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After the President’s speech on Monday evening, many South Africans have already cancelled their new year’s plans, and the weather may put a further damper on celebrations…

According to the South African Weather Service, as South Africans enter into the New Year, 2021, most provinces will experience rainfall with possible heavy rain in places over KwaZulu Natal, Free State, the North West Province and Mpumalanga.

On New Year’s Eve, KwaZulu Natal will see significant falls in places as well as the extreme eastern parts of the Eastern Cape.

These heavy falls are expected to continue into New Year (1 January 2021) spreading in places to the Free State, North West and Mpumalanga.

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Provinces like Gauteng and Limpopo will also experience rain during this period but so far, no heavy falls are indicated by the models.

Figure 1: Ensemble Forecast for 31 December 2020 and 1 January 2021.


Rain expected to continue into the new week

The rainfall is expected to continue into the weekend (2-3 January 2021) for the same provinces extending in places over the Northern Cape. This rain is due to tropical moisture is being drawn over the central interior of South Africa extending to the east and the south-east.

Figure 2: Maximum Temperatures for 01 January 2021.


Windy conditions and cool temps also on the cards

The country will not only experience rainfall but also windy conditions and a drop in temperature, especially the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and the Highveld of Mpumalanga as depicted by Figure 2 above.

Tropical storm heading for SADC region

In the Greater SADC region, a tropical storm “Chalane” is currently between Madagascar and central Mozambique, where it is causing heavy rain in places with flooding and strong winds.

This storm is expected to move over the north-central areas of Mozambique on Wednesday, where heavy rain and incidents of flooding will be confined, spreading to Malawi and northern Zimbabwe and continuing on Thursday.

It is this system that will contribute towards good to heavy rains over South Africa from Friday.

The impacts associated with these adverse weather conditions are as follows:

  • Severe thunderstorms that could lead to localized flooding, with flooding of roads, settlements and low-lying areas, resulting in closure of some bridges and roads.
  • Displacement of affected communities.
  • Danger to life due to fast flowing streams and deep water.

These impacts are expected in places over KZN on 31 December 2020 extending to the Free State, the North West Province and Mpumalanga on 1 January 2021.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) will continue to monitor any further developments relating to this weather system and will issue subsequent updates as required timely.

Furthermore, the public are urged and encouraged to regularly follow the weather forecasts on television and radio issued by SAWS.


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Updated information in this regard will regularly be available at as well as via the SA Weather Service Twitter account @SAWeatherServic and on the Weather Smart App.