Brace yourselves, winter is… well, it’s not just coming. It’s actually here. A cold snap has embedded itself in the central interior of the country, but chillier conditions are yet to reach us here in South Africa. Through Wednesday 2 June, a lesser-spotted ‘Level 5 snow warning’ will be in place for several rural regions.
The SA Weather Service made the announcement on their social media pages earlier this afternoon. In total, four districts have been slapped with an ‘orange alert’, due to potentially disruptive snow showers. Mountain passes along the Drakensberg Range expected to be closed ahead of schedule, and drivers are asked to make alternative plans.
The Level 5 snow warning has been implemented across these locations in the Eastern Cape:
- Senqu / Barkly East
- Elundini and Maclear
- Sakhisizwe / Elliot
Orange level 5 warning for disruptive snowfall will continue tomorrow (02 June 2021) over the Drakensberg regions with mountain passes expected to be closed.
— SA Weather Service (@SAWeatherServic) June 1, 2021
According to SAWS, there’s a fair chance this snowfall could be significant and possibly life-threatening. The organisation has also warned that ‘melting snow’ could eventually be responsible for localised flooding in the next few days. This will be the second time in 24 hours the Eastern Cape has had a flurry of the white stuff…
- In a statement issued earlier, farmers and drivers were cautioned about threats specific to their interests:
“There is a likelihood of a significant impact to occur due to the accumulation of snow combined with extremely cold weather which may include the following: Danger to life and property due to hypothermia and the collapsing of infrastructure, Widespread loss of livestock and crops, closure of all major routes.”
“Melting snow towards the end of the period will cause small streams and rivers in the low-lying areas to flood. Freezing overnight temperatures will cause water to freeze on road surfaces resulting in extremely hazardous driving conditions.”