The South African Weather Service (SAWS) says a double cold front has touched the west coast of South Africa, one expected to deliver strong winds, cold temperatures, and mountain snow across the country.
According to Kevin Rae, chief forecaster at the SAWS, it’s going to get very cold this weekend across the majority of the country.
“The drop in temperature will be quite dramatic,” said Rae, adding that small stock farmers, particularly in the Eastern Cape, should be prepared to cover their animals or bring them inside in the evenings.
Snow is expected in the mountains of the Western and Eastern Cape and Lesotho, with the weather service also predicting some rare flurries as far north as Namibia.
The fronts will also deliver gale force winds of between 60km/h and 75km/h — that’s enough to dislodge old trees, and cause damage to homes, especially in informal settlements.
“High-Probability” of Power Cuts
South Africa’s state-owned utility warned of a “high probability” of power cuts through the weekend as a cold front increases demand.
The risk of nationwide rolling outages “has increased” reads an Eskom tweet dated July 10:
Known locally as “loadshedding,” power outages are expected Friday during peak evening demand (16:00 to 22:00) and are likely to persist throughout the weekend, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. said in a statement.
As reported by bloomberg.com, Eskom, a nearly century-old monopoly that generates most of the SA’s electricity, has become an economic liability.
This weekend’s severe cold front will raise demand to breaking point. Couple that with more businesses reopening due to a relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, and you have a recipe for disaster, the likelihood of deeper cuts is increased, Eskom spokesman Sikonathi Mantshantsha said in an interview on CapeTalk radio.
The most vulnerable in society will suffer the most, as always. Many families will be unable to heat their homes during what is forecast to be one of the coldest wintry blast of recent times.
Eskom has asked users to reduce consumption by switching off non-essential lights and appliances. The company confirmed that it rely on diesel-fueled turbines designed for peak use to stave off the cuts, which will increase costs the utility is trying to reduce, added Mantshantsha.
Even NASA appear to agree, if you read between the lines, with their forecast for this upcoming solar cycle (25) seeing it as “the weakest of the past 200 years,” with the agency correlating previous solar shutdowns to prolonged periods of global cooling here.
Prepare accordingly — learn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow your own.
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift