Big cold front to bring wintery weather to parts of South Africa

An intense cold front currently developing over the Atlantic Ocean, will affect the western parts of South Africa on Thursday and Friday, spreading to the southern and central parts on Saturday.

Rainy and very cold conditions with snow on the high-lying areas will set in over the western parts of the Western Cape from Thursday afternoon, 26 August 2021, spreading to the western and southern parts of the Northern Cape and the remainder of the Western Cape overnight into Friday, 27 August 2021.

This weather system will encroach eastwards into the Eastern Cape from Friday afternoon as well as the central interior of South Africa, including KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday, 28 August 2021.

Widespread rainfall will set in over the western parts of the Western Cape on Thursday afternoon, spreading to the western and southern parts of the Northern Cape overnight.

Rainfall accumulations of 20 to 30 mm can be expected, with heavier falls, of the order of 40 to 50 mm expected over the south-western Cape.

This rainfall may lead to localised flooding of informal settlements. Moreover, such flooding may also pose a distinct risk to safe driving on major roads.

Motorists driving under such conditions are advised to reduce speed (especially under conditions of reduced or impaired visibility) and to observe safe following distances.

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Very cold conditions are expected from Friday over the south-western quadrant of the country, spreading to include much of the southern and central interior regions of South Africa by Saturday, 28 August 2021.

Snowfall is expected over the high-lying areas of the Western Cape and the southern and western high- lying areas of the Northern Cape, mainly from Friday spreading to the high-lying areas of the Eastern Cape and the Drakensberg region of KwaZulu-Natal during Saturday.

This may result in the closure of some mountain passes and cause traffic disruptions. Small stock farmers are advised to move their smaller livestock to shelter at an early stage to mitigate losses, ahead of the arrival of the winter weather.

Prior to landfall of the approaching cold front, strong winds (40 to 60 km/h) are likely to occur over parts of the interior of South Africa.

Such strong, gusty winds may cause difficulties for high-sided vehicles along major routes, especially over the interior of the Western Cape, the interior of the Eastern Cape, the Northern Cape, western Free State and the western parts of the North West province from Thursday into Friday.