Disruptive weather ahead – Orange Level 9 warning issued by S.A.W.S.

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The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has raised concerns with a heightened level of alert as it issued an Orange Level 6 warning for potentially damaging winds and waves, posing a risk of disruption to ports and small harbours. This warning spans from Plettenberg to Durban and is set to take effect on Tuesday.

Furthermore, an Orange Level 9 warning was recently declared for disruptive rain. This development unfolded during Monday night, affecting the southwestern parts of the Eastern Cape Province and the adjacent inland regions. These cautionary measures come on the heels of severe gale-force winds and heavy rainfall that wrought havoc across various areas in the Western Cape over the weekend.

SAWS explained that this weather phenomenon is driven by a “cut-off low system” that is set to traverse the province. When combined with the presence of a high-pressure system leading it, it creates a tight pressure gradient resulting in gale-force winds accompanied by high sea conditions. The swell direction, during this time, will predominantly be from the south to the south-east, contributing to the diminished protection of bays.

The potential consequences of this weather event encompass the risk of damage to coastal infrastructure and ecological systems.

Furthermore, a Yellow Level 2 warning has been issued for severe thunderstorms in the eastern region of the Eastern Cape. The forecast anticipates the development of thunderstorms in the province’s eastern sectors. These storms could bring about hail and strong winds.

The combined impact of damaging winds and significant quantities of small hail may result in localized damage to property, infrastructure, and settlements. Additional concerns include potential disruptions to communication and power supply systems, as well as the possible flooding of low-lying roads and bridges in certain areas.

Schalk Carstens, the Acting Head of the Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC), emphasized that preparations for the approaching cold front had been underway for several days. Although the weather system is currently moving towards the Garden Route region, it has been downgraded to level 6 at this juncture, offering a degree of reassurance amid these challenging weather conditions.