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South Africa - Severe Weather Patterns - July 2012

Light Snowfall
Light Snowfall Credits: Sally Walsh

Severe Weather Patterns are forecasted by the South African Weather Bureau. The full press release from Weather SA dated 11th July is below. Take note of the final paragraphs regarding mountain passes.

Media Release

11 July 2012

Extreme weather conditions expected over part of South Africa

The South African Weather Service warns of weather conditions which are set to become extreme in places over the Western Cape, Northern Cape,

Eastern Cape, southern Free State and KwaZulu-Natal from Friday, 13 July 2012.

These extreme weather conditions will be caused by a cut-off low pressure system and cold front moving across the country.

The public is warned about the very cold conditions, heavy rainfall, snow (heavy in places) and strong winds which are expected to set in over parts of the Western and Northern Cape provinces on Friday.

Snowfall is expected to start over the mountains in the south-western parts of the Western Cape during Thursday night, spreading rapidly east to reach the eastern half of the Eastern Cape by the following evening. Freezing levels are expected to drop to below 5000 feet (1500 m) above sea level by Friday evening over the Western Cape, western and southern parts of the Northern Cape as well as the northern parts of the Eastern Cape.

As such, snowfall will be widespread and can be expected in areas where it has not snowed in a long time or has not snowed at all.

The snowfall is expected to become heavy on Saturday over the north-eastern parts of the Western Cape, southern parts of Northern Cape, northern parts of Eastern Cape and Lesotho. It will persist over the said areas until Sunday morning, when it will spread to the south-western high grounds of KwaZulu Natal.

This can lead to the closure of several mountain passes over the southern parts of the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, southern Free State and south-western parts of KwaZulu Natal. Motorists are advised to seek information on the state of the mountain passes in these areas before venturing there. 

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