Update: two cold fronts, bringing snow and heavy rain, set to lash Cape Town on Tuesday

cape town weather warrenski flickr intense cold front

Update #6, Tuesday 23 July, 6pm: Looks like the bulk of the storm is largely over, at least for Cape Town.

The latest satellite image of the weather system which brought heavy rain and gale force wind to the city and surrounds on Thursday is now entering the Eastern Cape. Some residents in the Western Cape will also experience “scattered shows and thudershowers” tonight.

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“Snow on the high lying areas will become disruptive tonight (southern Northern Cape and western high ground of Western Cape)” is also possible. The South African Weather Service’s warning for this is still in effect until 11am on Wednesday, mind.

Update #5, Tuesday 23 July, 2.40pm: SAWS has issued a warning in effect from 5pm on Tuesday night, for “disruptive snowfalls”.

“Disruptive Snowfalls- are expected over the southern Namakwa District and western high ground of the Western Cape tonight (Tuesday) into tomorrow morning (Wednesday),” it tweeted.

Update #4, Tuesday 23 July, 11am: SAWS published a second satellite update of the weather system currently dropping loads of rain across Cape Town. The first cold front is now reaching the eastern edge of the Western Cape. The second is now passing over Cape Town.

SAWS has reiterated that the alerts issued on Monday (viewable in an older update in this article), are still “on track”.

Update #3, Tuesday 23 July, 8.30am: After a night of near constant rain in Cape Town, SAWS published a new satellite image of the duo of cold fronts currently making their way across the Western Cape.

As of 7am, the first was brushing over the city. By mid-morning, the second is set to make landfall.

Update #2, Monday 22 July, 4pm: SAWS is currently monitoring a weather system that’s expected to impact Cape Town and surrounding areas between Monday and Tuesday.

The service on Monday afternoon issued a media release, noting that it’s expecting to see the landfall of the first cold front later tonight, with the second front “following closely tomorrow (Tuesday)”.

It warned that “temperatures are expected to decrease significantly [across the country] on Wednesday” while alerting road users of possible rockslides, snow, and flooding in areas across the Western Cape.

The weather is set to clear from the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape by Thursday.

“The South African Weather Service will continue to monitor any futher developments relating to this weather system and will issue subsequent updates as required,” it concluded.

Update #1, Monday 22 July, 2.30pm: SAWS has issued a list of warnings and watches for the incoming “intense” cold front currently just west of Cape Town. The system, according to satellite images, now appears to be a pair of cold fronts.

Although it’s pretty cold across much of southwestern South Africa, there’s a warning for “extremely high fire danger conditions” ahead of the first cold front, across the Northern Cape’s Namakwa region, the Western Cape’s Breede River Valley, Karoo, and Garden Route.

Heavy rain across the Cape Winelands, the Overberg’s western regions, and the Cape Metropole will be experienced tomorrow.

Strong winds, gusting to 100km/h will also be felt along parts of the Northern and Western Cape. Gales of up to 75km/h are expected from Monday through to Tuesday, stretching between Cape Point and Plettenberg Bay.

For more verbose descriptions of the watches and warnings in place, take a look at the tweet by SAWS below.

Original article: An “intense cold front” is set to strike the Western Cape on Tuesday, bringing with it a whole host of wintry weather conditions, the SA Weather Service warned on Sunday.

SAWS has been monitoring the system since Saturday.

“Advisories issued by the Cape Town Weather Office including: Disruptive Snowfall, Strong to Gale force winds, and Heavy Rain leading to flooding,” the service warned on Twitter.

The bulk of the rain will be experienced “Mostly on Tuesday from morning,” it added in a subsequent tweet. “Light rain is expected already from tomorrow evening (Monday) but most intense will be from Tuesday early morning.”

According to SAWS, the system will bring “disruptive snowfall” of between 10cm to 20cm over the southern areas of the Northern Cape, and western high ground of the Western Cape on Tuesday into Wednesday. More than 20cm is possible around the Northern Cape town of Sutherland.

Up to 80mm of rain is also expected on Tuesday across the Cape Winelands and Overberg.

And finally, winds of 70km/h are expected to blow into the Western and Northern Cape on Tuesday, with interior winds blowing up to 60km/h.

South Africa sees snow, bitterly cold weekend

The forthcoming cold front comes just days after a less intense front passed through the country, bringing with it freezing temperatures to areas in the Eastern Cape. The town of Buffelsfontein saw temperatures drop to -17.5°C.

Snowfalls were also recorded in the Western Cape this weekend on the Outeniqua mountains near George, the Swartberge near Oudtshoorn, and the Winterberg near Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape.

We’ll be updating this article should SAWS issue further advisories, watches and warnings, so stay tuned, and stay warm and dry.

Feature image: A thunderstorm rolling into Cape Town in December 2007, by Warrenski via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0, resized)

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