(Photo: @CityofJoburgZA, Twitter)
Cape Town - The final Saturday evening of 2017 is set to be rough one, as the South African Weather Service (SAWS) says conditions are rife with severe thunderstorms, large hail and flooding.
Late on Saturday afternoon, the weather service warned Gauteng to brace for a possible tornado in the Merafong district, however by 18:00 SAWS tweeted the tornado warning 'was over'.
But not before an estimated 300 people were evacuated from Trade Route Mall in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, after large sections of the building’s roof collapsed during the huge downpour in the area. Read the full News24 coverage here.
Severe thunderstorm conditions are set to continue until 22:00 on Saturday.
SAWS says those in Gauteng and the Tshwane metro region should be on alert for more hail storms "with possible large hail, damaging winds and heavy rain leading to flash flooding" for 30 December.
Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) at OR Tambo International confirmed no flights have been delayed as a result, with passengers advised to remain in contact with their respective airlines. Motorists have also been urged to be safe on the roads.
Twitter is awash with posts of the flooding and hail damage.
SEE: Weather Update: Here's what the New Year's long weekend has in store across SA
Added Alerts for the New Year's long weekend
SAWS also issued a watch for severe thunderstorms expected in places over north-western KZN, Mpumalanga highveld and extreme north-eastern parts of Free State, for Saturday, 30 December - with severe thunderstorms expected in places in northern parts of KZN, Mpumalanga highveld and extreme southern interior of Limpopo.
SAWS says that possible heavy downpours could lead to flash and localised flooding, strong winds and hail.
ALSO SEE: Winter weather wreaks fresh UK travel havoc
On Saturday there is also a high fire danger warning for south-western, northern and eastern parts of Northern Cape, western parts of North West, central and western parts of Free State, as well as the west coast district of Western Cape.
Stay up-to-date with SAWS on their Twitter feed.
A 60% chance of rain is expected on Saturday over eastern parts of Eastern Cape, Lesotho, Free State and North West, across all of KZN and Gauteng, and over most of the southern part of Mpumalanga, as well as southern Limpopo.
A 30% chance of rain is also expected over coastal and central Eastern Cape, western Lesotho, central Free State and North West, most of northern Limpopo and the rest of Mpumalanga.
NEW YEAR'S EVE
According to SAWS, on Sunday 31 December, a 30% chance of rain is expected along the entire Western Cape coast, including Cape Town, in the afternoon.
A 30% chance of rain is also expected across north-eastern parts of Eastern Cape, Lesotho, Free State and North West, covering all of Gauteng and Limpopo as well as the rest of Mpumalanga. A 60% chance of rain has also been predicted for most of KZN and central Mpumalanga.
NEW YEAR'S DAY
On Monday, 1 January 2018, 30% chance of rain is expected across SA's entire coastal region and its adjacent interior, as well as over eastern parts of Lesotho and Free State, and all of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. A further 60% chance of rain is expected over KZN and southern Mpumalanga.
SEE: Malaria advisory for Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern KZN
Click here to see the specific forecast for your city over the next few days
Pretoria in Gauteng will reach a hot 28°C, Johannesburg will be a warm 26°C, while Bloemfontein in the Free State will reach a scorching 34°C.
Along the coastal regions, Cape Town in the Western Cape will be a hot 30°C, KZN's Durban will see a high of 29°C, while Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape will reach a mild 24°C.
NEW YEAR'S EVE
On Sunday, according to SAWS, it will be warm in the Western and Eastern Capes, hot in Northern Cape, KZN, Gauteng and most of Mpumalanga and very hot throughout the rest of the country.
NEW YEAR'S DAY
The new year will bring cool conditions to the Western and Eastern Capes. It will be warm in Northern Cape and KZN, hot in central and northern parts of SA and very hot in the north-eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
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