Damaging winds and snowfalls expected in parts of the Eastern Cape

AUGUST 22, 2016

The South African Weather Services on Monday morning issued weather watches for several parts of the Eastern Cape following adverse weather that moved over the province over the weekend.

Damaging winds are expected to prevail at the coast - from the Kouga Local Municipality (Jeffreys Bay) to the Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth) up to the Ndlambe Local Municipality (Port Alfred).

In the interior, several areas including Jansenville, Graaff-Reinet, Stutterheim, Fort Beaufort to as far as Lady Frere are expected to see some snowfalls.

On Friday, the Port Elizabeth office of the SA Weather Services said that a frontal system was expected to move through the Eastern Cape on Sunday evening and overnight into Monday.

"The Atlantic Ocean high is ridging in along the coast, but with the centre of the low pressure sitting to the south there is a nice south westerly fetch," Quinton Jacobs, Senior Forecaster at the Port Elizabeth Weather Office.

"This results in the advection of cold Antarctic air to move over the subcontinent and dropping freezing levels significantly in places over the interior.

"The only concern is the lack of depth of moisture – there is moisture above the freezing level, which is enough to give light snowfalls, but at this stage the moisture depth is not sufficient to deliver snowfalls exceeding about 2cm in depth. Thus at present slightly heavier snowfalls would be restricted to the very high lying areas of the Drakensberg, Sneeuberg (Graaff Reinet) and Winterberg."

Here is ECWMF 24hour Total Snow field for Monday 22 August 2016:

"As you can see from the image, the areas where snowfalls would be most likely is the Sneeuberg, Winterberg and Eastern Cape Drakensberg ranges in the western and central parts of the Eastern Cape," said Jacobs.