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South African Weather Service has issued an alert for extreme weather conditions expected to affect the central and eastern portions of the country on Saturday 08 and Sunday 09 December…

An upper air trough over the western parts of the country is drawing tropical moisture into the central and eastern parts of the country.

This will result in showers and thundershowers over the eastern half of the country from Friday (7th December 2018) evening, persisting throughout Saturday (8th December 2018).  On Sunday (9th December 2018), the upper trough over the western interior will continue to draw tropical moisture over the central and eastern interior of the country.

Conditions are expected to improve in Gauteng, eastern parts of North West, as well as Free State from Monday (10 December 2018), and Tuesday (11 December 2018) will bring relief to the rest of the country including Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

Figure 1: Rainfall expected over the eastern half of the country, where area of localised flooding is indicated in purple.

 

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Expected weather conditions and Impacts

Areas that are of concern for heavy rain with possible flooding are the extreme southern parts of Limpopo, Gauteng, eastern parts of the Free State, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday (8 December 2018).

On Sunday (9 December 2018) the persistent rainfall will result in more widespread flooding over Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng as well as the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

Localised flooding of susceptible informal and formal settlements can be expected, with possible closure of major roads crossing low water bridges and minor accidents due to slippery roads due to the persistent rainfall.

Precautionary measures when encountering flooding:

  • If possible stay indoors and off the roads, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above one’s ankles.
  • If trapped in a flooding situation whilst in a vehicle, it is preferable to 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.
  • In rural areas, the safety of livestock can be assured by relocating them to a safe place on higher ground, preferably before the onset of inclement weather.
  • In the event of duly authorized officials issuing an order to evacuate; abandon the dwelling without undue delay, unless access is cut off by rising floodwaters.
  • NEVER drive on a road that is flooded or obscured by water. One cannot be certain how deep the water is and/or if the road has been eroded or washed away. If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is difficult to identify flood hazards. Listen attentively to the radio or watch TV weather bulletins for warnings and obey the instructions from Disaster Management officials.

The South African Weather Service will continue to monitor any further developments relating to this weather system and will issue subsequent updates as required. Furthermore, the public are urged to regularly follow weather forecasts on television and radio.

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