The South African Meteorological Service (Saws) has warned of declining weather, which is expected to bring cold and humid weather to much of South Africa from Thursday to the weekend.

These conditions are expected to bring severe cold conditions and heavy rainfall, which from Thursday could lead to floods and snow in some areas of KwaZulu-Natal.

The Meteorological Bureau said that by Friday the steep air gutter would turn into a low-pressure system over the northwestern hinterland.

Heavy precipitation is expected in the southern and central parts of the country from Thursday, with light snowfalls likely in the mountainous, highlands of the Western and Eastern Capes.

“Small snowfalls can also be expected over the highlands of the southeastern and eastern free states. 24-hour precipitation of 25 to 35 mm can also be expected in the drought-affected parts of the Eastern Cape.

“In addition, there is the possibility of isolated strong thunderstorms accompanied by strong winds and large amounts of fine hail in the central and eastern inland areas, however [we] will issue detailed radar warnings in this regard if the need arises, ”Pew said.

Figure 1: 24-hour rainfall (mm) in South Africa on 20 and 21 May 2022 PHOTO: Global Forecast System, NCEP (2022)

The Meteorological Bureau said the cold front would move over the southwest coast of the Western Cape by Wednesday afternoon, and in the evening rain would spread along the south coast and adjacent interior.

South said a gusty wind of 45-55 km / h could be expected ahead of the cold front over the interior and south coasts of West Cape, as well as the interior of North Cape. These conditions can increase the risk of fire.

“Warm and hot conditions are expected before the cold front (due to the offshore conditions of the Berg wind), especially along the southern coast of the Western Cape and the coastal areas of the Eastern Cape. During Thursday, the deflection will intensify, which will cause extensive rainfall over the eastern parts of the Western Cape and the western parts of the Eastern Cape.

Thus, in the above areas can be expected warnings of destructive rainfall, which will lead to localized flooding of sensitive roads and bridges, as well as floods in informal settlements, which on Thursday will spread to the central and southeastern Eastern Cape, said Sauss. .

Heavy snowfall in KZN, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Free State

Due to lower levels of frost in the atmosphere combined with abundant moisture in the lower atmosphere, South said that from Thursday night over the eastern highlands of the Western Cape you can expect snowfalls 2 to 5 cm deep in the western highlands. , the extreme southeastern highlands of the Northern Cape and the southern highlands of the Free State on Friday morning.

“From Friday evening to Saturday morning over the northeastern height of the Eastern Cape, the Drakensberg region of KwaZulu-Natal and the mountains of Lesotho can expect heavier snowfall of 10 to 20 cm.

“Thunderstorms combined with strong gusty surface winds are expected over the central inland area by Friday, and in the evening will spread to Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, and by Saturday – to some parts of Limpopo,” – said the weather agency.

Figure 2: Forecast of precipitation probability (in percent) for 18, 19 and 20 May 2022, as well as the corresponding impact-based warning for 19 May. PHOTO: SAWS

Paul said warnings in this regard would be issued if necessary.

Residents of KZN were urged to prepare for flooding

Due to the current state of water-saturated soils in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Saw said rainfall in excess of 20mm could lead to localized floods. Residents are urged to take the necessary precautions to prepare for such conditions.

“It is expected that on Thursday in the western and southern regions of the country there will be strong cold conditions, which will move to the central and eastern regions by Friday and Saturday.

“Maximum temperatures are not expected to be above 14 ° C in the interior, with maximum temperatures barely reaching 8 ° C over the highlands of the Eastern Cape, the southwestern KwaZulu-Natal hills and the southeastern and extreme southern Free State on Friday and Saturday. . Small breeders should be informed about these conditions and take the necessary precautions, ”the weather bureau said.

Figure 3: Predicted maximum temperatures for May 20 and 21, 2022 PHOTO: Global Forecast System, NCEP (2022)

Rains are expected to continue over the eastern areas of Limpopo and Mpumalanga and the northern areas of KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday; however, the public can count on a general clean-up of weather conditions, as well as a recovery in daytime temperatures from Monday onwards when the system leaves the country, Peel said.

The SA Weather Service has stated that it will continue to monitor any further developments concerning this weather system and will issue further updates as necessary. In addition, the public is urged to regularly monitor weather forecasts on television and radio.

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