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'Low visibility, the works': More gloomy weather predicted for parts of SA

The SA Weather Service expects central parts of the country to experience cold and rainy conditions with possible thunder showers in places, on Monday.
The SA Weather Service expects central parts of the country to experience cold and rainy conditions with possible thunder showers in places, on Monday.
Image: SA Weather Service

Capetonians were basking in the sun as central parts of the country experienced gloomy conditions with rain, cold and a possibility of thunderstorms on Monday.

The SA Weather Service (Saws) predicted flooding in parts of the country due to rain which began on Friday and continued to fall over parts of the Northern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Mpumalanga highveld and Eastern Cape. 

According to the Saws, “Associated with these rainy conditions, localised flooding is likely to affect the agricultural sector, infrastructure and settlements over [these areas].”

There were also warnings for localised disruptions to beachfront activities and damage to coastal infrastructure in affected areas.

On Monday the Saws said a “cut-off low [low pressure system stemming from the subpolar westerly trough systems of cold air] is still maintaining status quo for today, currently situated over the central parts of the country.

“Cold and rainy conditions — with possible thunder showers in places, IMC [weather conditions below the minimums prescribed for flight under visual flight rules] in places, low visibility — the works!”

Tshwane emergency medical services (EMS) spokesperson Charles Mabaso said they remained “on high alert after Saws issued a level 2 warning for thunderstorms possible from late afternoon but mainly this evening or overnight, and calls upon residents to remain vigilant and report any life threatening emergencies”.

“According to Saws, the main concern is heavy rainfall, gusty winds, possible small hail,” he said.

At the weekend City of Johannesburg EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi urged residents to be cautious due to the weather conditions.

“Motorists are urged to exercise caution and avoid crossing flooded roads. Residents are also urged to use all heating devices safely and not to leave them unattended to prevent fire incidents at home.

“Disaster management monitoring teams have been dispatched in all seven regions of the city. [Johannesburg EMS'] swift water rescue unit, a specialised team which responds to water-related emergencies, is on high [alert],” he said.

Persistent heavy rain over large parts of KwaZulu-Natal has resulted in widespread flooding, school closures, roads collapsing and several accidents. The provincial co-operative governance and traditional affairs department urged residents to delay travelling on Monday.

“The latest level 5 weather warning from the SA Weather Service indicates that heavy rains will continue into the evening today [Monday] in large parts of the province, especially the eastern parts,” it said.

The Saws urged the public to avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams, “especially in cases where the water is more than ankle deep. Saws also recommends moving to higher ground if rising floodwaters threaten one’s safety.”


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