Stormy weather expected over South Africa
A cold front moved over the country this morning resulting in windy, rainy and cold conditions in the Western and Northern Cape provinces. It is accompanied by an intense upper trough (extension of a low pressure in the upper portions of the atmosphere) which has resulted in a band of thundershowers through the western and central parts of the country.
Some of these thunderstorms are expected to become severe during the course of today until the weekend, as they progressively spread east during the remainder of the week. Light snowfalls are also expected on the mountains bordering the Eastern Cape and Lesotho.
Severe thunderstorms with a risk of heavy downpours and strong gusty winds are expected over the western parts of North-West, western and southern Free State and the eastern half of Eastern Cape today (Wednesday). These conditions are expected to spread to the remainder of the Free State and North-West, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng by Thursday. The risk for severe storms remains on Saturday over eastern parts of North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
With this kind of weather, it will also be cooler over the western and central parts on Wednesday, spreading to the rest of the country on Thursday. It will start warming up from Sunday.
As a result of this expected extreme weather, the public is made aware of the following possible impacts that can be experienced:
- Wet and slippery roads.
- Occasional poor visibility.
- Strong gusty winds would make for dangerous driving conditions.
- Heavy downpours will result in flash flooding in places which could lead to flooding of some settlements and roads.
Precautions to take during flooding:
- If walking outdoors, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles.
- Just 15 cm of fast-moving flood water can knock a person off their feet, and a depth of 60 cm feet is enough to float a car.
- Never try to walk, swim or drive through fast-moving flood water. Stop, turn around and go another way.
- Listen to the special warnings on radio and/or television.
ever drive into water covering the road. You would not know how deep it is or if the road has been washed away.
- If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.