Africa Wearther

Categorized | General

Heavy rain to affect the Eastern Cape on Thursday and Friday with strong winds over the highveld. Chance of energetic thunderstorms with large hail over north eastern areas on Friday and Saturday.

The cold front that passed through the SW Cape on Wednesday evening is now (Wednesday afternoon) leading to some light rain over eastern areas of the Western Cape with some showers expected again in the SW Cape from this evening. Ahead of the front, temperatures over the Mpumulanga and Limpopo lowveld are soaring to the mid 30ºCs with temperatures reaching the high 20ºCs over the highveld.

The high temperatures over northern areas of the country are due to a hot N to NW wind bringing in air from Zambia and southern parts of the DRC. This airflow will continue tomorrow and as the front moves into the Eastern Cape, late this evening, an area of convergence will be set up. In simple terms, convergence is when two air masses meet or where winds from different directions meet. Convergence usually leads to an unstable atmosphere and if there is sufficient moisture in the atmosphere, can lead to heavy falls of rain.

The convergence area tomorrow, is expected to form over the Eastern Cape and instead of a few hours of rain, it may rain all day in places due to the stagnant nature of the rainband – usually the rainband would move further east, however hot air over northern parts of the country are forming a blocking high pressure ridge.

Along with the risk of heavy rain on Thursday over the Eastern Cape, the temperature gradient (or difference) between the hot air in the north and the cold air in the south (the Western Cape and Eastern Cape can expect temperatures in the mid teens for the next few days with the lowveld easily into the 30ºCs) will lead to some strong and gusty NW winds developing over the highveld on Thursday and Friday.

On Friday, the high pressure ridge over northern areas of the country will rapidly decline, this will allow the unstable air mass to push into KZN, the lowveld and over eastern and central parts of the highveld (this includes Gauteng). As the unstable air mass meets with the hot air over these locations, it will destabilise further with the risk of thunderstorms. Some of these thunderstorms may be quite energetic in places with large hail and gusty winds a possibility, particularly over northern parts of KZN, the Mpumulanga lowveld and Limpopo.

Elsewhere on Friday, a new low pressure system is expected to develop off the Southern Cape coast and although there is some uncertainty, there is likely to be a renewed burst of heavy rain along the coast and adjacent interior between Mossel Bay and Port Alfred with showers and possibly small hail in the SW Cape. The air will also be cold with snow likely above 1200m for both the Western and Eastern Cape. Strong winds are also likely to affect coastal areas.

On Saturday, the showers and strong winds are likely to persist along the Southern Cape coast but may also move into eastern areas of the Eastern Cape to affect places likes Mthatha and East London. Over north eastern parts of the country on Saturday, the risk of thunderstorms remains with the most likely areas to be affected being the north of KZN,  Mpumulanga and eastern and central areas of the highveld (this includes Gauteng). Again the thunderstorms are likely to be energetic with the risk of large hail in places.

On Sunday, the weather is expected to settle down countrywide although there could still be a few showers over the Mpumulanga lowveld.

Please note this is not a weather warning, only the SAWS can issue weather warnings, refer www.weathersa.co.za/warnings

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