Weather Update: Cold snap bringing rain and snow hits SA this week

2017-11-13 20:29 - Gabi Zietsman
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Cape Town - SA Weather Service (SAWS) warns of unseasonal cold weather across the country starting on Tuesday, 14 November.

SAWS advises livestock farmers in Eastern Cape and KZN to take early precautions against single digit temperatures on Thursday, especially high-lying areas.

SEE: ALERT: Snow in November! 4 SA provinces to feel the freeze this week

Snow is also expected in four provinces according to Snow Report SA, with the first light snowfall starting on Tuesday evening.

Watches have also been issued for heavy rain and localised flooding for the South Coast in Western Cape and western coastal parts of Eastern Cape. 

Severe thunderstorms are also expected in the Highveld areas of Mpumalanga and the eastern parts of Free State.

Cold snap

According to SAWS, a steep upper-air trough, having the potential to cut off and further intensify, will result in significantly cooler weather over most parts of the country on Wednesday into Thursday, with the expectation of snowfalls on some southern mountains.

Very cold conditions are expected over the northern interior of the Eastern Cape on Wednesday and Thursday, spreading to the southwestern high ground of KZN and extreme northeastern parts of the Free State on Thursday.

Snow in November

Snow Report SA has released an advanced forecast for the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, KZN as well as Lesotho for this week.

According to their forecast, snow will start falling in South Africa on Tuesday night in the eastern parts of the Western Cape and the Sneeuberge in the Eastern Cape. 

Ben Macdui in the Eastern Cape should expect 40cm of snow from Wednesday morning, while Thaban Ntlenyana in Lesotho should get almost 1m of snow. 

By Wednesday afternoon the snow should have spread to the Drakensberg range in the Eastern Cape and by the evening it should hit surrounding towns. Sani Pass could possibly get 50cm on Wednesday evening.

"At the same time, snowfalls will commence throughout most of Lesotho, and into some high lying areas around Kokstad and Matatielle, with light falls possible to come down into KZN around Underberg and Himeville, and possibly even towards Bulwer by Thursday morning," says Snow Report SA.

It is also possible that the Clarens area in the Free State will see snow on Thursday morning, as well as the Harrismith and Van Reenen region, though forecasters note this is only a possibility at this stage. Snow should stop falling by Thursday evening.

PICS: Brrrr! Surprise snow in Lesotho and Drakensberg


Heavy rain and flooding is expected in the Eden Districts and eastern parts of the Overberg in the Western Cape, as well as the south coast of the Eastern Cape west of Port Elizabeth. An excess of 50mm of rain is expected in some parts of the Eden Districts.

According to SAWS, isolated to widespread showers and thundershowers are expected over the southern parts of the country, with more scattered showers in the eastern parts.

The rain is expected to spread eastwards to Eastern Cape, KZN and eastern parts of Mpumalanga on Wednesday, which will see the heaviest rainfall hit the country.

The only places not expecting rain on Tuesday is the northern parts of Northern Cape, central parts of Limpopo and eastern parts of Mpumalanga.

SAWS forecasts that the intensity of rainfall is expected to ease off from the west on Thursday, but it will persist over parts of Mpumalanga, KZN, the eastern parts of the Free State and in the Eastern Cape. Moreover, it will remain cold and windy over much of the interior of South Africa on Thursday.

ALSO SEE: PICS: Flash floods and heavy rain along KZN’s coast 

Gale force winds

Strong interior winds reaching speeds of 50-60km/h are expected on Tuesday and Wednesday, over the interior of the Northern Cape, western parts of Free State, western North West and northern interior of the Eastern Cape and northeastern parts of the Western Cape. 

It will spread to the remainder of North West and Free State on Wednesday.

Gale force winds are expected on the KZN coast from Wednesday afternoon into Thursday.


According to SAWS, maximum temperatures of the order of 16 to 19 °C will affect the southern parts of the Western Cape from Tuesday, with cold weather spreading further eastwards and northwards on Wednesday and Thursday. Cold weather will invade the Eastern Cape, southern KZN, southern Free State and the Northern Cape on Wednesday, spreading to reach the remainder of KZN, the Free State, Gauteng and Mpumalanga on Thursday, accompanied by maximum temperatures in the mid-teens.

However, very cold weather, characterized by single digit maximum temperatures, will dominate high-lying areas of the Eastern Cape and south-western KZN on Thursday.

Sutherland in the Northern Cape will once again be the coldest place in the country, dropping to 3°C, while the hottest place in SA will be Ladymisth in KZN, reaching a hot 35°C.

Click here to see the specific forecast for your city over the next few days

Pretoria in Gauteng will reach a hot 34°C, while Johannesburg will see a high of 32°C. Bloemfontein in the Free State will be 33°C.

Along the coastal regions, Cape Town in the Western Cape will reach a cool 18°C, while KZN's Durban will see a high of 28°C.  Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape will be 19°C.

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