Summer will start to return today after wintry snap brings snow

2017-11-17 13:45
A woman walks along the R617 towards Bulwer with a backdrop of Bulwer Mountain, also known as Amahaqwa Mountain (misty one) dusted with snow yesterday. Mountains in southern KZN were capped with snow after a cold weather system moved in from the Cape.

A woman walks along the R617 towards Bulwer with a backdrop of Bulwer Mountain, also known as Amahaqwa Mountain (misty one) dusted with snow yesterday. Mountains in southern KZN were capped with snow after a cold weather system moved in from the Cape. (Ian Carbutt)

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KwaZulu-Natal residents have reason to be confused about whether they are in the midst of summer or winter.

Early this week residents experienced blisteringly hot weather, and then temperatures suddenly dropped overnight on Wednesday to icy cold with snow.

The maximum temperature recorded in the city on Thursday was a chilly 14 degrees Celsius, and the minimum overnight was 7°C.

Underberg was the coldest place in the province and experienced a low of -5 degrees in the early hours of the morning.

Patches of snow covered the high ground in the hilly Boston, Bulwer and Impendhle areas in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

The top of the southern Drakensberg range was covered with a snow blanket, but visibility was poor in most areas due to the inclement weather.

The Premier Resort at Sani Pass reported that the snow was about 30 km away from the resort and was only on top of the mountains.

SA Weather Services forecaster Wiseman Dlamini said the cold weather was the result of a weather system that came in from the Cape and affected most parts of the country, resulting in snow-capped mountains and light snowfalls in some areas of KwaZulu-Natal.

Sleet also reportedly fell in some parts of the Midlands.

A Durban family were seen by The Witness on Thursday building a snowman and enjoying the snowfall along the R617 Road outside Bulwer.

Daphne Penfold said they were on vacation in the area and decided to go out and play in the snow. They built a snowman they named Frosty.

While they were enjoying the chilly weather, other local residents in the Nkwezela rural area close by had no choice but to brace themselves against the cold.

Nondumiso Ngcobo and her monther, MaNcwane, were seen cowering next to the post boxes as snow fell while they were waiting for a taxi to take them to town.

“Snow falling is normal to us here especially from August onwards. It gets really cold but we’re used to it and it makes everything look so beautiful,” said Ngcobo.

On Thursday the temperature in Bulwer rose to a maximum of 8°C.

Dlamini confirmed that snow fell in Underberg, over the Southern Drakensberg region and Sani Pass early on Thursday morning. However, he said the light layer of snow had melted by mid-morning.

“The snowfall [at this time of the year] was nothing out of the ordinary considering that there was a weather system moving across the province,” said Dlamini.

He said the weather system was expected to move out to the ocean and brighter skies were expected on Friday.

According to the KZN weather forecast, the maximum temperature predicted for Durban on Thursday was 16°C. The weather service could not confirm the maximum in Durban late on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the weather conditions claimed another life with police reporting yesterday that a 30-year-old man had been killed when he was struck by lightning during Wednesday’s storm.

At the time, the man had been walking on the pavement along the R102 in Verulam, north of Durban.

Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) spokesperson Prem Balram said members had been called out to an overhead bridge on the R102 after a passing motorist witnessed the incident.

“Paramedics and reaction officers responded to the area and found a group of people gathered on the bridge. The lifeless body of the male was found lying on the pavement,” said Balram.

“Paramedics assessed the victim and found that he suffered burns to his body.”

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane added that an inquest docket has been opened at the Verulam police station.

On Wednesday evening five people died and four were injured in a crash on the N3 near Shongweni.

LEFT: Wendy Penfold (left) and Mandy Whitehead from Durban take a selfie with their snowman ‘Frosty’ outside Bulwer.

A snow-covered car outside a spaza shop near Bulwer.

A man walks past houses dusted in snow in Nkwezela.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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