First heat wave; now weather service warns against storms, fires


After a week of scorching heat due to a heat wave in the interior, the South African Weather Service (SAWD) warns that residents should brace themselves against heavy rain and thunderstorms this week. Warnings against extremely high fire hazard conditions also apply.

The weather service has issued a yellow level 2 warning for Monday against severe thunderstorms in the eastern parts of the Free State and the central and south-eastern parts of the North West. The thunderstorms can be accompanied by strong and damaging winds as well as large amounts of fine hail.

A Level 2 warning has also been issued for disruptive rain that can be expected until Tuesday along the coast, in the Eastern Cape between Port Alfred and Port Edward.

In the same breath, the weather service also warns against extremely high fire danger conditions in the western and southern parts of the North West, parts of the Free State, the northern and northeastern parts of the Northern Cape and the southwestern parts of Gauteng.

According to Jacqueline Modika, a weather forecaster attached to the SAWD, clouds will start gathering on Monday in the eastern parts of the Free State, North West, KwaZulu-Natal, the parts along the coast and adjacent areas in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

By Tuesday, light to moderate rain showers will also be expected in Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga and eastern parts of the Northern Cape.

“A trough system in the upper atmosphere will move across the country on Thursday, which could result in much heavier rain and thundershowers in all the above-mentioned provinces,” says Modika.

“The rainy weather is expected to occur until Friday.”

The weather service warns that the disruptive rain may lead to flooding of informal settlements, roads, low-lying areas and bridges in places.