Brace yourself! Rain, wind and snow expected to hit Mzansi this weekend

19 June 2019 - 17:35
By Nico Gous
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned of a cold front set to hit the Western Cape on Friday before spreading to the rest of the country.
Image: 123RF/Peter Bernik The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned of a cold front set to hit the Western Cape on Friday before spreading to the rest of the country.

Get your jackets, blankets and firewood ready - a cold front is expected to hit the Western Cape on Friday, before spreading to the rest of the country at the weekend.

“Strong westerly to northwesterly winds (40km/h-60km/h) can be expected from the morning onwards over the entire Western Cape province, ahead of the arrival of the cold front,” said the SA Weather Service (SAWS) on Wednesday.

“Gale-force winds (60km/h-75km/h, with gusts of 80km/h-100km/h) can also be expected in places over the central Karoo, Breede River Valley districts and Cape Peninsula. Gale force winds associated with the passage of the cold front are also anticipated on Friday along the coast between Table Bay and Plettenberg Bay.”

SAWS warned that these winds might damage settlements and infrastructure, adding that falling trees and dust could affect travelling times.

Rain is expected to start in the Western Cape on Friday at midday, before spreading eastward inland over the rest of the province during the late afternoon and evening.

“It is anticipated that the majority of the rain will fall over the western parts of the province, where 20mm-30mm is expected on Friday. However, rainfall in mountainous areas could peak as high as 40mm-50mm,” said SAWS.

Localised flooding could cause problems, with the Cape Flats and the Overberg district most likely to be affected. “Snowfalls are also likely over the southern mountains of the Western Cape on Friday night to Saturday morning,” said SAWS.

High seas are expected, with waves over 6m hitting the southwestern coastline of the Western Cape by Friday evening, before spreading to the Eastern Cape by Saturday morning.

“Commercial and subsistence fishing communities along the aforementioned coastline (especially the squid industry) are strongly urged not to venture out to sea on Friday evening, as sea (and wind) conditions are expected to deteriorate dramatically overnight into Saturday morning and afternoon, therefore posing a significant risk to life,” warned SAWS.

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Rain will continue in the Western Cape on Saturday and spread to the Eastern Cape by Saturday evening.

“The public can also expect cold to very cold temperatures to set in over the southwestern parts - including the Western Cape, Northern Cape, northern and southwestern interior of the Eastern Cape and southwestern Free State - on Saturday,” said the weather service.

The cold front will continue making its way up to the northeastern parts of SA on Sunday, with rain expected along the southeastern and eastern coastline and “cold to very cold conditions over a large part of the interior of the country, where heavy frost can be expected Sunday night”.

The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said on Wednesday that the Presidential Golf Challenge (PGC), which was set to be held on Friday in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, was postponed due to “high levels of rain predicted on the day of the planned event”. The PGC will now be held in February next year.