Some South Africans are going to have to buckle-up on Tuesday, as severe thunderstorms and the threat of veld fires threaten to wreak havoc across the country. Many weather warnings are already in force and will persist throughout the remainder of the day. But the South African Weather Service (SAWS) has expressed some major concerns.
Map: Weather warnings for South Africa, Tuesday 8 December
The Eastern Cape and Northern Cape will be significantly affected by extreme weather over the next 12-24 hours.
Severe thunderstorms for the Eastern Cape
The following districts in the Eastern Cape are on high alert for severe thunderstorms, ranging between Level 1-2 on the impact scale. Storms are highly likely to arrive on Tuesday, although the forecast for property damage is minor.
- Amahlathi / Stutterheim
- Elundini / Maclear
- Emalahleni / Lady Frere
- Enoch Magijima
- Intsika Yethu / Cofimvaba
- Inxuba Yethemba / Cradock
- King Sabata Dalindyebo / Mthatha
- Komani / Queenstown
- Mbhashe / Dutywa
- Mhlontlo / Tsolo
- Raymond Mhlaba – Fort Beaufort
- Sakhisizwe / Elliot
- Senqu / Barkly East
- Tarkastad / Molteno
- Walter Sisulu / Burgersdorp
— Weather🌩️by AfriWX (@afriwx) December 8, 2020
Weather warnings come with ‘danger to life’ in Northern Cape
However, despite SAWS’ eagerness to play down the threat posed by thunderstorms in the Eastern Cape, the weather service hasn’t minced its words with the Northern Cape. The Khâi-Ma / Pofadder region – nestled between Upington and Springbok – is facing a Level 10 warning for veld fires on Tuesday 8 December.
That means that the likelihood of a raging wildfire is high, and the predicted damage is rated ‘severe’. Emergency response teams are already on standby, after SAWS confirmed there’s a strong possibility of the loss of ‘human or animal life’.
“Conditions are such that the FDI index is above 75. Under these conditions, fires may develop and spread rapidly resulting in damage to property and possible loss of human and/or animal life.”
“All personnel and equipment should be removed from fields. Fireteams, labour, and equipment are to be placed on full stand-by. At the first sign of smoke, every possible measure should be taken in order to bring the fire under control in the shortest possible time.”