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'Gale force winds that collapsed crane at PE Harbour not the strongest on record'

Oct 30, 2018
'Gale force winds that collapsed crane at PE Harbour not the strongest on record'

The Port Elizabeth office of the South African Weather Service says that while reports of a crane at the Port Elizabeth Harbour being blown over by strong winds were received just after 8am, it must have occurred between between 06h30, when the wind started, and 07h40, when the Algoa FM news desk received the first photographs.

According to Garth Sampson, the SA Weather Service's Client Liaison Officer for the Eastern Cape; "The South African Weather Service had already issued warnings and cautions on Monday during the day and reports have been received that authorities had taken the necessary preventative precautions.

"The wind increase in speed over a relatively short period could have been a contributing factor to this happening." 

He said that the graph below of the wind speed recorded at Shark Rock Pier shows the average wind speed (in blue) and the gusts (in red) until just after 08h00 on Tuesday morning.

"All speeds in m/s (multiply by 3.6 to get to km/h)," he added.

"From this, one can see that at 06h30 the wind was 5 m/s gusting 10 m/s (18 gusting 36 km/h) and by 06h45 the gusts had increased to 21 m/s (76 km/h).

"The wind peaked at 07h45 with an average speed of 14.8 m/s gusting 28.6 m/s (53 gusting 103 km/h)."

Sampson said that the official maximum gust at the airport by just after 08h00, was 28.2 m/s (102 km/h).

"This is by no means a record for Port Elizabeth," he described.

"The maximum hourly wind speed was 24.3 m/s (87 km/h)  and occurred in July 2002, while the maximum gust  was 38.7 m/s (139 km/h) and occurred in August 1991.

"The wind is expected to continue to gust in the region of 95 km/h until 2pm and 75 km/h until 8pm tonight, when it will start abating."

 Sampson said that warnings are out for gale force conditions between Plettenberg Bay and Port St Johns for the rest of Tuesday and will also only start abating after 8pm.

"NOTE: this may NOT be the highest wind for the day and details of maximums will be forwarded later."

Images: As taken from Daron Mann Breakfast on Algoa FM Facebook page

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