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Friday, 05 July 2024 20:30

SAWS warns of cold fronts expected to bring snow this weekend.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned of a series of cold fronts bringing snow and sub-zero temperatures in several provinces this weekend.

The first weather system is an intense cold front that is expected to affect the western and central parts of the country from Sunday, and the eastern parts from Monday.

Heavy rainfall is also expected over the western parts of the Western Cape, with possible flooding. 

Disruptive snowfall is expected over the southern and western high ground, accompanied by damaging winds over the interior as well as the coastline.

"The public and small stock farmers are advised to take the necessary precautions ahead of the expected adverse weather conditions to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their animals," the SAWS said in a statement on Friday. 

"While light snowfall may even extend as far as Prieska in the Northern Cape and Bloemfontein in the Free State, heavier and more disruptive snowfall of 15 to 30 cm that may lead to the closure of roads and mountain passes, as well as loss of vulnerable livestock, can be expected over the southern high-ground of the Northern Cape and the Western Cape."

The cold front is expected to exit the country on Tuesday morning, when another cold front will approach the Western Cape. 

"Tuesday morning will be the coldest morning of the year so far, with many localities over the interior of the country expected to drop well below freezing, with widespread morning frost anticipated," the SAWS said. 

Gauteng will not be spared from the chill, as forecasts indicated minimum temperatures hovering between zero and two degrees.

Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said the City had been proactive in its approach to fighting potential fires by hosting a number of education drives.

Not only has there been very little rainfall, but the freezing temperatures are expected to result in households using heating devices.

"The City is prepared for any fires as we have water tankers which will provide [backup water] if there is a shortage [in the hydrants]," Mulaudzi said.

"We are expecting fires this weekend, especially in the informal settlements, but we have had public education drives in an effort to prevent fires. We are hoping to see a reduction in the [number] of fires because of this," he added.