Is Cape Town storm 2018 worse than last year? Watch and decide

2018-06-02 09:18
A strong cold front has hit Cape Town. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

A strong cold front has hit Cape Town. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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The South African Weather Service has revealed key rainfall numbers as a result of the cold front that hit Cape Town, which left parts of the city reeling after significant rainfall ahead of the weekend.

Roofs were blown off and buses overturned during a furious winter storm on Thursday night. The South African Weather Service (SAWS) reported 72mm of rain in Kirstenbosch and 49mm in Ceres, as a powerful cold front passed over Cape Town.

"It was quite good rainfall, and widespread. There was quite a lot of damage reported as well," SAWS forecaster Wayne Venter told News24.

It was the third front of the week.

READ Cape Town storm: Tree falls on cop's patrol car, roofs blown off and trees uprooted

The SAWS revealed key rainfall numbers as a result of the cold front:

Cape Town: 30mm

Jonkershoek: 37mm

Grabouw: 35mm

Sutherland: 27mm

Strand: 25mm

Paarl: 22mm

Atlantis: 20mm

Villiersdorp: 48mm

READ: Cape Town to be hit by multiple cold fronts 

Villiersdorp rainfall is particularly important to Cape Town, as the biggest dam, Theewaterskloof, is situated there and benefited from the rainfall.

"It's probably more because they also have the mountains there," said Venter of the rainfall near Theewaterskloof, which has a capacity of 480 188 megalitres when full.

In 2017, eight people were killed when a massive storm made landfall.

According to SAWS 2017 data, Cape Town saw less than 25mm of rain in May, but between 100mm and 200mm in June, above the average of 70mm.

Videos revealed massive waves breaking in Sea Point and washing over the road.


City of Cape Town data shows that the rain over the last week was beneficial to the dams, which registered an increase to 25.1%, from 21.1%, compared with 19.8% for the same period in 2017.

SAWS data shows a lower rainfall probability on Saturday, and dry weather from Sunday to Wednesday, with temperatures climbing from the mid-teens to 26°C.

"South-westerly winds will dominate that area. They can't lead to veld fires because they bring moist air from the ocean to that area," SAWS forecaster Bransby Bulo told News24.

Following the devastating Cape Town storm in 2017, the cold front moved eastwards, causing gale-force winds which exceeded 90km/h, and resulted in the devastating Knysna fires.

Seven people were killed as the fires raged across the Eden Municipality - which includes Knysna and Bitou - between June 6-10.

The gale-force winds made it difficult for firefighters to bring the blaze under control, and more than 10 000 people had to be evacuated as a result of the fires.


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Read more on:    saws  |  cape town  |  weather

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