south africa weather weekend

Weather warning: Two cold fronts expected to hit South Africa this weekend

Andile Sicetsha - 18.05.2021

Two cold fronts are expected to wash over most parts of South Africa this weekend.

Winter is truly here and this weekend, most parts of South Africa will experience the worst of two cold fronts that promise to have a devastating impact on informal settlements and low-lying areas.

South Africa braces for icy cold fronts

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) revealed, in a statement, that from Thursday, two cold fronts are expected to wash over most parts of the country.

The onset of this icy period is expected to kick off in the Western Cape from Thursday morning “resulting in rainy, cold and windy conditions as the weather system propagates eastwards over the southern parts of the country.”

The first cold front will most likely move in over the south-western Cape in the wee hours of Thursday, causing widespread showers and rain, especially over the western parts of the Western Cape.

This spread should extend towards the eastern parts of the Western Cape, the southern parts of the Northern Cape and western parts of the Eastern Cape during the afternoon and evening.

“Strong sustained north-westerly winds of 50-70km/h winds may be experienced over the southern high ground of the Northern Cape, the interior of the Western Cape and the interior of the Eastern Cape which may result in difficult driving conditions, especially for high-sided vehicles. Similar conditions are expected along the coast of the Western Cape,” SAWS noted.

A second cold front will sustain moderate showers in the Western Cape, with light snowfall expected in some areas. These cold and wet conditions will start to move towards central parts of the country, with maximum temperatures dropping significantly to the mid-teens.

This icy weather system is expected to make its way to KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Gauteng during Saturday and Sunday.

Weather warnings for this weekend

Due to the severity brought on by these expected cold temperatures, SAWS has issued the following weather warnings:

  • Small stock farmers are advised that the combination of cold, wet and windy weather may result in stock losses, unless animals are taken to shelter, well ahead of the onset of the winter weather.
  • Coastal ocean users should also exercise caution as large swells of 4.5 to 6.0m associated with the secondary frontal system may be experienced between Cape Columbine and East London from Thursday afternoon into Friday.
  • A Yellow level 2 Warning for Rain resulting in localised flooding is expected over the Cape Metropole, western parts of the Cape Winelands and the western parts of the Overberg Districts on Thursday into Friday.
  • A Yellow level 2 Warning for Wind resulting in damage to settlements is expected over the southern high ground of the Northern Cape and the Central Karoo and Little Karoo of the Western Cape on Thursday but along the coastal areas between Lamberts Bay and Cape Agulhas from Wednesday evening, spreading to Plettenberg Bay on Thursday afternoon, moderating on Friday.
  • A Yellow level 2 Warning for Waves resulting in difficulty in navigation is expected between Cape Columbine and Plettenberg Bay from Thursday afternoon into Friday.