SA Weather Service warns of dramatic drop in temperature, with snow

Devdiscourse News Desk | Pretoria | Updated: 19-07-2023 18:24 IST | Created: 19-07-2023 18:24 IST
SA Weather Service warns of dramatic drop in temperature, with snow
Snowfall in Himachal Pradesh (File Photo/ANI) Image Credit: ANI
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  • South Africa

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned of a dramatic drop in temperature, with snow in places for the southern half of the country this week.

The weather service said a cut-off low is expected to develop over the southern interior of South Africa, resulting in a sudden and widespread lowering of maximum temperatures, especially over the Cape as early as Wednesday.

“Apart from the impact of widespread, bitterly cold and showery conditions setting in over the Cape provinces, the South Africa Weather Service (SAWS) expects snowfall to occur over the higher mountains of the Cape provinces tomorrow, spreading to include the Drakensberg Mountain peaks of Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.

“As the cut-off low develops further and intensifies during the week, cold weather, accompanied by overcast, rainy conditions, can be expected to set in over parts of the Northern Cape, North West, Gauteng, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Mpumalanga,” SAWS said.

This weather will persist during Friday, when heavier falls can be expected over the western and central parts of the above-mentioned provinces.

“Persistent rainfall is therefore likely to lead to localised flooding and minor disruptions of road traffic. Moreover, there is also the possibility of a few thunderstorms developing, some of which may become severe.

“Large amounts of small hail as well as strong, gusty surface winds may also contribute to icy roads and hazardous driving conditions. Motorists encountering such conditions are advised to reduce speed and to observe safe following distances in traffic,” the weather service said.

By Saturday, much of the rainfall will be in the process of shifting to the eastern and northeastern provinces. The majority of the inclement weather is expected to clear by Sunday.

The public and small stock farmers have been advised that the very cold, wet and windy conditions may pose a risk to livestock, vulnerable crops and plants. The public is also warned to keep warm during these cold conditions.  

“A Yellow level 2 warning has been issued for possible disruptive snow over the mountains of Eastern Cape, valid for 19 to 20 July 2023. Accumulation of snowfall is expected to particularly affect the Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality (LM).

“Graaff Reinet is expected to be significantly affected as well as the Chris Hani District Municipality. Similarly, the mountain pass in the Barkly East area will be affected from Wednesday evening into Thursday morning.

“The other areas that will be affected are the Raymond Mhlaba LM, Elundini LM and Matatiele LM.  This weather system is also expected to be accompanied by strong waves and winds along the south-western and southern coast of the Western Cape,” SAWS said.

Consequently, a Yellow level 2 warning for waves leading to difficulty in navigation at sea for small vessels and personal water craft has been issued for the coastline between Cape Columbine and Plettenberg Bay on Tuesday 18 July through to Wednesday 19 July 2023. 

The public is urged and encouraged to regularly follow weather forecasts on television, radio as well as social media platforms. Updated information in this regard will regularly be available at as well as via the SA Weather Service Twitter account @SAWeatherService. 

(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release)

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