According to the South African Weather Service, South Africans can expect a cold snap to affect most parts of the country from the middle of this week onwards…
A steep upper-air trough, having the potential to cut off and further intensify, will result in significantly cooler weather over most parts of the country on Wednesday into Thursday, with the expectation of snowfalls on some southern mountains.
Cold weather will invade the Eastern Cape, southern KwaZulu-Natal, southern Free State and the Northern Cape on Wednesday, spreading to reach the remainder of KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State, Gauteng and Mpumalanga on Thursday, accompanied by maximum temperatures in the mid-teens.
However, very cold weather, characterized by single digit maximum temperatures (+9 °C or less), will dominate high-lying areas of the Eastern Cape and south-western KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.
Small stock farmers are strongly advised to take pre-emptive measures at an early stage, ahead of the onset of the inclement weather, in order to protect their livestock during this unseasonal cold snap. Figure 1 indicates predicted maximum temperatures for Thursday, 16 November 2017, based on the ECMWF model.
Light snowfalls expected
Significantly cooler weather in the upper-air will result in light snowfall over the high ground of the Western Cape as well as the western high ground of the Eastern Cape from Wednesday morning (15 November 2017) onwards.
Snow is expected to subsequently spread eastwards to include the eastern parts of the Eastern Cape by Wednesday afternoon, where it will become heavy and disruptive (with respect to traffic and infrastructure) over the north-eastern mountains of the Eastern Cape (Rhodes, Barkly East) and Lesotho.
Snowfalls of this nature typically lead to the closing of mountain passes, resulting in associated disruption to traffic flow. Further snowfalls, of a light to moderate nature, are expected to spread to the south-western and western high ground of KwaZulu-Natal as well as the south-eastern and eastern extremities of the Free State on Thursday, 16 November 2017.