Weather Update: Western Cape water crisis escalates as rain dries up across SA

2017-05-16 16:53 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Cape Town - The Western Cape drought crisis has been elevated to critical status with the City of Cape Town recommending to council to adopt Level 4 water restrictions on Tuesday, 16 May. The call comes a day after the city issued a critical warning to all water users in Cape Town to cut all non-essential use of water immediately.  

Dam levels in the Western Cape are now at 21,2%, which is 0,8% down from a week ago. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at 11,2%.

If the call to enforce stricter water restrictions is approved, it will come into effect as from 1 June 2017. The restrictions will see the ban of use of municipal water for outside and non-essential use. Read News24's story here

Along with the call to enforce stricter water usage, weather industry specialists also announced that the future of the Western Cape winter rainfall season looks dry. Scientists at the 2017 annual winter rainfall summit could not reach consensus on what the season ahead will look like for the Western Cape. 

They are certain, however, that not even a typical winter rainfall season will be enough to replenish the province's pressurised water supply or alleviate the drought ahead of next year's winter. 

SEE: #CapeDrought: No consensus on 2017 winter rainfall predictions but the future looks dry 

For Wednesday, 17 May, the South African Weather Service says the heavy rains from the past weekend will subside, with only cloudy conditions remaining along the coasts. No rain is expected in SA for the rest of the week. 

HAVE YOU SEEN: Eastern SA rain records smashed following weekend of extreme weather

Conditions along the coasts from the Overberg coast all the way to the border of Mozambique will remain overcast and cloudy for the remainder of the week. 

Temperatures

Minimum temperatures on Wednesday will be extremely cold to very cold over the south-western and central interiors, otherwise cold but cool along the coasts and mild along the East Coast and Cape Peninsula. 

Maximum temperatures will be cool in the southern and central parts of SA, and warm in the northern parts.  

The coldest place in the country will be Sutherland in the Northern Cape reaching a minimum temperature of only -6°C, while Vryburg in the North West province will see a low of freezing point. 

Click here to see the specific forecast for your city

Pretoria can expect to see a high of 23°C, while Johannesburg in Gauteng will be slightly cooler at 22°C. Bloemfontein in the Free State will be 23°C.

Along the coasts, both Cape Town in the Western Cape and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape will reach 20°C, while Durban on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal will see a high of 24°C. 

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