Harlem Subramoney, 7, and Compton, 5, cuddle up in their winter woolies under a blanket as temperatures plummet for the weekend. Shelley Kjonstad/African News Agency(ANA)
Harlem Subramoney, 7, and Compton, 5, cuddle up in their winter woolies under a blanket as temperatures plummet for the weekend. Shelley Kjonstad/African News Agency(ANA)

Woolly warmers for SA’s coldest day of the year

By Tanya Waterworth Time of article published Jul 24, 2021

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Temperatures plummeted around the country on Thursday and yesterday as an icy cold front blew in, with temperatures dropping to below zero in a number of areas in KwaZulu-Natal – but no snow had fallen and none was predicted.

SA Weather Service (SAWS) KZN forecaster Wiseman Dlamini confirmed minimum temperatures recorded yesterday morning were Underberg -9°C, Mooi River -8°C while Royal Natal and Giant’s Castle in the Drakensberg were -7°C.

Dlamini said there was a chance of light coastal showers (30%) expected today, with temperatures expected to remain cool to cold (Durban 18°C). It should start to warm up by a couple of degrees tomorrow and temperatures in the mid 20s were expected on Monday.

The cold wind which had started on Thursday is expected to subside over the weekend.

National SA Weather forecaster Wayne Venter confirmed that good snowfalls were recorded in the high-lying areas of the Eastern and Western Cape, while Kimberley and Bloemfontein had experienced light falls of snow which did not settle.

Venter said the KZN coastline remained “the warmest place to be in the country” on Thursday and yesterday, although the Northern Cape coast is set to take that title over the weekend with a high pressure offshore flow bringing in higher temperatures, into the low 30s, with dust and sandstorms forecast.

For the homeless who have sought refuge from the cold in corners of the city, Denis Hurley Centre director Raymond Perrier said they had been serving 300 people a day for five days a week and predict numbers would increase over the coming months. There had been an increase in joblessness after last week’s violence.

“We work on the premise that we feed anyone who turns up,” said Perrier, adding they had received generous donations of food this week but that more volunteers would be welcome in their kitchen.

And while Durbanites may still be feeling fragile having dealt with lootings, lockdown and loadshedding, the sudden big freeze saw social media buzzing with humorous memes and hashtags yesterday.

Local comedian Rory Petzer posted a picture wearing slops with socks, tweeting “you know it’s cold in Durban when...”, while H.E.R tweeted “I’m not going out until temperatures reach my age,” and The Pun Guy posted “Feeling cold, go stand in the corner, it’s 90 degrees”, while a pic of a sleeveless guy got “and there will always be that guy...”

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