Torrid weather expected in the Eastern Cape

Heavy storm clouds hang threateningly over the Slangkop Lighthouse, at Kommetjie, near Cape Town

Gale-force winds, rough seas, low temperatures and possibly even snow on the mountains can be expected in the Eastern Cape as it catches the tail end of a massive cold front moving over the Western Cape.

Emergency services will be on standby as gusts of up to 100km/h and swells of between six and nine metres are expected along the Nelson Mandela Bay coastline from tomorrow.

The Eastern Cape will, however, miss out on the much-needed rain expected to fall over the Western Cape, where up to 80mm of rain was expected within a 24-hour period in places.

South African Weather Services (SAWS) Port Elizabeth spokesman Garth Sampson said the city could expect a sudden drop in temperature tomorrow and Friday, with highs of below 20°C and strong winds battering the city.

“Gale-force winds can be expected along the south coast, moving toward East London on Thursday, with gusts of up to 100km/h possible in places,” he said.

“Some showers are expected along the south coast, but most of the rain will affect the Western Cape.

“Not much is expected to fall over the Eastern Cape.”

Light snow could fall in the region of the Sneeuberg, near Graaff-Reinet, and the Drakensberg, in the Barkley East and Elliot areas.

Conditions are expected to return to normal over the weekend. Municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said disaster management services were on standby 24/7 in the event of any emergency and were aware of the inclement weather predicted for the coming days. “The municipality has noted the warnings and has put systems in place for any eventuality,” Mniki said.

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town is ready to evacuate people in high-risk areas in preparation for the storm‚ which is set to hit the Western Cape this morning.

SAWS issued warnings for several areas in the Western Cape including the Winelands‚ Cape Metropole and the Overberg district, saying damaging winds‚ high seas and flooding could result in loss of life.

Schools throughout the Western Cape will be closed today in anticipation of the storm.

Nelson Mandela Bay residents can phone emergency services on (041) 585 1555 in the case of emergency situations.– Additional reporting by TMG Digital

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