Climate expert Dr. Johan Malherbe says extreme weather patterns expected in KwaZulu-Natal this week will be the result of the same low-pressure system responsible for the recent floods that wreaked havoc in parts of the Western Cape.
In response to the impending weather conditions, provincial disaster management teams in KwaZulu-Natal have been placed on standby, following a Yellow Level 4 warning issued for areas along the coast by the South African Weather Service (SAWS).
The role of climate change in the KZN floods
This warning specifically highlights the potential for damaging waves and winds, with the capacity to disrupt small harbours and ports while causing harm to coastal infrastructure.
Malherbe emphasizes that these low-pressure systems can occur at any time of the year, citing historical events such as the Laingsburg floods in 1981 and the significant KwaZulu-Natal floods in 1987 as examples of previous occurrences linked to such systems.
He further says, “Now, because the climate is warming somewhat, there is more moisture in the atmosphere. As a result, the potential for these systems to generate substantial rainfall in shorter timeframes or to become slow-moving systems that produce prolonged periods of rainfall is increasing, according to modern data.”
KZN Floods | Nearly 400 people have died