Weather warnings issued for Eastern, Western Cape

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A weather warning has been issued for the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, which is likely to see strong winds and thunderstorms across the two provinces.
A weather warning has been issued for the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, which is likely to see strong winds and thunderstorms across the two provinces.
PHOTO: iStock
  • Strong winds have been forecast across the Western Cape on Thursday.
  • The Eastern Cape is also likely to experience thunderstorms on Thursday.
  • Western Cape residents can expect wetter weather than usual over the festive season.

A weather warning has been issued for the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, with strong winds and thunderstorms across the two provinces predicted.

The Western Cape is expected to experience strong winds on Thursday, which are likely to result in rough seas. Strong to near gale force south-easterly winds of 60 to 80km/h are expected offshore between Alexander Bay and Hermanus. In Cape Town, winds of 60 to 70km/h are expected on Thursday.

Strong winds and high-wave conditions are also expected between Cape Point and Still Bay on Friday.

According to a weather alert issued by the South African Weather Service, the damaging winds are likely to result in rough and choppy conditions at sea, which could result in small vessels and personal watercrafts taking on water and capsizing.

On land, high-sided vehicles might be at risk of being blown over in areas of Cape Town, as well as near the Huguenot Tunnel on the N1.

"Localised damage to settlements and temporary structures is also possible," the alert said.

An alert has also been issued for the Eastern Cape. The province has recently been lashed by severe storms.

READ | Eastern Cape initiate killed by lightning as more thunderstorms expected for the province

The SA Weather Office in Gqeberha predicted that severe thunderstorms were expected to lash large parts of the eastern side of the Eastern Cape, including the storm-devastated OR Tambo and Chris Hani municipalities.

The thunderstorms, accompanied by heavy downpours, damaging winds, hail and excessive lightening, are expected to move to Amahlathi, Great Kei, Mnquma, Mbhashe, Walter Sisulu, Senqu and Elundini local municipalities. 

Communities in these areas were warned to brace themselves as the bad weather made landfall on Wednesday afternoon. 

SA Weather Service's meteorologist Lelo Kleinbooi said: "The thunderstorms are expected to result in localised damages to property, vehicles, livestock with some impacts on livelihoods as well."

Since Thursday last week, thunderstorms have wreaked havoc across large parts of the Eastern Cape, and continued thoughout the weekend into Monday afternoon. 

On Wednesday, Eskom announced that the thunderstorms had interrupted power supplies to more than 90 000 customers across the province.  

Spokesperson Themba Mtshaulana said, while the power utility's technicians were still continuing their work to restore power, around 11 000 customers were still without electricity.  

"We urge customers to remain patient and to continue treating all electricity appliances as live during this time," he said.

In the former Transkei - around Mthatha, Libode and Qumbu - six people were confirmed dead, while 142 were left without homes. More than 230 animals died due to the impact of the adverse weather. 

100 people displaced

On Monday, a 19-year-old was killed whrn he was struck by lightning inside his hut in Mdantsane.  

Meanwhile, the latest weather warnings for the Western Cape come after heavy rains fell in the Garden Route, Overberg and Klein Karoo areas.

Last week, at least 100 people were displaced during extreme hail storms and floods in Oudtshoorn, with about 81 houses being damaged.

The municipality said many roads in the area were damaged, and 24 trees were ripped out of the ground. Rainfall was measured at 70mm, and the town's Raubenheimer Dam, which was at a low of 30% a few months ago, had overflowed.

READ | 81 homes damaged as storm lashes Oudtshoorn, displacing at least 100 people

In November, heavy rains and localised flooding along the Garden Route interrupted municipal services and resulted in school closures while roads were closed, and several families were evacuated from their homes.

However, Western Cape residents are likely to have little respite during the festive season.

There is a possibility for an above-normal season in terms of rainfall for most of the Western Cape, according to Elani Heyneke of the Cape Town Weather Office.

She added:

It is also important to note that the south-western Cape is a winter rainfall region and therefore the average rainfall during summer is on the lower end, although the northern and eastern parts can get thunderstorm activity with favourable conditions.

There was also a signal of some above-average rainfall in places across the Eastern Cape this summer, although it was weaker in the western parts, according to SA Weather Service’s Eastern Cape office. 

"It does look like a large area of the Eastern Cape can possibly get some above-average rainfall, but there’s no real indication of how much."

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