Northern Cape on fire alert as thunderstorms brew across central SA

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Most of South Africa can expect a warm to hot start to the week, with isolated showers forecast for the central interior of the country.  

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) says on Monday 5 March, the Western Cape’s Breede River Valley and the interior of the Northern Cape should be on alert for fire-hazardous conditions. Hot and dry conditions can also be expected across the northern parts of the Western and Eastern Cape. 

Slightly cooler conditions will be in place over the coastal regions of the Eastern Cape, just after the Western Cape's Garden Route, across Port Elizabeth towards Port St John.

Rainfall 

SAWS warns severe thunderstorms - with heavy downpours leading to localized flooding and large amounts of small hail can be expected on Sunday evening over West Rand Municipality, City of Johannesburg moving north-westwards.

Isolated showers and thundershowers from the central parts of the country towards the east and south-east can be expected on Monday. A 30% chance of rain has been forecast across the North West, Gauteng, the eastern parts of the Free State and Eastern Cape, the southern-most parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga and most of KwaZulu-Natal.

Full Moon spring tide alert

Beach-goers and fishermen are being warned about the spring tide affecting the coastal parts of SA. 

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has cautioned beachgoers to be aware of the resulting rip currents caused by the spring tide whenever there is a full or new moon. 

The full moon peaked on Saturday, 3 March, but the NSRI advises caution around the coastal regions for the "first half of next week". 

"Bathers swimming in the ocean and anglers fishing along the shoreline are most at risk," says the NSRI. 

Some of the emergency situations attended to this weekend included a mass non-fatal drowning emergency near Cape Recife.

Just after midday on Saturday, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew and the Nelson Mandela Bay Water Emergency Rescue Network responded to a group of "at least 80 young adults, mostly from Nelson Mandela University (NMU) and others from surrounding areas, on what we believe is a monthly hike from Humewood to Cape Recife". 

On their arrival on the scene, the NSRI says at least five men remained in severe difficulty in the water, while three people were hospitalised for their injuries. No fatalities were reported and a full recovery is expected.

The NSRI warns, "Anyone visiting the coast should be aware of the full moon spring tide which brings a higher than normal high tide, a lower than normal low tide and stronger than normal rip currents and extreme caution is advised."

Later in the month of March the second Blue Moon for 2018 will take place. The next Spring Tide is at New Moon, 17th March, and again at full moon (Blue Moon) on the 31st March.

Temperatures

Minimum temperatures on Monday will be cool throughout most of the country, with warmer temperatures on the East Coast and northern borders of SA.

Sutherland in Northern Cape will be the coldest places in SA, dropping to a cool 7°C.

Most of SA's maximum temperatures will be warm, with very hot conditions expected over the Northern Cape. The hottest place in SA will once again be Upington in Northern Cape, which will reach a sizzling 39°C.

Pretoria in Gauteng and Bloemfontein in the Free State will both be 33°C, while Johannesburg will reach a hot 29°C.

Along the coastal regions, Cape Town in the Western Cape will reach 28°C, while Durban in KZN will be a milder 25°C. Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape will reach a high of 27°C.

Courtesy: News24

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