Capetonians are in for a cold and wet week as the first heavy cold front of winter has made landfall in the City. According to the Weather Service, a series of fronts will pass through the Western Cape until midweek.
Localised flooding and weather-related incidents have put disaster management crews on high alert.
A number of roads across the City have already flooded after hours of persistent rainfall. Capetonians woke up to the wet and windy weather which earned the City its nickname, the “Cape of storms”.
The cold front follows a week of scorching temperatures which reached into the high 20s over the past few days. The South African Weather Service says more than 80 millimetres of rain has already fallen in some areas since Sunday night.
SAWS Senior Forecaster Henning Grobler says, “There’s another cold front on the way for this evening into tomorrow that’s going to bring us a little bit more rain, at the moment our rainfall figures are looking fairly good, we already have received about 80mm at Kirstenbosch, 40 ml in the town itself and we still have a couple of hours of rain left until tomorrow, then with this cold front we gave some impact warnings we had one for wind over the interior that extends all over the Cape metropole for today and tomorrow.”
Grobler says the strong north-westerly winds might cause damage in low-lying areas such as informal settlements. Strong winds and heavy rainfall impact warnings have been issued.
“We are going for temperatures in Sutherland and Calvinia area of 6 or 7 maximum degrees for tomorrow and the day after due to this cool air behind the cold front that is going to set in. Temperatures will start recovering fairly good I would say from Thursday into Friday again and we can also expect a little bit of snow tonight and tomorrow over the southern high-lying areas moving to the Eastern Cape and maybe Lesotho towards tomorrow, but that it is very little it’s not going to have any impacts at all, it would have already…by Thursday before we have a couple of nice warm days ahead of us,” Grobler explains.
Cape Town braces for cold week as front makes landfall:
Teams from the City of Cape Town have already been deployed to clear blocked drains and flooded roadways. Residents have also been urged to take the necessary measures to mitigate the potential impact of inclement weather.
“We appeal to residents to help mitigate the impact by staying away from the beachfront areas, maintaining a safe following distance on the road, ensuring that the drainage systems in their properties are working properly, and raising the floor level of their homes to minimise the risk of flooding, making sandbags, fixing leaking roofs, report blocked drains and illegal dumping, illegal dumping makes flooding worse,” says Charlotte Powell from Cape Town Disaster Risk Management.
For the firefighters who’ve been battling a fire near Somerset West since Wednesday, the overnight rain has brought welcome relief. Strong winds had spread the flames to the local nature reserve and towards Stellenbosch, gutting several homes in the process. Two firefighters were also hospitalised after sustaining injuries.