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.

Rain approaching

Cape Town City Council has forewarned of some nasty weather approaching this evening and through tomorrow, including heavy rain and gale force winds.

Lovely.

Of course, winter is on its way and we need to accept that winter in the Cape of Storms brings… well… storms. This incoming cold front will be the first of many in the coming months, but because it’s the first, the City has reminded residents of a few safety tips for dealing with the inclement weather:

Residents can help mitigate the potential impact by:

  • staying away from beachfront areas
  • maintaining a safe following distances on the roads
  • ensuring that the drainage systems on their properties are working properly
  • raising the floor level of their homes to minimise the risk of flooding

Yes, some are easier to do than others. For example, if you live on the beachfront, you’re going to struggle with that first one. However, if you live on the beachfront in a beachfront apartment, you’re already sorted for the fourth one, so it’s all swings and roundabouts really, isn’t it?

Windguru is predicting about 40mm of rain for the next 24 hours (which our meteorological expert describes as “quite a bit”), and winds of about 60kph (“properly breezy”), so I think we’re all a little better informed now.
And, after the near 30ºC highs of yesterday, we’re looking at 15ºC for tomorrow.

Saturday looks grey and damp, before a return to more pleasant weather on Sunday, meaning that you can head back to the beachfront and lower your floors again.

Happy days.

Note: The City’s 107 Public Emergency Call centre can be accessed by dialing 107 from a Telkom line or 021 480 7700 from a cell phone.

Satellite image of Cape Town cold front

Here’s an satellite image of the huge cold front hitting Cape Town right now:

2013_9_19_1200_MSG3_1_S1_grid

That swathe of white stuff a few thousand kilometres long is what’s making all this miserable weather. Looking round the corner, I’m glad I’m not just off the coast of Argentina though. Eww.

Cape Town storm: emergency numbers

Apparently, it’s going to be a full on nasty afternoon and night weather wise: cold, wet, windy. A typical winter storm as we… er… head towards the end of winter, then.

The City seem more concerned about this one than usual though and have issued several warnings via radio, TV, the interweb and social media. We’re looking at snowfalls, landslides and – mystifyingly, “high fire danger” in the Karoo today.

And yes, probably snow on Table Mountain. Just much rain here right now though.

Anyway, it’s never a bad idea to have some emergency numbers to hand, should there be an emergency and you want to tell someone about it, so here you go:

  • 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

The sooner you phone, the sooner help will arrive.

Bearing in mind that last line, I’ve given each of the numbers a quick call already: it pays to be prepared.

You can also follow the City on twitter or visit their Disaster Management website.
Also on twitter, Cape Town’s Freeway Management Service is very useful.