You are by now all aware of Hurricane Sandy and
Fair warning was provided over the past odd week in regards to strong frontal activity impacting South Africa. Originally the South African Weather Service had forecast thundershowers for Cape Town on Wednesday, which was later replaced with the forecast for general rain showers, though some other international forecast centers weren’t so sure on dropping the thunderstorms and wunderground.com had thundershowers forecast for Wednesday on that morning.
Activity began early on Wednesday morning and it was already raining heavily by 11am, though there were times were it appeared as thought it was clearing later in the afternoon, this was not the case as a second wave of activity arrived just after 5pm on Wednesday evening. I was just exiting a shopping center at 6pm here in Somerset West when there was lightning in the distance, by the time I had gone from the doors of the center to my car the storm really hit, suddenly wind gusts were causing havoc, with people grabbing their hats and clinging to their shopping packets. I made sure of a swift escape into my car. The lightning activity continued for hours after and I headed out with my camera looking to film some of the activity (videos coming soon).
At about 8:00pm I got a message saying that there was hail in a Cape Town suburb. The wind gusts continued to ravage some of the trees in the area with small twigs breaking.
Rainfall continued through the night with heavy falls occurring again in the morning hours and again on Thursday afternoon. Rainfall measurements for a 24 hour period from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning showed rainfall totals averaging between 30 and 40mm for areas around Cape Town. With the rainfall of Thursday, a 48 hour total average of around 60mm seems likely. It will be interesting to see the 10 day totals as Cape Town has received their fair share of rain over the past couple weeks.
The two fronts are now moving in an Easterly direction and bringing snow to the mountains of the Eastern Cape as well as very strong winds along the Eastern Cape Coast. Though these fronts are unlikely to have any effect on Durban who’s forecast remains warm and sunny.
There is now a period of 2 days before the next front hits, and the models are indicating it may be another heavy rainfall event. This will be unwelcome by the 4000 people who had reported flooding from this system, and for me – who’s roof is also prone to some leaking.