Winter will hit SA hard, with warnings of storms damaging buildings, waves threatening ships, torrential rain that will swamp roads and informal settlements, frost and snow.
The SA Der Weather Service said the Western Cape would be the first area to be hit by a series of cold fronts, but most of the country would feel the cold over the next week.
“It is expected that a Series of onshore cold fronts will hit the western parts of the country early next week and are moving east, affecting most of SA,” the service said.
“These cold fronts are expected to result in strong winds, high Waves, heavy rainfall and light snow and a significant drop in temperature.”
Northwest winds with gusts of up to 80 km/h in the southern parts of the North Cape and in the interior of the Western Cape were the harbinger of the first front from Sunday and the Eastern Cape expected.
“These strong winds are likely to cause damage to formal and informal settlements, as well as possible structural damage in these areas.
“Also Monday morning between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas, westerly to southwesterly waves with significant Wave heights of 4-4.5m expected, lasting into the afternoon. These conditions can cause difficulties in navigating at sea.
“Another cold front will reach the Western Cape on Monday evening. As these fronts make landfall, heavy rainfall is expected, particularly in the southwestern parts of the Western Cape, particularly from Monday to Wednesday afternoon. This precipitation will spread eastwards towards the Eastern Cape on Tuesday.
“Rapid accumulations are expected to extend 50-80mm over the mountainous areas of the Cape metropolis, the western parts of the Cape Winelands and the western parts of the Cape will reach Overberg districts between Monday and Wednesday.
“These high rainfall levels are likely to result in flooding of roads and formal/informal settlements in these areas.”
In the Eastern Cape, where Nelson Mandela Bay is on the brink of water shortages, with less rainfall and “not expected to have a significant impact on levee heights,” the weather service said.
Temperatures are expected to drop significantly over the Western Cape and Namakwa District on Monday. Cold weather would reach Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal between Wednesday and Thursday.
“With this cooling, freezing levels should also drop significantly, leading to light snowfall over the southern rise of Namakwa. as well as the high-altitude areas of the western interior of the Eastern Cape on Tuesday, spreading to the north-eastern heights of the Eastern Cape on Wednesday.”
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