First snow of winter

2010-06-11 00:00

THE top of Sani Pass is capped in snow. Yesterday morning white fell from the sky, cleared over lunch and then continued to fall through the evening.

Roger Aldous, the manager of Sani Top Chalet pub, was stuck in the snow about 1,5 km from the top at 5 pm yesterday.

The icy roads caused his vehicle to slip and get wedged in a ditch lining the road. “I might have to leave my car here for the evening and walk up to the top. We just have to level the ground that the car is on before we walk up,” said Aldous.

He said that the snow was deep enough to cover one’s boot and that the temperatures up at the top of the Berg were very low. “It is about minus two degrees at the moment,” he said at 5:40 pm yesterday, “and apparently they’ll drop even lower this evening.”

And although the sheet of white made his life a bit difficult yesterday, he said people further down are very excited by the first snow fall. “We will have a very busy day on Saturday; everyone is excited,” he said.

Lungi Mtolo, an employee at Thaba Tours on the Sani Pass said yesterday that two vehicles were able to make it to the top of the pass despite the snow. “They got through the hairpin bends even though it was snowing,” she said.

She said that they are experiencing extremely cold weather.

Wisani Maluleke, a forecaster from the KZN Weather Bureau, said that there are no predictions for snow up the pass tomorrow, but the snow that fell througout last night should still be visible as the conditions today are still too cold for it to melt.

Maluleke said the weather will stay cold in the Berg. He predicted temperatures today between four and 10°C, but said that they might be lower.

Maluleke said yesterday’s low temperatures should be replaced by slightly warmer conditions today.

“It will be cloudy and there is a chance of drizzle in the morning … The temperatures should range during the day between nine and 18°,” he said.

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