‘Snowfall to end at 2?pm’

2012-08-09 00:00

“SNOWFALL will end across the country at 2 pm,” was the confident message posted across the top of the South African Weather Service’s website yesterday morning.

Ezekiel Sebego, a weather service forecaster at their head office in Pretoria, seemed unfazed by the wintry conditions, pointing out that they were not unusual for this time of year.

Questioned about the heavy snowfalls of July 2011 that closed the N3, he responded: “At least someone remembers.”

In July 2011, similar weather patterns in KwaZulu-Natal to those experienced over the last couple of days saw snow block Van Reenen’s Pass and the closure of the N3 for two days.

“We usually get snow in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape at this time of year,” Sebego said.

Though it has been reported that snow has fallen in all of the country’s nine provinces, Sebego said this had yet to be confirmed.

“We have had no confirmation from Limpopo.”

Sebego said neither were snowfalls in Johannesburg unusual. “We also have records of snowfalls in 2006 and 2007 [in that city]. But people always remember the snowfall back in 1981, probably because there were falls of 15 to 20 centimetres.”

Durban forecaster Wiseman Dlamini agreed that the current weather conditions were not unusual for this time of year.

He said snowfalls were expected over the south-western high ground of KZN yesterday afternoon.

Heavy falls of rain were also expected over the southern parts of the province.

Overnight into yesterday, there were heavy falls of rain around the province.

Pietermaritzburg recorded 74 mm during a 24-hour period while Paddock, on the South Coast, experienced the heaviest fall in the country at 147 mm. Ixopo recorded 115 mm and Pennington South 102 mm. The weather station in Durban South recorded 22 mm.

Yesterday afternoon, another weather service forecaster in Durban, Lucky Makhwedzha, said today would be cold, with temperatures of 10ºC in high-lying areas, but there would be fine weather for at least the next three days.

Today’s maximum temperature in Pietermaritzburg is forecast at 18ºC, while Durban is expected to reach 20 degrees.

Thereafter, temperatures would warm up, with Pietermaritzburg predicted to reach 28ºC by Tuesday.

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