The effects of an “intense” cold front are expected to arrive in KwaZulu-Natal by Monday.
The cold front, said the South African Weather Services in a statement on Thursday, was expected to make landfall over the Western Cape on Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday morning.
“Ahead of the front, rain and showers rain are possible over the south-western parts of the Western Cape from Saturday afternoon, spreading to the remainder of the Western Cape and the western and southern parts of the Northern Cape on Sunday.”
Rain and showers, they said, would be expected over the Eastern Cape by Sunday afternoon.
By Monday, the front would move to the east of the country, with conditions improving significantly across the southern and western parts.
“Isolated morning showers will be possible along the coastal areas of KwaZulu-Natal on this day, while very cold mornings with frosty conditions are expected across most of the interior.”
A file picture, taken by Van Maarten Den Heier, shows snow in Tiffendale in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Twitter
They said “freezing levels” were expected to drop due to the passing cold front, allowing for snowfalls over the mountainous areas of the Western Cape and Eastern Cape on Sunday, to as low as 1200 to 1 400m above sea level.
“Very cold maximum temperatures (less than 10°C in places) can be expected across the Western Cape and Northern Cape, with a general decrease in temperatures expected across the rest of the country.”
With significant snowfall expected, mountain passes may be closed over the Western Cape and Eastern Cape.
Weather monitoring group Snow Report South Africa said via its Facebook page that the Lesotho Drakensberg and surrounding areas would receive snow but suspected that the front would start to “lose steam” and might not make it all the way into central Lesotho and to Sani Pass.
“Right now we are not seeing any snow for KZN other than a little over Kokstad and Matatiele. We will continue to keep you updated.”
The system was also expected to bring with it strong winds.
“(These) winds can be expected over most parts of the country on Sunday and a possible gale force south-westerly wind (approximately 70 km/h) can be expected between Cape St. Francis and East London.”