Today is the coldest day of the year, with extreme weather conditions expected across large parts of South Africa.
Unfortunately, it’s only going to get colder, as temperatures drop to below -5°C.
Meteorologist Scott Duncan warns of an antarctic cold pulse headed straight for South Africa.
He explains: “Antarctica keeps flinging very cold pulses north into the continents of the Southern Hemisphere.”
South Africans could look forward to harsh frost, some snowfall and temperatures approximately 10 to 15°C lower than normal, while the South African Weather Service (Saws) warns the cold snap is likely to last well into the weekend.
Duncan adds: “Sure, it is winter in the southern hemisphere right now, but some cold records could be broken. This is the jet stream buckle responsible for the cold air outbreak”.
Harsh frost expected, some snow possible and temperature 10-15°C below normal likely in the coming days. Sure, it is winter in the southern hemisphere right now but some cold records could be broken.
This is the jet stream buckle responsible for the cold air outbreak. pic.twitter.com/iWalagry7t— Scott Duncan (@ScottDuncanWX) July 21, 2021
Duncan shared a video to show how the temperature – measured at 1.5 km above sea level – and jet stream from the Antarctic are connected.
“This is useful for showing where the air is coming from in the free atmosphere,” he adds.
And so you can see how the temperature and jet stream are connected.
Please note the temperature at 850 hPa (about 1.5 km above sea level) has been used. This is useful for showing where the air is coming from in the free atmosphere. pic.twitter.com/O6I4bBZpUU— Scott Duncan (@ScottDuncanWX) July 21, 2021
Coldest day in South Africa
Meanwhile, Kumsa Masizana from the Saws warns the disruptive snowfall “might make it difficult for motorists travelling through the passes” in the Western Cape and Northern Cape provinces.
“[On Thursday] we are going to start feeling the cold temperatures over the North West, Free State and Gauteng,” she said, while Sutherland residents in the Northern Cape should prepare for temperatures of -5°C.
The video below was taken by a Sutherland resident, and shows “some ice skating in the streets”, while images of Sterkspruit shared on social media shows a vehicle covered in a thick layer of snow.
In Richmond, residents woke up to a blanket of snow and temperatures of -3°C were recorded last night.
The images below were submitted by resident Carina Koen.