Rain may fall in places on Christmas Day

Henry

After quite a few sweltering hot and dry days in large parts of the country, rain may give rise to wet and cooler weather in places this weekend and possibly on Christmas Day.

The South African Weather Service says several weather systems are expected to affect the eastern and central parts of the country, especially on Christmas Day and Goodwill Day.

A weak cold front is expected along the South Coast, while a high pressure system could bring cloudy and cooler conditions with light rain along the Western Cape South Coast and the Eastern Cape coast on Monday and Tuesday.

Before this system, a low pressure system over Botswana and an upper air system will cause scattered to widespread showers and thunderstorms in the Free State, North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo from Sunday. Heavy rainfall and cooler conditions are possible, especially on Christmas Day and Goodwill Day, the weather service says in its latest forecast.

Although scattered severe thunderstorms are initially possible over the central and eastern interior on Sunday and Monday, the atmosphere will become more tropical over time and lead to heavier and widespread rain.

At this stage, between 15mm and 20mm is expected on Sunday and for the next 24 hours in large parts of the eastern provinces, with heavier precipitation due to tropical moisture expected over parts of the Highveld on Tuesday.

The weather service says that although the eastern parts of the country will cool, the western interior will remain warm and dry, with strong winds in places. Gale-force winds can be expected in some areas along the south-west coast of the Western Cape.

“The weather conditions will make it easier for wildfires to develop and spread and may complicate current firefighting operations,” warns the weather service.