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Cold Front Poses Snow Potential This Weekend

Cold Front Poses Snow Potential This Weekend

Update (Thurs 28th). The model runs have converged nicely (though with some detail changes), and show widespread and fairly deep snow coverage in places during Sat 30th:

 

 

Original text:

Just days after the Cape experienced their first real winter storm of the year, another cold front is forecast to impact the country this coming weekend. This front will however bring colder air to the country and be felt far more broadly, as it pushes east. It should be noted that model runs have been inconsistent with their outputs and there is not high confidence in the outcome at this point. However, it is certainly worth monitoring at this time, especially for those snow chasers.

The latest 12z GFS run (26 April), shows a low pressure forming to the south west of the country over the next 24 hours. This newly formed low pressure system is then forecast to move north eastward and Thursday evening, bringing with it light showers to the SW Cape, along with fresh to strong winds. We can expect a decrease in temperatures as the front passes. Single digit minimums on Saturday are likely to be experienced in the Western Cape as the front progresses eastward. Temperature drops will be even more noticeable at higher altitude up country, with some forecasts for Barkly East showing sub-zero minimums and a maximum of 9’C.

gfs-rainfall

12z GFS Model Run showing rainfall and pressure.

There will also be a risk for heavy falls in some areas as the front pushes through. Currently models are suggesting less rainfall for the Cape than last Friday, but totals could reach 30mm+ in areas. This could lead to localized flooding of rivers.

What about the snow?!

The potential for snow certainly exists, with cold air pushing in behind the front. Though the models have been back and forth on where snow is most likely and the amount that can be expected. At this stage the most likely area for snowfall is in the Drakensberg mountain range. Snowfall at this stage, is forecast to be quite light with snow-forecast.com suggesting between 0 and 5cm for the highest parts of the Drakensberg mountains. It is worth noting that previous model runs showed far more favourable conditions over the Berg with higher totals.

snow-forecast-berg-30april

Snow Forecast as seen on Snow-Forecast.com

For those hoping for some snow in the Cape, there was a glimmer of hope on earlier model runs but right now the GFS has backed off on that idea.

It is again worth noting that with the front still 3 to 4 days out – forecasts are likely to change still and this article is simply made to convey the current model output and show points of interest that one may want to keep their eye on.

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