaZulu-Natal later in the day.

Heavy rains will fall over other parts of the East­ern Cape‚ spread­ing to KwaZulu-Natal and east­ern Mpumalanga by Wed­nes­day.

The weather ser­vice warned of cold con­di­tions‚ in­clud­ing sin­gle-digit max­i­mum tem­per­a­tures‚ on high-ly­ing East­ern Cape ar­eas and south­west­ern KwaZulu-Natal on Thurs­day.

“Sig­nif­i­cantly cooler weather in the up­per air will re­sult in light snowfall over the high ground of Western Cape‚ as well as the western high ground of East­ern Cape from Wed­nes­day morn­ing on­wards.”

The alert added snow­falls could lead to the clos­ing of moun­tain passes‚ dis­rupt­ing traf­fic.

Thema said the cold snap was not un­usual. “It’s not the first time it’s hap­pen­ing in Novem­ber ... it’s just that we are ex­pect­ing warmer tem­per­a­tures [at this time of the year].”

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