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
  • Emergencies – 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone

And look out for updates on Twitter and Facebook.

Wales, last year

Incoming from a correspondent – a photograph which includes a lighthouse.


Regular readers will know that I’m a sucker for a photograph which includes a lighthouse, and this is no exception. I’m told that this is Porthcawl in the midst of a 2015 winter storm. Whether that’s correct or not (looking at images having googled ‘Porthcawl’ would suggest that it is), it’s an amazing picture.

While all the focus is drawn to the dramatic, angrily competing seas centre stage, the nearly insignificant red light of the lighthouse plays a wonderful cameo on the left.

Very nice.

Thanks A Correspondent 


It’s Sunday, and I may still be around. I’m not 100% sure, because I’m writing this on Saturday and there’s a rather large storm headed towards Agulhas this evening. We’re talking 90kph winds and plenty (or more) of rain.

It’s already breezy, but I like this sort of weather, and I’m not the only one:


We watched this guy having fun in the surf near the Mees Suidelike Punt. I suspect that tomorrow’s (er… that’s now today’s) forecast wind may be a bit much for kiteboarding. It may actually be a bit much for anything other than red wine and a roaring fire, but fortunately, we have those bases well covered.

Cape Storm

What an amazing weekend. There was wind, hail, rain, sunshine. There were waves, floods, brooding clouds, open fires and numerous glasses of brandy.


While the subject matter for great photography was obviously all there, the weather and/or the light, together with a distinct lack of skill (perhaps exacerbated by the brandy?), made it difficult to translate it into pixels. Doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun trying though: here’s the flickr set with some stuff I did manage to get.

Also now up in the Stuff from June set – photos from Giraffe House.