Cape Town braces for rough seas, flooding as cold front hits parts of SA
Emergency services were on standby as an intense cold front‚ accompanied by heavy rain and gale force winds‚ made landfall in Cape Town early on Thursday.
Lightening flickered above the city as the rain poured down before sunrise‚ bringing with it potential flash floods in the city‚ Cape Winelands‚ Overberg and West Coast‚ which will continue into Friday.
The South African Weather Service issued a weather warning‚ saying there would be gale force winds of up to 70km an hour. The cold front will bring icy temperatures to Gauteng‚ the Free State and Mpumalanga on Saturday.
Johannesburg started off at 4˚C on Thursday with a high of 18˚C expected. It was a chilly start to the day at -1˚C in Bethlehem in the Free State and Standerton in Mpumalanga. A sunny Durban was forecast to reach a high of 27˚C and Port Elizabeth a toasty 31˚C.
Disaster risk management spokesperson Charlotte Powell said city departments were on standby to deal with the potential fallout of the cold front in Cape Town – with a low of 14˚C and maximum temperature of 15˚C.
“The SA Weather Service has issued a severe weather warning for (Thursday) into Friday‚ comprising gale force winds of up to 70 kilometres an hour and periods of heavy downpours that could result in flooding‚” said Powell.
“With the wind speed forecast to pick up … we caution residents to be on alert for possible damage to their homes as well as trees that may be uprooted and could affect travelling as well as power lines. Very rough sea conditions can be expected along the coastal areas‚ coinciding with the spring tide so we urge the public to steer clear of these areas.”
Early morning commuters had their brollies at the ready as the rain came down.
Authorities meanwhile urged residents on Thursday to ignore a widely-shared WhatsApp message that was warning of a "hurricane type storm" expected to hit the city in the evening. The city confirmed the message was a hoax.
Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith said that the city’s Disaster Operations Centre had been inundated with calls from the public about the hoax message‚ “blocking the lines for real emergencies”.
Here's your five-day weather forecast for Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth: