Cape Town - An unseasonal cold snap has hit the country and South African Weather Service (SAWS) advises all to brace for extreme weather conditions until Thursday, 16 November.
Heavy rainfall, flooding, snow and gale force winds can be expected. Everyone is urged to check weather updates and heed any emergency broadcasts from their local municipalities.
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SEE: MAP: SA braces for extreme weather
SAWS also advises livestock farmers in Eastern Cape and KZN to take early precautions as single digit temperatures are expected on Thursday, especially over the high-lying areas.
Alerts on Tuesday night
SAWS warns that on Tuesday night, 14 November, heavy rain leading to flooding is expected in the Eden district and eastern parts of the Overberg district of the Western Cape, and the south coast of the Eastern Cape and its adjacent interior west of Port Elizabeth.
Also on Tuesday night, severe thunderstorms are expected on the highveld areas of Mpumalanga, the interior of KwaZulu-Natal and the north-eastern parts of the Free State and Eastern Cape.
Alerts on Wednesday
SAWS warns that on Wednesday, 15 November, between 10:00 and 22:00, a cut-off low is expected to move across the country and heavy rain is expected to lead to localised flooding over parts of KZN.
Considering that infrastructure in parts of Durban have not been restored following the recent floods, SAWS advises that people take high precaution in those areas during this period.
Heavy rain leading to flooding is expected over the eastern parts of the Eastern Cape, KZN and the south-eastern parts of Mpumalanga. Localised flooding is expected over the south coast and the adjacent interior in the morning.
On Wednesday, severe thunderstorms are expected over the eastern parts of Limpopo, the highveld of Mpumalanga and the north-eastern parts of the Free State.
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.
ALSO SEE: PICS: Flash floods and heavy rain along KZN’s coast
A 100% chance of rain is expected across KZN and most of the Eastern Cape, while 80% chance of rain is expected over the eastern part of Western Cape, the rest of Eastern Cape, all of Lesotho and southern Mpumalanga.
A 30% to 60% chace of rain is expected over most of the eastern parts of Western Cape, Northern Cape, North West, Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. The extreme western part of the Western Cape, Northern Cape and North West will remain dry.
SAWS forecasts that the intensity of rainfall is expected to ease 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.
Gale force winds
On Wednesday, gale force south-westerly winds of 65km/h is expected between East London and Kosi Bay, moderating from the south later in the day.
Gale force winds are expected on the KZN coast from Wednesday afternoon into Thursday.
Cold snap and Snow
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.
Disruptive snowfalls are expected on Wednesday over the Winterberge and the southern Drakensberg of the Eastern Cape, and also over the south-western high grounds of KZN.
SEE: ALERT: Snow in November! 4 SA provinces to feel the freeze this week
According to Snow Report SA, 10cm snow now expected to hit Matroosberg and Groot Swartberg in Western Cape, with a little snow dusting the Outeniqua Mountains.
Eastern Cape should expect more snow than previously forecast, especially Graaff-Reinet, Cradock through to Hogsback on Wednesday.
KZN Midlands might get a few flurries during the early hours of Thursday morning, "but it is not expected to settle at this stage" says Snow Report SA, adding "The Clarens/ Harrismith/ van Reenen area now seems less likely to get snow, but we can’t rule it out totally".
"We are expecting snow in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, heavy falls in Lesotho and the Eastern Cape Drakensberg, medium/ light falls on the KZN Drakensberg, possibly coming down into towns like Underberg and Himeville, although not much expected low down, and some flurries in the KZN Midlands," says Snow Report SA.
Snow should stop falling by Thursday evening.
Very cold conditions are expected over the northern interior of the Eastern Cape on Wednesday and Thursday, spreading to the south-western high ground of KZN and extreme north-eastern parts of the Free State on Thursday.
According to SAWS, minimum temperatures will be cold in the central interior, warm in the northern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, and cool to mild across the rest of the country.
Maximum temperatures on Wednesday will be cold in the southern and central interior, cool in the southern half of the country and warm to hot closer towards the nothern border.
Sutherland in the Northern Cape will once again be the coldest place in the country, dropping to 1°C, while the hottest place in SA will be Skukuza in Mpumalanga, reaching a hot 37°C.
Click here to see the specific forecast for your city over the next few days
Pretoria in Gauteng will reach a hot 32°C, while Johannesburg will see a high of 28°C. Bloemfontein in the Free State will be 25°C.
Along the coastal regions, Cape Town in the Western Cape will reach a cool 19°C, while KZN's Durban will see a high of 22°C. Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape will be 17°C.
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