Snow fell over the weekend on the higher mountain ranges
While the Western Cape continues to see beautiful sunny days for the majority and a few days of rain here and there, last week saw some snowfall occur on the Western Cape mountain ranges. A fairly decent strength cold front made landfall last Thursday and through late Thursday and through Friday morning temperatures were cold enough for snow to occur at elevations around 1300m and above. There were also reports of light snow flurries on Table Mountain, which would suggest that for short periods snow was falling at much lower altitudes.
Saturday morning, a day after the front had passed, early morning temperatures around the Cape dropped to near freezing and in Somerset West there was quite bit of frost present. Even as late as 9am in the morning, the wooden paths at the Helderberg Nature Reserve were for the most part, covered in ice.
Since then though, the weather has been great and we continue to have a very dry winter, with the real threat of a bad drought becoming possible for this summer. Though we still have another month or two of rainfall months before we head into what is typically a drier pattern. Less than 20mm of rain fell in many parts of the Cape for July, this is about 15-20% of the average July rainfall.
Looking ahead there is another cold front forecast to make landfall this Friday (12 August 2011), bringing with it changes of some heavy rainfalls, which would be some welcome relief for the dams, as well as the possibility for snow. Gale force winds and rough seas are also likely, though the majority of gale force winds seem to be located off the south east coast.
Models thus far have not been conclusive in their display of the freezing levels for the cold front as shown by Gordon Richardson in the forum thread on this system. For more updated information on this front and snow possibility be sure to follow the thread: Cold Front 12-13 August