THE South African Weather Service (Saws) in Port Elizabeth has warned of windy and cold conditions with the possibility of snow in parts of the Eastern Cape at the weekend.
Warning small livestock farmers in particular, Saws forecaster Quinton Jacobs said while weather conditions were not expected to be extreme, small livestock might be at risk due to the low temperatures and the wind chill factor at the weekend.
“There is an advisory out about the conditions, which are expected to be cold and windy tonight [Friday] and through tomorrow [Saturday]. There is also the possibility of snow on higher lying ground,” Jacobs said.
The areas expected to experience these conditions included the Graaff-Reinet area, the Winterberg area, the Hogsback region and the Eastern Cape Drakensberg area, which includes the town of Rhodes.
“While we expect low temperatures in these area, there is not that much moisture in the air and we don’t expect much rain and therefore not any major disruption as a result of bad weather.
“The maximum temperatures in these areas will be in the teens and the minimum close to zero, with below zero minimum temperatures expected in a few places,” he said.
“Sunday and Monday might also see cold temperatures.”
Grahamstown, where the National Arts Festival is being staged, is expected to field temperatures of a minimum of 15°C and a maximum of 27°C today and then get gradually colder through to Monday.
Tomorrow’s minimum and maximum temperatures are forecast at 15°C and 27°C, while both Sunday and Monday will have a low of 1°C and a high of 13°C.
The minimum and maximum temperatures for Graaff-Reinet for today through to Monday are 15°C and 26°C, 3°C and 17°C, 1°C and 9°C and 0°C and 10°C.
Barkly East and its surrounds, which are situated near the southern Drakensberg, are expected to experience particularly icy temperatures over the next four days. Based on forecasts for Barkly East, minimum and maximum temperatures for today through to Monday are forecast as 6°C and 19°C, 1°C and 12°C, -2°C and 8°C and -3°C and 9°C.
By comparison, Port Elizabeth is expected to have warmer temperatures with a minimum of 13°C and a high of 28°C forecast for today. Temperatures tomorrow through to Monday are 7°C and 20°C, 6°C and 15°C and 6°C and 15°C respectively.
Jacobs said the conditions were a result of a cold front passing through the province and a cut-off low system positioned to the west of the country. – Shaun Gillham