Warning: Storm surge expected along South Africa’s coastlines due to cyclone

Recreational sites at or near beaches are projected to be under threat. Picture: Pexels

Recreational sites at or near beaches are projected to be under threat. Picture: Pexels

Published Jul 8, 2024


A cold front/mid-latitude cyclone is expected to cause low atmospheric pressure and strong winds, resulting in large waves and storm surge in South Africa’s west and south-east coasts on Monday, the South African Weather Service (Saws) said.

Saws said that a storm surge is when seawater rises above the projected astronomical tides due to a storm or severe weather. Surges can be positive (storm surge) or negative (negative surge).

“A positive surge can occur when strong near-surface on-shore winds along a coastline lead to a significant increase in water levels,” Saws said.

“Strong onshore winds and waves can further increase water levels at the coast. When these conditions occur during high tide or spring tide, the impact on the coastline can be exacerbated.”

It said that wave heights of six to eight metres are forecast, with some reaching up to 10 metres in the south-west, as well as gale to strong gale intensity north-west to westerly winds.

Additionally, the system’s strong rainfall may cause damage to coastal infrastructure and interrupt daily routines.

Recreational sites at or near beaches are also projected to be under threat.

Torrential downpours and strong winds are making impact in the Western Cape, and the Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) has announced that additional cold fronts will make landfall until Friday, July 12.

Anton Bredell, MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs, and Development Planning, claimed approximately 1,000 structures were demolished by severe winds in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, on Thursday, leaving about 4,000 people homeless during the current cold and wet weather.