Avatar photo

By Cheryl Kahla

Content Strategist

Snow and sub-polar chill to hit South Africa

Get those warm clothes out and brace yourselves for a chilly and snowy end to the week.

Brace yourselves, South Africa! A sub-polar chill is set to roll in, bringing with it icy conditions and substantial snow in the southern Drakensberg and Lesotho.

Meteorologist Annette Botha warns that the icy blast will kick off from Thursday evening, 18 May.

Snow incoming

We’re not talking about a light dusting here.

The weather forecast indicates that a significant amount of snowfall – up to 10 cm – can be expected in certain regions such the Sani Pass.

The sub-polar chill and snowy onslaught is set to begin on the night of the 18th and continue into Friday.

By Friday, the mountains of Lesotho and Sani Pass are likely to be adorned with a fresh coat of white.

By then, more than 10cm is predicted to have settled.

Snow and sub-polar cold front from Thursday, 18 May 2023
Image: Vox Weather

WATCH: ‘Blizzard of the century’ leaves nearly 50 dead across the US

More cold fronts and rain

But the snowfall isn’t the only weather event to watch out for. South Africa is facing not one, but two cold fronts this week.

From Thursday to Friday, we’re looking at a real change in the weather pattern with snowfall and more rain forecasted.

According to Vox Weather, the southern coastline and Eastern Cape are in for a heavy downpour with up to 40mm expected on Friday alone.

Coupled with that, a yellow level 2 warning has been issued due to disruptive rain over the Kouga and Nelson Mandela Bay municipal districts on Thursday.

Localised flooding

Both the South African Weather Service (Saws) and Vox Weather are flagging warnings for disruptive rain that could lead to localised flooding.

Residents in susceptible settlements are urged to take precaution as roads and low-lying areas may be flooded.

This extends to bridges along the south coastal areas of KwaZulu-Natal, specifically forecasted for Friday morning.

The Kouga Local municipality and Nelson Mandela Bay District in the Eastern Cape are also expected to experience these conditions into Thursday evening.

Chilly days ahead

In addition to the snow and rainfall, South Africans can expect a notable dip in the mercury.

With the cold weather set to spread across the country by Friday, we’re likely to see temperatures plummeting to the lower and mid-teens.

So, South Africa, get those warm clothes out and brace yourselves for a chilly and snowy end to the week.

Read more on these topics

Drakensberg SA Weather Service snow

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits