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Cape Rocked by Snow

Cape Rocked by Snow

The Western Cape recently got a winter treat in the form of low snow falls. There was quite a lot of hype surrounding the event prior, and the forums had been discussing the system ever since the GFS model had showed that we would likely be in for some rough weather. Days before the systems the snow forecasts were looking nothing short of extreme, with heavy snowfalls on majority of the large Western Cape mountains, with freezing levels being forecast to drop to 1000m. As the days grew closer to the event, the snow forecast changed a bit and the snow was forecast to be less thick, due to the timing of the lowest freezing levels not syncing with the highest moisture values.

While we are used to the Ceres region being where the most snow falls during these events, this time it would be a bit different. Because of the placement of the moisture during the lowest freezing levels, which occurred in the early morning hours of August 30th. Residents of the Helderberg basin woke up to snow covered mountains, down to levels that had not been seen in years. The snow reached half way down the Hottentots Holland mountains with snow even present on the Helderberg mountain. Snow levels looked to be just below 1000 meters.

Residents in Cape Town itself also saw snow falling on the iconic Table Mountain. With an elevation just shy of 1100 meters, it’s rare that the mountain sees snow fall, though on Friday morning pictures began circulating on social media of those who had managed to get to the top to enjoy the thin white coating.

Helderberg Mountain Snow

Hottentots Holland Mountains Snow

Hottentots Holland Mountains Snow

 

While the South Western areas of the province were enjoying the sights, Ceres only had moderate amounts at low levels. There was snow at the reception area of the Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve on the Friday morning, but by afternoon it had melted. The higher elevations of the reserve were closed as heavy snow continued through the Saturday, but only 2×4 trails and 4×4 trails were left as options for those eager to see the snow.

The snow was quick to melt and by late Saturday almost all of the snow on the Hottentots Holland mountains had disappeared. Thus far it has been the snow event of the year for the province. The question is now whether or not we’ll end up with another major snow event this year, as we enter into Spring.

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