Avatar photo

By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

Superstorm alert: Level 6 weather warnings for parts of SA

'Stay inside. Don’t drive. Don't launch to sea': Weather alerts issued for the triple threat of gale-force winds, thundershowers and rough seas.

Disaster management teams have been placed on high alert this Heritage Day weekend after the South African Weather Service (Saws) issued level 6 warnings for damaging waves, severe thunderstorms and gale-force winds for Sunday and Monday.  

The Western and Eastern Cape are expected to bear the brunt of the extreme weather conditions.

According to the Saws, 48-hour rainfall in excess of 100 to 200mm is likely to fall from today into tomorrow. Winds that will travel up to 80km/h are also expected.

Damaging waves are expected to batter all coastal municipal areas along the Garden Route, as well as the Western Cape coastline between Cape Agulhas and Plettenberg Bay.

Extreme weather conditions

“Gale-force winds are expected over the Garden Route, eastern Overberg and Langeberg Municipality, while severe thunderstorms are predicted over the Garden Route, Overberg, and southern Cape Winelands,” said Western Cape Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell.

According to the Bredell, disaster management teams will be on standby as the possibility of flash floods is high. 

Events cancelled, disaster management of standby

Disruptive rain in Gqeberha, along the Eastern Cape coastline, was given an Orange Level 5 warning, while the city will also be lashed with damaging winds as from Sunday.

Acting director for disaster management in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, Henry Lansdown, said:

“Based on these warnings that we have received from the SA Weather Service, we have advised that all outside events be cancelled. We have also alerted all vulnerable communities of these extreme weather conditions.

“We have placed our operational staff on standby with effect from today to respond to any incidents that may occur in the metro area. There are also infrastructure teams that have been placed on standby to respond to any infrastructure-related problems,” Lansdown added.

ALSO READ: Severe weekend weather on the horizon – What you need to know

NSRI warning

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has also appealed to seafarers and the public to be cautious.

“The weather service is forecasting heavy rainfall and areas may experience flooding. We are appealing to the public to follow Saws weather warnings and updated weather forecasts. Don’t deliberately get into harm’s way.

“Stay inside. Don’t drive. Don’t launch to go to sea unless you absolutely have to. Be cautious and be safety-minded. Watch out for each other.

“Seafarers should wear life jackets while at sea and we appeal to coastal hikers, shoreline anglers, paddlers, sailboarders, surfers and bathers to rather stay away from rough seas and be safety conscious,” the institute said.

ALSO READ: Monster waves and an air ambulance: Inside the daring rescue to save 7 mariners swept out to sea

Cold front and flash floods

The Saws said the cold front will result in widespread thundershowers and rain over parts of the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and southern Free State. 

“The Western Cape, Northern Cape and western areas of the Eastern Cape may experience severe thunderstorms, during which bursts of intense rainfall may cause flash flooding,” the the weather service warned.  

Weather alert: Gale-force winds, rough seas and snow

Strong to gale-force winds, and very rough seas of four to six metres, are expected particularly along the Western and Eastern Cape coast on Sunday and Monday.

The cold front will bring icy temperatures to the western and southern parts of the country from Sunday, and even possible light snowfall on Monday over the northeastern high-lying areas of the Eastern Cape and Lesotho.

On Monday, the cut-off low-pressure system will move to the southern coast, bringing widespread and heavy rainfall over the southern parts of the Western and Eastern Cape. These areas could experience between 60-100mm of rain in 24 hours and gale-force winds.

The cold front is expected to move away from the country on Tuesday.

ALSO READ:  Pretoria storm uproots trees, damages cars and buildings

Spring tide surge: Trail of death and destruction

Last weekend, waves of up to 9.5m lashed parts of our coastline, leaving a trail of death and destruction.

The massive waves – which claimed the lives of two people and damaged several restaurants – were caused by a tidal storm surge, exacerbated by spring tide and a cold front.

NOW READ: Watch: Spring high tide hits several coastal towns

Read more on these topics

floods NSRI saws weather weather warnings

Access premium news and stories

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