Fair warning was provided over the past odd week in
While Cape Town has seen sunshine for the past 20 days, other parts of the country have been receiving quite decent rainfall. The Eastern Cape coast and Kwazulu Natal has seen several days of active rainfall over the past few weeks, though over the weekend a cold front passed over the Western Cape and has made it’s way up north, while Cape Town remained fairly dry with this system with the main threat being that of gale force winds which reached in excess of 60km/h, as has been the case with most of the cold fronts this year the cold front was felt much harder in other parts of the country.
Temperatures plummeted in the Eastern and Kwazulu Natal areas, with widespread snowfalls which were heavy in places. Kokstad and Queenstown were affected by heavy snow and Sutherland saw a fair dusting too, temperatures in some of these areas were not to exceed 8’C. Roads were closed in various parts of these locations and further snowfalls were likely today Monday and possible tomorrow Tuesday.
On Tuesday the temperatures also look set to drop dramatically over the highveld and Gauteng can expect temperatures dipping below 10’C as a maximum. With these temperatures it is possible that some snowfall may occur in the Gauteng province.
Further heavy falls were expected today the 25 July 2011 for the KZN coastal areas.
Image (Monday 25 July Morning – Sutherland Snowfall on SALT webcam)
UPDATE: Snowfalls continued to fall through Monday night and through Tuesday the 26th July as the low pressure system moved east off the Kwazulu-Natal coast. Upon the low entering the much warmer Indian ocean current, the storm began to form an eye which was clearly visible on both satellite and radar presentation. It is not unheard of for these storms to take on extra-tropical and sub-tropical characteristics as they move out over the warmer waters but it doesn’t happen often that this occurs so close to the South African coast.
The image below taken from The South African Weather Service shows the satellite/radar overlay presentation of the storm off the KZN coast. The tell tail sign that it is in fact an eye and not just a void of clouds is the distinctive ‘arch’ shape of the ‘eyewall’ which appears to be much stronger on the south western quadrant.