The South African Weather Service has issued a Level 2 warning for severe thunderstorms in parts of South Africa…
Strong winds that can cause structural damages to infrastructure can be expected over the south-eastern parts of Limpopo, the north-eastern parts of Mpumalanga the south-eastern parts of the Free State, the north-eastern parts of the Eastern Cape, as well as the southern parts of Kwazulu-Natal this afternoon.
The service warned that the storms could lead to heavy downpours and large amounts of small hail that may result in flooding of susceptible low-lying bridges and low lying settlement areas.
Disruption to traffic, especially in the afternoon peak hours, due to poor visibility may be experienced.
How to protect your vehicle and yourself when caught in a thunderstorm and hailstorm
King Price’s partner of client experience, Wynand van Vuuren, says that the Highveld’s legendary thunderstorms often lead to a spike in accidents and losses – but there are several ways to reduce your risk and exposure.
1. Find a safe place if you’re caught in a storm
If a severe thunderstorm starts when you’re on the road, stay calm, and use your GPS to get you to the nearest sheltered spot as quickly as possible, like a petrol station or an underground parking area in a shopping centre.
Don’t park under a tree!
“A tree doesn’t count as a safe place, as falling branches and debris can damage your car. And stopping under a bridge on the highway in the middle of a storm is neither safe nor advisable,” says Van Vuuren.
2. Know when thunderstorms are on the way
Staying up to date with the latest weather forecast has never been easier: simply turn on your weather app notifications before planning a trip or a commute.
3. Park your car under cover
The simplest way to avoid hail damage is to park your car in your garage, or under a carport if possible. If you don’t have covered parking, you can use a car cover, or even a blanket, to minimise damage.
4. Make sure your wipers are in top condition
In case you’re caught in a storm and there’s nowhere to go, your best defence is proactive preparation. Get your wipers checked before rainy season starts, and use water repellent for your windscreen, to make sure your visibility is as clear as possible while you’re on the road.
5. Don’t skimp on your insurance
In spite of our best efforts, stuff happens. Make sure that you have comprehensive insurance for your pride and joy, which can help cover expenses related to thunderstorm damages, such as flash floods and bumper bashes.
Cloudy at first with early morning showers and rain, otherwise partly cloudy and warm, with isolated showers and thundershowers in the afternoon.
The expected UVB sunburn index: HIGH.
Cloudy at first, otherwise partly cloudy and warm to hot with isolated showers and thundershowers but scattered over the Highveld.
Partly cloudy and warm to hot with isolated showers and thundershowers.
4. North-West Province:
Cloudy in the east at first, otherwise partly cloudy and warm to hot with isolated showers and thundershowers.
5. Free State:
Cloudy in the east at first, otherwise partly cloudy and warm, with isolated to scattered showers and thundershowers, except in the extreme west.
6. Northern Cape:
Cloudy to partly cloudy in the west at first, otherwise fine and warm to hot but cool along the coast where it will be partly cloudy.
The wind along the coast will be light southerly, becoming moderate to fresh south-westerly in the afternoon.
7. Western Cape:
Sunny and warm over the interior until the late afternoon, otherwise cloudy to partly cloudy and cool with drizzle over the south-western coastal areas, and light rain and showers along the south coast reaching the garden route by the late evening.
The wind along the coast will be light to moderate south-westerly becoming fresh to strong along the south coast in the afternoon.
The expected UVB sunburn index: High.
8. Western Half Of The Eastern Cape:
Cloudy at first, otherwise partly cloudy and warm with isolated showers and rain south of escarpment. It will be cool in places along the coast.
The wind along the coast will be moderate south-westerly, becoming fresh at night.
9. Eastern Half Of The Eastern Cape:
Cool with morning fog patches along the escarpment areas, otherwise cloudy and warm with isolated showers and thundershowers, but scattered in the east.
The wind along the coast will be moderate south-westerly.
Morning mist over the interior, otherwise partly cloudy and warm but hot in the north. Scattered showers and thundershowers expected but isolated in the north-east.
The wind along the coast will be moderate to fresh north-easterly, becoming moderate south-westerly in the south from the afternoon.
The expected UVB sunburn index: Very High