SAWS Warns Of Widespread Showers, Thundershowers From Sunday

Pretoria – The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned of widespread showers and thundershowers to central, southern, and western parts of South Africa from Sunday.

“Widespread thundershowers are expected over parts of the Free State, Northern, and Eastern Cape from Sunday,28 May 2023, spreading to the Western Cape on Monday,” SAWS said on Friday.

The weather service said there was a possibility of heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in places in the Western Cape.

“This will be due to a steep upper-air system that is expected to cut off from the main westerly flow during the weekend, developing into a cut-off low pressure system along the west coast of the country by Sunday. Cut-off lows are fickle and, at times, difficult to predict,” said SAWS.

“Although the latest numerical weather prediction models are not agreeing with the intensity, position and expected evolution of the cut-off low, similar weather systems in the past had resulted in sporadic intense rainfall, which led to flooding events.

“Given the recent rainfall and increased soil moisture over parts of the Western and Eastern Cape, sporadic heavy rainfall may enhance the possibility of flooding.

“It is therefore important that the public regularly follow weather warnings and updated weather forecasts that may be issued over the weekend.”

SAWS said showers and thundershowers are expected to start on Sunday over the Free State, Lesotho, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape, spreading to the Western Cape on Monday.

“This is expected to persist over the aforementioned areas until Wednesday,” said SAWS.

“Heavy rainfall may develop over parts of the Cape Winelands and Overberg of the Western Cape (in the form of thundershowers) on Monday afternoon, with the potential for flash flooding.

“Moreover, daytime temperatures are expected to remain cold (between 10°C and 16°C) over the interior of the Cape provinces and parts of the Free State from Monday to Wednesday but may be below 10°C over the southern parts of the Namakwa District and northern interior of the Western Cape.”

SAWS advised small stock farmers that cold, wet and windy weather may pose a threat to livestock, especially over the interior of the Cape provinces during this period.

“Strong to near gale force winds are expected to occur along the Western Cape coast between Saldanha Bay and Plettenberg Bay on Monday associated with very rough sea conditions of 4.5 to 5.0 m, which will lead to difficulty in navigation at sea and may cause problems for small marine vessels,” SAWS said.