Weather alert: Severe thunderstorms, winds predicted for Western Cape

The SA Weather Service (SAWS) has issued a Level 2 alert for the Western Cape, forecasting ‘severe thunderstorms ‘and winds for Sunday and Monday. 

WHEN WILL THE THUNDERSTORMS MAKE LANDFALL? 

It said strong to gale south-easterly force wind of 60 to 75km/h and gusts up to 80-85km/h is expected from Saturday afternoon into late Sunday along the coastlines between Saldanha Bay and Gansbaai, including the Cape Metropole on Saturday ceasing by Sunday evening. 

“Alongside, wave heights of 3.5 to 4.5m are expected, reaching 5.0 to 5.5 from Saturday night into Sunday morning with south-easterly swell dominating and wave periods of 10-13s,” the SAWS said. 

Yellow level 2 warning: Wind: Western Cape: 20 – 21/11/2021 pic.twitter.com/XKNvP1gFEi

— SA Weather Service (@SAWeatherServic) November 20, 2021

Showers and thundershowers are expected from the morning persisting until the evening. 

“Higher amounts are expected east of Riversdale, mainly in the morning.

WHERE ARE THE AREAS OF CONCERN?

“The area of concern is between Mosselbay and Plettenberg Bay, where the highest amount of 40-50mm is possible. Some showers can have a quick and heavy downpour. The lightning associated with the thunderstorms might cause some impacts,” it said. 

The SAWS warned that localised flooding/flash flooding susceptible formal/informal settlements and roads might occur. 

“Major routes may be affected, contributing to longer travel times. Reduced visibility and slippery roads can also cause vehicle accidents.”  

Motorists were cautioned to take extra care as roads are expected to be slippery and wet.

ALSO READ: Parts of South Africa hit by a severe hail storm [PHOTOS]

HOW TO UNDERSTAND A WEATHER WARNING: 

Warning levels are colour-coded, using the robot system (yellow, orange and red). These colours will be dependent on the combination of the anticipated impacts and the likelihood of that impact occurring.

Photo: SAWS

Impact-Based Warnings is issued for the following hazards:

Disruptive rainfall
Severe thunderstorms (heavy downpours/large hail/large amounts of small hail/damaging winds)
Damaging winds
Disruptive snowfalls
Reduced visibility
Damaging waves
Storm surges

“The main aim of the Impact-Based Severe Weather Warning System is for weather-related warnings to be better understood so that they reach more South Africans and the required actions can be taken well ahead of time in order to mitigate possible impacts. These warnings are aimed at every South African,” the SAWS said. 

Five tips to keep you, your family and your possessions safe when there is lightning activity: 

Don’t shelter under trees, near water, on high ground or in open fields. 
The first rule of keeping safe is to head back indoors when there is lightning. It’s also important to note that lightning often occurs around the edges of a thundercloud, so it doesn’t mean it’s safe just because it hasn’t started raining yet. 
A car is a safe place to shelter. If lightning does happen to strike the car directly, it will be conducted through the metal frame of the car and into the ground. Avoid leaning on car doors during a storm as the electricity travels through the frame.
Lightning can damage electronics, telephones, and other systems in your house that are connected to an electrical outlet – unplug them when you hear the first clap of thunder. 
 Don’t forget to bring your pets inside. Dog houses and other pet shelters are not suitable for protection against lightning strikes.

ALSO READ: Warning: More SEVERE thunderstorms with hail, strong winds and excessive lighting expected

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