Cut-off low to bring rain, wind and cold to Cape provinces

Snowfall expected on mountain peaks

Mopping up operations on a flooded farm in the Western Cape last week.
Mopping up operations on a flooded farm in the Western Cape last week.
Image: Michael Walker

A cut-off low pressure system is expected to bring cold, windy and wet weather — along with possible snowfalls — to the Cape provinces from Monday to Wednesday. 

Municipalities, still mopping up after a series of cold fronts caused an estimated R750m to R1bn in losses by the agricultural sector in the Western Cape, are on standby for more rain during the week.

The SA Weather Service (Saws) issued a yellow level 2 warning for damaging winds making navigation difficult at sea between Saldanha Bay and Cape Agulhas into Monday. It was accompanied by a yellow level 1 warning for disruptive rain along the coast between Cape St Francis and Butterworth.

“A cut-off low pressure system is expected over the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Namakwa District of the Northern Cape from Monday into Wednesday. The public and small stock farmers are advised that cold, windy and wet conditions are expected with possible snowfalls on some mountain tops on Wednesday,” said Saws. 

Persistent rains have already filled major dams, including Wemmershoek, Theewaterskloof and Berg River Dam in the Western Cape, to beyond 100%. More rain could result in the release of excess dam capacity, affecting communities downstream, depending on the severity of rain in the coming days.

Among the worst-hit areas by the most recent floods was Citrusdal — sections of the main road which connects the town with the N7 were destroyed when the Olifants River overflowed its banks. Residents were temporarily cut off from the rest of the province.

“Work to repair and reopen the road took 10 days after being washed away. The work included repairing of a riverbank and section of road which was damaged by the flood. Traffic will travel on a gravel section for a short period while rebuild works continue,” said the office of provincial infrastructure MEC Tertuis Simmers.


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