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Wild Weekend Weather Expected

Wild Weekend Weather Expected

The country is still feeling the effects of this past weekend’s cold front which brought freezing temperatures to parts of the country, and snowfalls to the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Lesotho. But while the temperatures remain low in the wake of the front, our attention has already turned to the next weather event which is set to occur on Friday, and through into Saturday morning before clearing later on Saturday.

There are two main weather systems to discuss for this weekend, the one is a cold front which will impact the Western Cape on Friday – while near the same time, a low pressure system which is set to develop tomorrow off the coast of Kwazulu Natal, will be generating a band of moisture across the northern interior and towards the KZN coast.

gfs forecast

GFS forecast model showing the low pressure off the KZN coast, with associated moisture, along with the approaching cold front to the south of the country.

Western Cape Cold Front – 17 July 2015

The first rain of the cold front can be expected as early as late Thursday night or early into Friday morning, though will remain fairly light until the main arrival of the front which looks likely to take place in the afternoon. Rainfall rates will begin to increase as the morning progresses and by early afternoon it looks likely that heavy rain may begin to fall. While the model forecasts are still fluctuating slightly in forecast totals it looks more than likely that much of the SW-Cape may experience in excess of 50mm falling over a 12 hour period.

Along with heavy rain, strong winds are also possible and despite the models showing a downward trend in the wind forecast, we should still see wind gusts reaching up to 30kt.

Freezing levels during this cold front look to be fairly unimpressive and it’s unlikely we’ll see snow generated from it, though the models have hinted at the slight possibility of a few flurries on some of the Eastern Cape mountains, though should it occur at this stage, any accumulation looks highly unlikely.

rainfall forecast

24 Hour rainfall totals for the Western Cape, showing high rainfall rates being restricted to the SW Cape.

Low Pressure Off The East Coast

The low pressure which is set to develop tomorrow will bring a huge band of moisture to parts of the country and by Thursday evening it will pose the potential for some moderate to possibly heavy rains over the Eastern Cape, while bringing also bringing rain to the Free State and Kwazulu Natal. This band of moisture will increase in intensity throughout Thursday evening and by early on Friday, and could bring good to moderate falls of rain to parts of the Eastern Cape, KZN, Lesotho and the Free State.

Through Friday morning, the high moisture values will aid in the potential for snowfalls in the Lesotho area. Due to marginal freezing levels however, it looks unlikely that snow will fall at lower altitude, however it’s possible that there will be very good snow accumulation on the higher mountains above 3000m in altitude.

lesotho snowfall forecast

Impressive snow totals can be seen over Lesotho, despite the fact that the freezing levels indicate this snowfall will be at higher elevation.
Image from Snow-Forecast

You can follow these events in the forum.

PS: We are closely monitoring the potential for a huge weather system next week, with some very optimistic early model runs. But we will wait until the weekend before we put anything out on this event, as there’s still a lot of inconsistency within the models.

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Related topics cape town, cold front, lesotho, rain, snow, storm, western cape
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