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Tropical Update

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Series of Rain, Cold and Wind for Western Cape

Update  

 Latest GFS model guidence as well as EURO (ECMWF) guidence is showing the possibility of some very extreme weather for maritime travellers off to the south of South Africa. The EURO is showing wind speeds in excess of 90km/h. This would make sense given the latest intensity of the low pressure system which appears to be deepening to around 930hpa.  I would advise those planning on being on the water this weekend to keep an eye on the local weather forecasts as winds may reach strong gales and large swells also becoming possible. Though it’s important to note that this system is still days away and the model data will change from run to run.

gfs model run

Euro model

Model information is showing the progression of two frontal weather systems set to influence weather in the Western Cape and possibly southern areas of the Eastern Cape later on in the period. The first of the systems is a cut-off low with a cold front which is expected to develop off the south west of the Western Cape (as can be seen in the first image below) from Tuesday 12th May and deepen a bit on Wednesday, this system will remain fairly shallow and while it is likely to bring some decent rainfall and some moderate winds the main system will develop behind this.

13 May 2009 - Cut off low

Articles Image Credits :   NCEP
                                     ECMWF
The second weather event will occur directly after the cut off low and thus will bring more somewhat consistent rain to the Western Cape for a few more days. The next system is a deeper low pressure system though not closed, but rather a sharp upper air trough which will also be associated with a cold front which will be south west of the Western Cape on Thursday 14th May and Friday 15th May. The system looks to be it’s deepest on Saturday the 16th May while being located to the south of Cape Town, the system will have a low central pressure and thus strong winds can be expected, though due to little ridging towards the north winds should not be able to reach Gale Force. The rainfall totals for these 4 days combined look good and some areas may experience over 100mm over the next 4 days, though totals of 50-70 for the 4 days look to be about average for coastal towns in the Western Cape. Strongest rainfalls are likely to occur on Saturday 16th May. Along with the above mentioned aspects, temperatures are expected to drop to mid to upper teens throughout these 4 days.
Strong low pressure 16th May 2009

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