EXTREME weather conditions have been forecast for the country as the week heads towards Women’s Day.

People marking the event, or simply enjoying the time off, have been advised to only plan activities during the day. The evening will prove to be too nippy for outdoor festivities, like braai-oriented activities.

The SA Weather Service (SAWS) yesterday sent out a warning about a cold front that was expected to hit the country last night saying besides the extreme cold, the public should expect other severe weather phenomena, like heavy rainfall, snow, gale-force winds combined with rough seas to develop.

Heavy showers are expected in the interior, said SA Weather Service’s spokeswoman Kenosi Machepa.

“Daytime temperatures are expected to drop in the interior as a combination of a well defined cut-off low pressure system, located in the upper regions of the atmosphere, interacts with a cold-fronting system,” she explained.

Machepa said the presence of a strong surface high – also known as anticyclone – would be ridging strongly overland, immediately following the passage of the cold front.

“Temperatures will drop drastically tonight (Monday) as the cold front hits most provinces,” senior weather forecaster Lulama Menze said.

He said a minimum temperature of 2°C was expected for Pretoria, while Joburg will go down to -1°C and Vereeniging will hit a chilly -2°C.

He said by today the cold front would have moved to the east and Gauteng would be affected by the cold air it would leave in its wake.

“It will be very cold in Pretoria, with maximum temperatures expected to sit at 12°C, while Joburg’s high will be 8°C,” he said.

The weather is due to improve slightly by tomorrow.

Menze said: “The extreme cold will have moved more towards the Eastern Cape and southern KwaZulu-Natal.”

He said some areas, including the western and eastern Cape, would experience severe cold and snowfalls.

He said that the improvement in Gauteng conditions tomorrow would see Pretoria experience a minimum temperature of 3°C and a maximum of 16°, while Joburg should hit a low of -1°C and a high of 14°.

Thursday’s weather, he said, would improve slightly, and people could bring out their braai stands and enjoy daytime warmth of around 19°C in Pretoria and 16°C in Joburg.

“By the weekend we are expecting warm conditions, with 26°C for Pretoria and 24°C for Joburg,” the forecaster said.

Temperatures are set to drop again on Sunday. “This process of surface ridging is expected to move very cold air horizontally from our sub-Antarctic southern ocean areas,” said Machepa.