Brace yourself and take shelter as the coldest day of the year is here, with snow and heavy rain expected as a strong cold front passes through the country.
Kumsa Masizana, forecaster at the South African Weather Service (Saws), said the temperatures were going to remain low over the weekend.
“The current cold front will bring disruptive snowfall which might make it difficult for motorist travelling through the passes high-lying areas of the Western Cape and Northern Cape,” Masizana said.
She said rain was expected for the next few days over the Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape.
“[On Thursday] we are going to start feeling the cold temperatures over the North West, Free State and Gauteng,” she said.
Sutherland in the Northern Cape was expected to drop to a maximum temperature of only 2°C and a minimum temperature of -5°C.
The weather service issued a yellow level 3 warning for snow leading to possible loss of livestock and crops expected over the high lying areas of the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, southern interior of Namakwa and southern Free State.
Gauteng can expect temperature from 10°C and lower, with a maximum of only 7°C in Johannesburg and 11°C in Pretoria forecast going into the weekend.
Tomorrow, Johannesburg will peak at 11°C and Pretoria was expected to reach a maximum of 14°C.
The minimum temperatures were expected to drop below zero in the province tonight.
Vereeniging was expected to drop to -3°C and peak at a maximum temperature of only 9°C tomorrow.
Mafikeng will drop to -4°C and peak at 12°C while Vryburg was expected to dip to -6°C with a maximum of 11°C. Bloemfontein will also experience a minimum of -3°C and a maximum of 8°C.
“The cold front started in the Western Cape and Northern Cape on Wednesday,” Masizana said.
Masizana said frost was expected across areas in the Free State, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape, with the minimum temperatures dipping below zero.
Jannie Raath, manager for TLU in the Free State and North West, said the most vulnerable in the cold were livestock.
“This is especially true for sheep, who die easily without wool,” Raath said.