Western Cape warned of flash floods, lightning and gales
Emergency services were on standby as an intense cold front‚ accompanied by heavy rain and gale force winds‚ made landfall in Cape Town early on Thursday.
Lightning flickered above the city as the rain poured down before sunrise‚ bringing with it potential flash floods in the city‚ Cape Winelands‚ Overberg and West Coast‚ which will continue into Friday.
The South African Weather Service issued a weather warning‚ saying there would be winds of up to 70km/h.
The cold front will bring icy temperatures to Gauteng‚ the Free State and Mpumalanga on Saturday.
Johannesburg started off at 4°C on Thursday with a high of 18°C expected. It was a chilly start to the day at -1°C in Bethlehem in the Free State and Standerton in Mpumalanga. A sunny Durban was forecast to reach a high of 27°C and Port Elizabeth a toasty 31°C.
Disaster risk management spokesperson Charlotte Powell said city departments were on standby to deal with the potential fallout of the cold front in Cape Town.
"The South African Weather Service has issued a severe weather warning for Thursday into Friday‚ comprising gale force winds of up to 70km/h and periods of heavy downpours that could result in flooding‚" said Powell.
"With the wind speed forecast to pick up … we caution residents to be on alert for possible damage to their homes as well as trees that may be uprooted and could affect travelling as well as power lines.
"Very rough sea conditions can be expected along the coastal areas‚ coinciding with the spring tide, so we urge the public to steer clear of these areas."