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Cape Town – Heavy downpours and winds of 70km/h can be expected in Cape Town overnight and on Friday, which could cause localised flooding.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned that people in the low-lying areas of the Cape Flats are especially at risk.

Heavy downpours are expected across the Cape metropole, with flooding in the Overberg and Cape winelands, on Thursday night and Friday morning.

A cold front is expected to make landfall on Thursday night and the wet weather is expected to clear by Sunday as the Cape Town temperature climbs to 23°C.

Cape Town Weather Office forecaster Thabisile Ntleko told News24 on Thursday: "There will be periods of heavy downpours later on tonight into tomorrow morning. This may lead to damage in informal settlements and increased motor vehicle accidents."

SAWS forecaster Banetia Phaqula said: "It won't be that bad (as a winter storm). They are expecting a cold front to pass the Western Cape this evening." 

SAWS data also predicted sea swells in excess of 6m due to strong winds.

Phaqula added: "The reason they issue alerts is for the low-lying areas of the Cape Flats. They are often difficult people to try and get out of harm's way."

Flooding in these areas could lead to the activation of Cape Town's Disaster Risk Management Centre, which employs multiple agencies to deal with disasters.

While a high-pressure system is typical for the Western Cape during summer, there is a low-pressure system off the west coast of SA.