South Africa, we hope you have your heaters, warmers, blankets and soup ready, it’s going to a chilly week for large parts of the country. A cold front is heading our way; here’s what you need to know.
Cold front weather warning, 17 August 2020
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) on Monday 17 August issued several alerts for high seas, gale-force winds, flooding and snowfall for the Western Cape and surrounding areas.
As per the advisories on the SAWS website, high sea conditions are expected along South Coast during the day and spreading eastward, reaching Port Edward at night. Read more here.
Cyclone passes ‘quite close’ to South Africa
In addition, the weather forecast also suggests that near-freezing temperatures could be expected across large parts of the country this week. Snow Report SA explains that a “passing mid-latitude cyclone is quite close to South Africa”.
Coupled with the large anti-cyclone in the Atlantic Ocean, it is “pulling cold air from very far south into the south-west.” The forecast continues:
“The latest of a series of cold fronts is ‘F7’ which will invade the south-west Cape today with scattered afternoon and evening rain. A strong gale-force northwester will change to south-west after the front has passed”.
Cold front – Western Cape
In the image below – shared by Storm Report SA on Facebook – the bold pink arrow shows that the cold front will reach the Western Cape by tonight. It will bring “light rain patches and very cold temperatures.
Mike Berridge explains that “the strong northwesters indicated for the west Cape interior and Namibia”.
According to the forecast, the “encroaching anti-cyclone from the west will force the cold front far into the interior reaching central Namibia, central Botswana, Gauteng, and Mpumalanga” on 18 Tuesday 2020.
Berridge explains that the “maximum temperatures will be close to freezing in central Cape”.
Cold front – Lesotho and Free State
Sub-freezing temperatures are also expected in Lesotho. It’s expected that “snow showers will fall over large areas of the Cape mountains and eligible areas of the southern Free State”.
Berridge describes it as “a rather complicated frontal arrangement in the north-east around the escapement”.
Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng
But wait, there’s more. It’s 2020, of course, there’s more. Berridge adds that the “complicated frontal arrangement” will bring clouds and drizzle to north-east Limpopo and eastern parts of Mpumalanga.
In addition, these weather conditions can also be expected in southern Zimbabwe and the Inhambane province of Mozambique. Berridge adds:
“This frontal ‘warping’ might produce some showers early [Tuesday morning] around the north Free State and southern Gauteng”.
Lastly, he warns that “night temperatures in the interior will be close to freezing or below for the following three nights at least”. Well, then, let’s get ready. Winter is here.