28 May 2009 Update The latest GFS model run (18z,
Winter has continued to be quite a wet one, at least for most of the Western Cape where we’ve seen a large number of mild to moderate cold fronts keeping the temperatures down for most of July, in fact there were very few days where the mercury got above the 20’C mark. Along with the mild fronts we also saw some rather strong ones push through bringing some strong winds and heavy rainfall, along with cold temperatures.
The big talking point over the past few weeks was definitely the large snow event which took place from the 14th through to the 16th of July which saw one of the largest snow events in a while with heavy snowfalls occurring in the Northern Cape, North-Eastern areas of the Western Cape, Parts of the Eastern Cape, Free State, Kwazulu Natal and Lesotho. Several roads and mountain passes had to be closed because of the heavy snowfall, though the South-Western Cape mountains saw far less than other areas, while the freezing level was down to amazing levels of around 1100-1300m in parts of the Western Cape, the problem was a lack of moisture associated with the low. Originally the models showed a snowpocolypse for the Western Cape with totals nearing 20cm, but as the event came closer, these predictions became smaller and smaller and in the end Cape Town missed a lot of the rain altogether.
Since then things have been a bit more quiet, though the occasional decent cold front has still pushed through, with some snowfalls closing a few roads today August the 1st. The next cold front worth noting is expected to make landfall this weekend and bring another round of cold and wet weather with the possibility of light snowfalls on the Western Cape mountains, before moving up to the NE where snowfalls are likely to fall on the Drakensberg.
In international news July kept quiet in the tropics, well at least in the Atlantic – the Eastern Pacific saw several storms forming.
Though after the prolonged tropical lull in the Atlantic, we now have Invest 99L which is located just off the NE coast of South America. The models are split on what will happen to this invest, but the consensus is that unfavourable upper level conditions will not really allow much to come of it. The invest could well become a tropical depression or tropical storm in the next few days, but from there it’s hard to say. Some of the models (NOGAPS) are taking it north of the islands while the GFS favours a southerly route through the Caribbean. The Caribbean has been a tropical death trap of late and one has to think that the northerly route is more favourable for strengthening. More details will be revealed once the storm becomes a depression and the models get a better handle on the initialization, but as it stands I’d personally give it a 70% chance of development into a depression, 50% into a tropical storm and 15% into a hurricane.