280514. Cape Town. A pedestrian crossing the road (Buitengracht street) during winter. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Cape Town - South Africans will get their first real taste of winter when a cold front hits this week, the SA Weather Service said on Tuesday.

Forecaster Vanetia Phakula said a cold front would reach the Western Cape between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

The western parts of the province would receive rain.

“It will be bringing very cold, windy and wet conditions and even snow,” Phakula predicted.

She said snowfall was expected over the high-lying areas of the Western Cape on Wednesday.

“We might see small amounts of snow on the tips of Table Mountain.”

The cold front would then move east across the country by Thursday.

The mercury would creep back up from Saturday.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said dangerous sea conditions were expected along the Western Cape and Southern Cape coastlines on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday.

The cold front was expected to bring sea swells of up to 9m, gale-force winds and excessive rains, said NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon.

The front coincided with the new moon spring tide and this would intensify the rough sea conditions.

“Seafarers, be warned and do not launch to go to sea during this period unless you absolutely have to and those at sea should wear their life jackets at all times and take extra safety precautions,” he said.

Extreme sport paddlers and surfers should preferably not launch their equipment into the water.