People of Mzansi, brace yourself. Wet and cold weather will persist into the weekend. This is fuelled by the development of a low-pressure system over the south-east of the country.
According to the SA Weather Service (SAWS), the cut-off low pressure system will be responsible for the majority of adverse weather expected over the next three days.
This will include predicted snowfall of 5 to 15cm over Lesotho and the Eastern Cape’s southern Drakensberg mountains, as well as “disruptive rainfall” over the Wild Coast and the north-east of KwaZulu-Natal. Wet conditions and cold temperatures can be expected over the high-lying parts of the Eastern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
Impact on Eastern Cape
“Showers and thundershowers are expected over the southern and eastern parts of the Eastern Cape province as the high-pressure system ridges in, combined with the influence of the upper air cut-off low located over eastern parts of the country,” SAWS said via a statement.
“Heavy rain over the Eastern Cape is expected to result in localised flooding of settlements and roads along the Wild coast and adjacent interior.”
Cold conditions are expected over Eastern Cape, with very cold conditions over the north-eastern high ground of the southern Drakensberg, where disruptive snowfalls are expected from today onwards.
“This could result in major roads and mountain passes being closed as well as the loss of livestock and access to some remote communities being interrupted due to snowfall or icy roads.”
Impact on Free State
Small stock farmers and the public of the eastern Free State are advised to ensure their animals are sheltered from the expected wet, windy, and very cold conditions in the form of showers and thundershowers.
Light snowfalls are expected over the high-lying areas of Clarens, Fouriesburg, Ficksburg and Memel which can cause slippery road conditions, especially on the R712, and should the accumulated snowfall reach 1 cm or more, this section of road could be closed.
“Therefore, the public is advised to avoid these areas and to rather stay home and indoors if possible. Heavier snowfalls may occur over Phuthaditjhaba, where the community is advised to take the necessary precautions to stay warm and dry in the safest manner possible,” the SAWS said.
Impact on KwaZulu-Natal
Similar to the Eastern Cape and Free State impacts, snowfall is likely in the Drakensberg Mountains from today, with significant snowfall (between 10 and 15 cm) expected over the Lesotho region.
“Consequently, the Sani Pass may be temporarily closed due to snowfall. There is also a possibility of disruptive rain over the north-eastern parts of KZN tomorrow afternoon into evening, leading to possible localised flooding of susceptible formal/informal settlements or roads, minor vehicle accidents due to unsafe driving conditions as well as localised damage to mud-based houses.”
Areas over uMkhanyakude, eastern Zululand and eastern King Cetshwayo district municipalities are likely to be particularly affected.
“The South African Weather Service will continue to monitor any further developments relating to this weather system and will issue subsequent updates as required. Furthermore, the public are urged and encouraged to regularly follow weather forecasts on television and radio,” the organisation said.
Updated information is available at www.weathersa.co.za.