Winter arrives early with snow and cold conditions

2015-06-01 14:24
(Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve Facebook page)

(Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve Facebook page)

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Cape Town - The Matroosberg mountains in the Western Cape received the first sprinkling of snow at the weekend, but the rest of the country need not feel excluded, as cold and windy conditions are on their way.

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“I think that on Wednesday, much of the country will actually be experiencing cold conditions,” said SA Weather Service (SAWS) forecaster Puseletso Mofokeng.

The Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere is on June 21.

Those looking for snow should keep an eye out on Sutherland and Calvinia in the Northern Cape, as snow conditions were expected later on Monday, Mofokeng said.

Rain, wind

Heavy rain was expected in parts of the Western Cape, while Gauteng and western parts of Limpopo could experience stronger winds.

Johannesburg residents enjoying mild temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius on Monday might consider hauling their jerseys out as a cool 14 degrees was expected on Thursday.

Mofokeng said the mercury was expected to start rising again on Friday.

- PICS: Wild weekend weather, snow and more on its way

Meanwhile, visitors and staff at the Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve, which is around two-and-a-half hours from Cape Town, were wrapped up in warm clothing, but had yet to see snow at ground level.

“It started snowing yesterday [Sunday] and it’s on the mountain at the moment,” staff member Waldo de Kock told News24.

“As the day progresses, it is getting colder and it’s that bone-chilling cold… we are layering and trying to stay indoors as much as possible. We have a fire pot running here.”

De Kock said several vehicles had been up into the mountains, but hiking was prohibited because it was cold and wet.

Shark nets

In KwaZulu-Natal, the Sharks Board had decided to remove or reduce shark safety gear at most protected bathing beaches on Tuesday and Wednesday, in anticipation of very large swells.

Operations head Mike Anderson-Reade said swells in excess of three metres were predicted from Thursday through to Saturday, and could potentially damage or dislodge shark safety gear.

The gear would be reinstated as soon as sea conditions settled and the public could consult lifeguards in the interim.

Read more on:    sa weather service  |  cape town  |  weather

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