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KZN residents urged to be cautious as inclement weather is expected into the weekend

A low-pressure system could bring light snowfall, freezing temperatures and severe thunderstorms in parts of the country, including KZN, from Thursday going into the weekend. | ANA Archives

A low-pressure system could bring light snowfall, freezing temperatures and severe thunderstorms in parts of the country, including KZN, from Thursday going into the weekend. | ANA Archives

Published May 19, 2022

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Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has urged residents to exercise caution as inclement weather was expected.

MEC Sipho Hlomuka called upon residents to exercise extreme caution following a weather advisory, indicating that a low-pressure system could bring light snowfall, freezing temperatures and severe thunderstorms in parts of the country, including KZN, from Thursday going into the weekend.

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“Residents are urged to take the necessary precautions in their efforts to get warm. Communities utilising generators, electric heaters and braziers are urged to follow safety precautions,” Hlomuka said.

“Communities residing in low-lying areas could experience flooding as a result of the already saturated ground following the heavy rains experienced by the province in April.”

Hlomuka said Disaster Management teams would continue to work closely with the South African Weather Service (Saws) to alert communities should the cut-off low pressure system result in a severe weather warning.

Earlier this week, Saws said that due to the lowering of atmospheric freezing levels, combined with abundant moisture in the lower layers of the atmosphere, snowfalls as deep as 2cm to 5cm could be expected from Thursday night over the eastern high-lying areas of the Western Cape, spreading to the western high-lying areas of the Eastern Cape, the extreme south-eastern high-lying areas of the Northern Cape and the southern high ground of the Free State during Friday morning.

Heavier snowfall of between 10cm and 20cm could be expected over the north-eastern high ground of the Eastern Cape, the Drakensberg region of KZN and the Lesotho mountains from Friday evening into Saturday morning.

“Thunderstorms, combined with strong, gusty surface winds, are expected over the central interior by Friday afternoon, spreading to Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal in the evening and parts of Limpopo by Saturday,” Saws said.

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“Warnings in this regard will be issued if necessary. Due to the pre-existing condition of water-saturated soils in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, rainfall amounts exceeding 20mm are likely to lead to localised flooding. It is therefore important for communities to take the necessary precautions to prepare for such conditions.”

Saws said that bitterly cold conditions were expected to move in over the western and southern parts of the country on Thursday, spreading to the central and eastern parts by Friday and Saturday.

“Maximum temperatures are not expected to exceed 14°C over the interior of the country, with maximum temperatures barely able to reach 8°C over the high-lying areas of the Eastern Cape, the south-western high ground of KwaZulu-Natal and the south-eastern and extreme southern Free State during Friday and Saturday. Small stock farmers should be advised of these conditions and take the necessary precautions,” Saws said.

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“Rainy conditions are expected to continue over the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga and the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal during Sunday; however, the public can look forward to a general clearing of weather conditions as well as a recovery in daytime temperatures from Monday onwards as the system exits the country.”

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