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West Rand hit with hailstorm as parts of SA brace for more rain, wind, snowfall, says Weather Service

Published May 17, 2022

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Johannesburg - The South African Weather Service (SAWS) says there is no need to panic after a hailstorm in the West Rand on Tuesday afternoon, but widespread rainfall and snowfall in some parts of the country are expected this week.

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The West Rand region of Gauteng was faced with a hailstorm on Tuesday, and although it may have appeared as if it were snow to some, it definitely was not, said weather forecaster Wayne Venter by phone.

“It is certainly not snow, it's a small hail,” said Venter.

Venter added that there were no warnings out and they did not expect any severe weather in Gauteng.

“This is the impact of a thunderstorm, the thunderstorms can come with a bit of hail and that is totally normal. People don't have to worry about damage to their cars or anything like that,” he said.

The SAWS said there may be slight weather changes in Johannesburg and surrounding areas, including rain and lower temperatures.

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“People can expect to see hail during this time of year. It's common and there are no concerns at the moment, just cold weather ahead,” said Venter

However, a cold front is expected to sweep through the south-west coast of the Western Cape by Wednesday afternoon, with rain spreading along the south coast, said Venter.

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“Gusty winds of 45-55 km/h can be expected ahead of the cold front, over the interior and south coast of the Western Cape, as well as the interior of the Northern Cape.

“These conditions may enhance the risk for veldt fire development. Warm to hot conditions are expected ahead of the cold front (due to offshore Berg wind conditions), especially along the south coast of the Western Cape and the coastal areas of the Eastern Cape.

“The upper-air trough will intensify during Thursday, causing widespread rainfall over the eastern parts of the Western Cape and the western parts of the Eastern Cape,” he said.

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Venter said they had issued a yellow level 2 warning for disruptive rainfall, which could result in localised flooding of susceptible roads and bridges, as well as flooding in informal settlements in the central and south-eastern parts of the Eastern Cape on Thursday.

The SAWS said “widespread rainfall” was expected in the Eastern and Western Cape from Thursday, with snowfall expected in the mountainous areas of the Eastern and Western Cape, Free State, Lesotho and the Drakensberg.

“Widespread rainfall can be expected over the southern and central parts of the country from Thursday onwards, with light snowfalls likely over the mountainous, high-lying areas of the Western and Eastern Cape, spreading to the Lesotho and Drakensberg regions by the weekend, where heavier falls are anticipated.

“Light snowfalls can also be expected over the high-lying ground of south-eastern and eastern Free State. Estimated 24-hour rainfall accumulations of 25mm to 35mm can also be expected over the drought-stricken parts of the Eastern Cape.

“Moreover, there is also the possibility of isolated severe storms, accompanied by strong winds and large amounts of small hail, over the central and eastern interior,” said Venter.

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