15 August 2017

South Africa: Cold Snap Ahead

The South African Weather Service has warned that a cold snap will affect most parts of the country from Wednesday.

Particularly cold daytime temperatures are expected to dominate the south-western parts on Wednesday, spreading to include the central and eastern parts on Thursday.

Some places in the high-lying central and eastern interior are likely to experience daytime temperatures of the order of only five to 10 degrees Celsius for up to three consecutive days.

Significant snowfall can also be expected over the southern and central Drakensberg. Snowfall could be heavy over the north-eastern parts of the Eastern Cape, possibly leading to the closure of the majority of mountain passes in the region, as well as the associated disruption of traffic flow.

Rain and showers are expected over the south-western parts of the country on Tuesday and Wednesday.

By Thursday, rainfall is expected to move eastwards, with the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal particularly well-placed to receive widespread rainfall.

These provinces may even experience heavy rainfall as well as localised flooding, especially along the coast and adjacent interior regions.

Along much of the southern coastline, periods of strong, gusty winds, combined with moderate seas, are expected.

There is, however, a strong likelihood that gale force winds of a damaging nature, as well as rough to very rough sea conditions may develop along the Wild Coast and KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.

These extreme weather conditions are due to the development of an intense trough (an extension of a low pressure) in the upper portions of the atmosphere, which is expected to move over the country on Wednesday. Thereafter, the trough is likely to intensify further, becoming a so-called cut-off low pressure system on Thursday.

By Friday, the weather system is expected to exit the country, when rainfall will be restricted to the eastern extremities of the country, heralding a return to dry, settled weather this weekend.

The public can regularly follow weather forecasts on television and radio. Updated information may also be accessed on www.weathersa.co.za as well as via the South African Weather Service.

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