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Cape Town Storm – 26 October

You may have read media reports about a hurricane which hit the Western Cape in the early hours of Monday morning, the 26 October. These reports are extremely incorrect, to put it simply.. Cape Town does not have the sea temperatures to support a hurricane and never will (unless SSTs increase by 5 degrees of the peak). Secondly these media reports claimed because the winds reached 120km/h that it was a hurricane, this is incorrect as the 120km/h winds recorded in Cape Town were wind gusts and a hurricane requires sustained winds of 74/mph (about 110km/h) because being classified as a hurricane, and these storms would have gusts far exceeding that.

What Cape Town did experience is a black south easter, a cut off low developed on Sunday and with a ridging high pressure system it created a tight gradient of air pressure which resulted in the strong winds. There were reports of marble sized hail from Durbanville on Monday afternoon as well as other areas around the Cape reporting some hail, larger than Cape Town is used to.

The storm has claimed 4 lives so far, 1 being the life of a young girl who died when a tree collapsed near Somerset West. The other 3 lives according to a source who witnessed the event were 3 fisherman who’s boat sank in the rough seas.This incident apparently occured in Mossel Bay.

The storm has left widespreed destruction with numerous buildings and trees being damaged or downed in the storm.

I managed to get about 8 minutes of lightning footage from early this morning which I will try upload shortly.

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