The SA weather service said on Tuesday that most of the country should brace for cold weather Thursday through Saturday.
Snow, rain and wind are forecast.
“A steep top-edge air trough system will develop into a truncated low-pressure system over the northwest interior by Friday. Widespread rains are expected across the southern and central parts of the country from Thursday, with light snowfalls likely over the mountainous, high-altitude areas of the Western and Eastern Cape, spreading to Lesotho’s Drakensberg regions by the weekend, where heavier ones Cases are expected to fall. Light snowfall is also expected over the high-altitude area of the southeastern and eastern Free State,” the weather bureau said.
The drought-stricken Eastern Cape province would get much-needed rain: around 25mm – 35mm could in a 24-hour cycle is expected.
“In addition, there is a possibility of isolated severe storms accompanied by high winds and large amounts of small hailstones over the central and eastern interior. SAWS will issue detailed radar-based alerts in this regard should the need arise,” it said.
The weather forecaster said the cold front will move across the southwest coast of the Western Cape by Wednesday afternoon, with evening rain spreading along the south coast and adjacent Inland.
Gust winds of 45-55 km/h ahead of the cold front are also expected over the inland and south coast of the Western Cape than the interior of the North Cape. These conditions can increase the risk of developing steppe fires. Warm to hot conditions are expected ahead of the cold front (due to offshore mountain winds), particularly along the southern coast of the Western Cape and coastal areas of the Eastern Cape. The upper air trough will strengthen throughout Thursday, causing widespread rains over the eastern parts of the Western Cape and the western parts of the Eastern Cape,” the office said.
“A Level 2 yellow alert for disturbance rain , leading to local flooding of vulnerable roads and bridges, as well as flooding in informal settlements, is therefore expected in the above areas and will spread to the central and south-eastern parts of the Eastern Cape on Thursday.”
It snowfall of 2cm to 5cm was forecast over the eastern highlands of the Western Cape starting Thursday night. This should spread to the western highlands of the Eastern Cape, the extreme south-eastern highlands of the North Cape and the southern Free State highlands by Friday morning Drakensberg region of KwaZulu-Natal and the Lesotho Mountains expected Friday evening through Saturday morning.”
Thunderstorms and strong winds were expected on Friday, Gauteng , Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
These weather conditions should hit Limpopo on Saturday.
“Warnings in this regard will be issued as necessary. Due to the existing waterlogged soils in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, rainfall in excess of 20mm will likely result in localized flooding. Therefore, it is important that communities take the necessary precautions to prepare for such conditions.
“Bitter cold is expected to sweep over the western and southern parts of the country and spread to the central ones throughout Thursday and southern parts of the country spread to eastern parts of Friday and Saturday. High temperatures in the interior are not expected to exceed 14°C, with highs in the high-altitude areas of the Eastern Cape, the south-western KwaZulu-Natal plateau and the south-eastern Andes barely reaching 8°C in the extreme southern Free State on Friday and Saturday.
The Weather Bureau warned small farmers to take the necessary precautions for their livestock.
On Sunday, rain is expected to continue covering the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga and the northern parts of KwaZulu- Natal.
“The public can look forward to a general improvement in weather and a recovery in daytime temperatures starting Monday as the system exits the country,” the service said.