Wednesday storm update

It’s still coming, although if you looked out of your Cape Town window this morning onto clear blue skies and sunshine, you might not believe it.

But a quick look at the beautiful graphics here shows a wonderful lilac arc of TPW – Total Precipitable Water – making its way steadily towards our little corner of the continent at about 75kph.

And while we’re desperate for the rain, we shouldn’t underestimate the effects of the incoming weather. Be prepared. Make sure your gutters and drains are clear of leaves and debris, stay inside tomorrow unless you really need to go out, make a plan to help your local homeless person/people.

UPDATE: The Haven Night Shelters have 15 shelters across Cape Town and the Western Cape. You can “buy a bed” at one of those shelters for a person who would otherwise be sleeping outside tonight by donating here.

And be aware of who to call if you need assistance.

Beagle owners have been warned to look out for conditions like Tail Drift and Ear Flap. Smaller dogs should be sufficiently weighted if you plan to take them out for walkies rather than flyies. Cats are on their own, and that’s just how they like it.

Rainfall estimates are still between 50-100mm, according to the SA Weather Service, which has most of the province on high alert (ironically also for fires in the high winds ahead of the rain):

And Windguru agrees, adding winds peaking around 100kph at lunchtime on Wednesday, with swells of 11.7m by early on Wednesday evening. A reminder to stay safe if you’re going anywhere down the Atlantic seaboard tomorrow, especially around high tide (1430). Getting that photo is pointless if you are then washed away before you can upload it.

Batten down your respective hatches, Cape Town. Stay safe, stay warm.

Everybody’s talking about…

** Tuesday morning UPDATE: click here **

…the moerse storm which is due to make landfall in Cape Town late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Big storms are always big news, but because of our ongoing drought, this one is definitely more eagerly anticipated than most. It’s also arguably the biggest since this puppy hit us in August 2008.

Here’s the latest satellite image of our friend off the South West coast right now (0800 Monday): that dark area with a horn on it like some sort of malevolent unicorn.

So – some numbers:

Currently (Monday morning), Windguru is predicting 53.8 welcome millimetres of rain beginning at 11pm on Tuesday and continuing until Thursday evening.

Storm enthusiast Bryn de Kocks says:

The Boland area in particular seems likely to receive large amounts of rain, especially towards the mountain catchment regions where rainfall is likely to be heavier due to orographic effects. We should be able to expect rainfall measurements anywhere from 50mm to 100mm in the far SW Cape and Boland area.

And given the extreme nature of the deep low pressure area right now, this seems appropriate:

The rain is great, but I’m looking forward to the wind, which will be topping 100kph (Wednesday lunchtime) and which will be playing its part in generating swells of 11 metres (Wednesday afternoon/evening). Worryingly, this coincides with high tide on Wednesday (14:28), and with the moon almost full, there’s likely to be some flooding along the west coast.

Still, have camera, may well venture out.

Thursday looks to be the coldest day of the week with a chilly maximum of 12°C. So if you’re in Cape Town, wrap up warm and do your bit to try to help those less fortunate. And remember your emergency numbers:

  • Flooding, blocked drains and service disruptions – 0860 103 089 or SMS 31373
  • Electricity outages/disruptions – 0860 103 089 or SMS 31220.
  • Road Closures, delays on roadways and deviations – 0800 65 64 63
  • Weather Reports – Cape Town Weather Office (021 934 0749/0831), weatherline (083 123 0500), listen to alerts on the radio and television or visit www.weathersa.co.za
  • Emergencies – 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone

And look out for updates on Twitter and Facebook.

Wevver

Much rain expected this afternoon and evening for Cape Town and along the Southern Cape coast. This is not unusual: it’s winter. In fact, it’s rather welcome, given the shortages of water we are currently suffering. It would just be nice if it wasn’t all being dumped on us at once.

weather1

And after today, we can expect a further cold front hitting Cape Town on Thursday.

This week’s dam levels were up 4.6% from last week (to 48.1%), but given the amount of rain forecast for the next few days, we can expect an even bigger increase this coming week.

Assuming there’s anything left of the country.

Brace! Brace!

NUUSFLITS/NEWSFLASH! It’s winter in the Cape and here comes another big cold front to remind us of that fact:

An intense cold front is expected to affect the Western Cape from Thursday night into Friday. The public and small stock farmers are advised that very cold conditions, gale force coastal winds and strong interior winds, heavy rain leading to localised flooding and very rough sea conditions can be expected.

Sounds like fun.

Windguru is predicting swells of up to 9.1m for both Cape Town and Cape Agulhas. Might be time to batten down your beagle, make sure you’ve got enough firewood in and charge up those camera batteries in anticipation. Stormchasing.co.za describes it as:

a powerful cold front… there has never been any doubt that it would be a significant weather event.

And hints at the chance of a light dusting of snow on Table Mountain early on Friday morning.
And I think we can all remember what happened here the last time that happened!

Keep warm

We’re off out for a longstanding dinner date this evening – the arrangement of which, incidentally, demonstrated exactly how busy modern life can be – but having checked the weather forecast, I thought that my local readers would appreciate this photo given the wet, windy conditions expected over the weekend.

It doesn’t move, I’ll admit. That’s because it’s a photo. If you want movement, you’ll have to head over here and buy the DVD. That also comes with “a selection of different styles of fire and authentic noises”.

Here at 6000.co.za, you get “my braai” and you have to imagine the sound of the bottle opener hard at work behind the camera. Red wine will be the order of the day, I would imagine.