According to Storm Report SA, South Africans can expect “lots of showers and thundershowers”. A few isolated events over Namibia as well, while a massive thunderstorm is heading towards Johannesburg.
“Good rainfall currently over most of the Free State, North West, and the eastern parts of the Northern Cape. Rainfall is expected to continue and intensify into tomorrow [Sunday 1 November]”.
Storm update – Saturday 31 October
Thunderstorms expected across four provinces
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) warns of “scattered to widespread showers and thunderstorms over the central interior of the country; as well as the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Gauteng”.
The SAWS also issued “yellow warnings” for heavy rain leading to localised flooding of susceptible formal/informal settlements or roads, low-lying areas and bridges.
Motorists were warned of difficult driving conditions, especially on dirt roads. In addition, “minor motor vehicle accidents [are expected] due to slippery roads and reduced visibility”.
Johannesburg storm: Weather update
The SAWS also issued a “Level 2” warning for Sunday in Gauteng; citing “disruptive rain” which could lead to damaged infrastructure, settlements, vehicle and property due to heavy rainfall and lightning.
“Flooding of low lying areas and bridges may be possible. Expect w7et roads, pooling and poor visibility over main roads such as the N3, N1 and N12; which may lead to increased accidents and heavier than normal traffic.”
Furthermore, a Twitter account dedicated to weather updates in Gauteng warned of a “large storm sweeping southern Gauteng, moving towards Johannesburg”.
The SAWS urges residents to “stay indoors and off the roads” if possible, and to avoid crossing rivers and streams, especially “where water is above your ankles”.
Gauteng weather forecast
According to Accuweather, Johannesburg residents can brace for another storm on Sunday 1 November. Temperatures are expected to be around 21 degrees Celsius.
Experts predict afternoon thunderstorms for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of the coming week.
The SAWS will continue to monitor the situation and any further updates will available on www.weathersa.co.za, as well as the organisation’s social media platforms (@SAWeatherServic on Twitter and @WeatherServic on Facebook).
Safety precautions during a storm
Follow the SAWS’s advice: “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Move away from windows and don’t hold electrical appliances or a metal object. Unfortunately, yes, this includes your smartphone as well.
In rural areas, relocate animals to a safe place on higher ground. Abandon your home with immediate effect if evacuation orders are issued.
Failure to do so could result in being cut off by flood water. Residents must be especially cautious at night “when it’s harder to recognise flood dangers”.
It only takes 15 cm of fast-moving water to knock a person of their feet, and about 30 to 50 cm of fast-moving water to sweep a vehicle off the road.
It’s a myth that your rubber tyres offer protection from a lightning strike so ensure that you don’t touch anything metal inside the car.
“If trapped in a vehicle, abandon it and climb to higher ground. In buildings, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level. Switch off electricity at the supply point to the building.”