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A cold front is bringing unsettled weather conditions to the Western Cape Province between 09 and 10 March, according to the South African Weather Service.

On Wednesday, SAWS warned that damaging winds and long periods of steady rainfall are among potential hazardous weather conditions expected over the south-western areas of the Western Cape.

These conditions are expected following the passage of a cold front this Tuesday evening with another, but slow-moving cold front to arrive over these areas on Wednesday late afternoon.

The cold front made landfall over the extreme south-western parts of the Western Cape Province on Tuesday evening bringing with it strong to gusty northwesterly winds, particularly over the southwest coastal areas, spreading to the interior on Wednesday.

High wind speeds

The wind forecast is such that, sustained speed of 45 to 60 km/h (25-30 knots) over the interior (Fig. 1) and up to 80 km/h (40 knots) along the coast can be expected, as shown on Figure 1 and 2. These winds are likely to result in structural damage over the exposed and vulnerable areas such as shacks and poorly anchored houses.

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Sea conditions are expected to have a predominantly south-westerly swell of 3.0 meters with wave heights of 4.0 to 6.0 meters between Cape Columbine and Stillbaai on Tuesday evening, subsiding by Wednesday late morning. The combination of the wave heights and strong winds will exacerbate the adverse weather conditions along coastal areas.

GFS model
Figure 1: GFS model 10m-wind forecast at 1800 SAST 09/03/2021
(Source: SAWS)

 

Unified Model - Wind
Figure 2: Unified Model 10m-wind (knots) forecast 16:00 SAST 09/03/2021
(Source: SAWS)

Rainfall along the Garden Route expected

Added to this, light to moderate rainfall is also expected with the arrival of the front over the south-western parts of the province this Tuesday evening, spreading to the West Coast District and coastal areas of the Garden Route District on Wednesday as the front progresses eastwards.

Following the approach of the secondary cold front, a prolonged period of steady rainfall with projected accumulating rainfall amounts of 40 to 50 mm (Fig. 3) is expected over the south-western parts during Wednesday.

To this effect, localised flooding and pooling will be likely in these areas. Meanwhile, the central and eastern provinces will see no rain apart from the western Limpopo, where a few afternoon thunderstorms are expected.

Unified model - rain
Figure 3: Unified model 24-hour accumulated rainfall 10/03/2021
(Source: SAWS)

 

Clearance is expected over the Western Cape from Thursday afternoon, with few showers along the south coast lingering into the evening. However, the central and east central provinces will experience afternoon thunderstorms.

Here are today’s predictions for the rest of the country:

Warnings

  • An orange Level 5 warning for coastal wind (north-westerly at 60 to 80km/h) with impacts, including disruption to small  harbours ports over short period time and disruption to  beachfront activities, is expected between Table Bay and  Cape Agulhas.
  • A yellow Level 2 warning for coastal wind (north-westerly at 45 to 60 km/h) with impacts including difficulty in  navigation, small vessels and personal watercraft taking  on water/capsizing, is expected between Cape Columbine and Stillbaai.
  • A yellow Level 2 warning for interior wind (north-westerly at 40 to 60 km/h) with impacts, including localised problems for high-sided vehicles on prone routes and localised damage to settlements (formal and informal) is expected over Cape Metropole.
  • A yellow Level 4 warning for rain which will lead to flooding of roads and settlements is expected over the Cape Metropole,  South-western Cape Winelands and western Overberg of the Western Cape.

Fire danger warnings:

Extremely high fire danger conditions are expected over the Central and Little Karoo district in the Western Cape, as well as the southern  parts of the Northern Cape and Free State and the northern interior  of the Eastern Cape.

Extremely hot conditions are expected in the Lowveld of Mpumalanga.

1. Gauteng:

Partly cloudy and warm to hot.

The expected UVB sunburn index: Very High

2. Mpumalanga:

Fine and warm to hot but very hot to extremely hot in the Lowveld. It will become partly cloudy in places in the north and east from the afternoon. Isolated showers and thundershowers in the extreme north .

3. Limpopo:

Fine and hot but very hot in places in the Lowveld, becoming partly cloudy from the afternoon with isolated thundershowers over the central and northern parts and along the escarpment.

4. North-West Province:

Partly cloudy and warm to hot.

5. Free State:

Partly Cloudy and warm to hot.

6. Northern Cape

Partly cloudy and cool to warm along the coast and southern parts otherwise fine and hot.

The wind along the coast will be moderate to fresh north-westerly.

7. Western Cape:

Cloudy and warm to cool with scattered to widespread showers and rain in the south-west otherwise isolated in the west and the central part spreading to the south coast.

The wind along the coast will be moderate westerly to south-westerly along the south coast; otherwise fresh to strong north-westerly reaching gale between Table Bay and Cape Agulhas.

The expected UVB sunburn index: High

8. Western Half Of The Eastern Cape:

Partly cloudy and warm with isolated showers and the along the coast west of Port Elizabeth.

The wind along the coast will be light north-westerly, becoming moderate south-westerly from the afternoon.

9. Eastern Half Of The Eastern Cape:

Partly cloudy and warm to hot.

The wind along the coast will be light north-westerly, becoming moderate south-easterly from the afternoon, but light north-easterly in the evening.

10. Kwazulu-Natal:

Partly cloudy and hot.

The wind along the coast will be moderate southerly to south-westerly south of Richards Bay in the morning otherwise moderate to fresh easterly to north-easterly.

The expected UVB sunburn index: Extreme

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