KZN’s freezing introduction to winter
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DURBAN - MORE snow and rainfall was expected to fall in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, with the passing of a cold front and the development of a cut-off low-pressure system over the south-eastern parts of the country.
South African Weather Service weather forecaster Ayanda Nsele said snow had mostly fallen over the Drakensberg and south-eastern parts of KZN, including Kokstad and Underberg.
She said there were also unverified reports of snow falling over Nquthu.
Nsele said rain had fallen across the province on Tuesday and some areas were still experiencing rainfall.
“The bulk of the rain was over the south-eastern parts of KZN, specifically in Ugu District Municipality. Fezela received 101mm of rainfall, Port Edward 78mm and Margate 82mm, and it was still raining there on Wednesday,” said Nsele.
She said a cold front had moved through earlier in the week, followed by the development of a cut-off low-pressure system which was causing colder temperatures.
“We’re still expecting colder temperatures for the rest of the week,” said Nsele.
She said Thursday would be colder with more snow and rain expected. Heavy rain was expected over the south-eastern parts of KZN, as well as “disruptive snow” over the western parts, in areas such as the Drakensberg.
“The weather will clear on Friday in terms of rain, but it will still remain much colder. During the weekend, the temperatures will start to warm up,” said Nsele.
Meanwhile, KZN Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Peggy Nkonyeni urged residents and motorists to be vigilant, as snow and heavy rainfall is expected to fall in parts of the province.
She said the department would be quantifying the extent of the damage caused by the snowfall and heavy rains, mainly affecting areas in the Drakensberg Mountains, Kokstad, Underberg, Van Reenen’s Pass, and Nquthu.
Nkonyeni said many roads and bridges in the province were affected by the heavy rain, resulting in some roads being completely closed due to flooding and poor visibility.
KZN Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka said disaster management teams were on alert across the province, and they would be watching major routes and areas prone to flooding.