Oh, shivers! Two cold fronts to hit SA from early Thursday into weekend: SA Weather Service

Freezing weather expected in parts of the country from Thursday morning

11 August 2021 - 17:32
By kgaugelo masweneng AND Kgaugelo Masweneng
Parts of SA are heading for a cold snap over the next few days. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/freerlaw Parts of SA are heading for a cold snap over the next few days. Stock photo.

SA should brace itself for icy temperatures, wind and rain as two winter-weather fronts hit the country this week.

Snow could fall on high-lying areas from Thursday, the SA Weather Service said on Wednesday, with the effect of the two fronts extending into the weekend.

“First, an intense cold front will make landfall in the Western Cape early Thursday morning, spreading to the Eastern Cape during the afternoon as well as parts of KwaZulu-Natal in the evening. Rainy and very cold conditions, with snow on the high-lying areas, will set in over the Western Cape ...  progressing eastward during the day,” the weather service said.

“Snowfall can be expected on the mountainous regions from the afternoon into the evening.”

The front will cause rainfall along the southwestern coast.

“From Thursday it will move to the southeastern parts of the country, to the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. An 80% chance of rain along the Garden Route prompted a level 2 warning for disruptive rainfall. The rainfall will be 40ml to 50ml over 24 hours.

“Behind the cold front, temperatures will drop. Expect a light snowfall over the Western Cape,” the service said.

A second weather system — a cut-off low-pressure system — will develop during Friday over the western interior of the country.

“A second system, namely a cut-off low, will develop during Friday, causing wintry conditions to persist over the southern parts of the country. As a result, windy and cold conditions will prevail across most parts of the country during Friday and Saturday.

“Showers and thundershowers will develop in association with the cut-off low, affecting the eastern parts of the Northern Cape, the Free State and the northern and eastern parts of the Eastern Cape. Rainfall of 30mm to 40mm can be expected over the extreme eastern parts of the Northern Cape, the southwestern parts of the Free State, and the extreme northern interior of the Eastern Cape, where very cold conditions will persist.

“Due to the dynamics of the upper-air system, some of the thunderstorms may become severe, resulting in large amounts of small hail.”

The snowfall is likely to continue over the northern high-lying areas of the Eastern Cape and the Drakensberg, encompassing the Eastern Cape and KZN, and the extreme eastern parts of the Free State.