First snow of 2020 recorded as lockdown SA holds breath for ‘coming storm’ of winter

First snow of 2020 recorded as lockdown SA holds breath for ‘coming storm’ of winter

Picture: Storm Report SA Facebook

The health minister has warned that the onset of colder weather will complicate the fight against Covid-19, and that a ‘devastating storm’ may now lie ahead.

Gauteng residents and others around the country may experience a cold Easter weekend following the first snow that hit the Matroosberg in the Western Cape on Monday.

The Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve shared pictures of the first snow on Monday and frost-covered grass on Wednesday morning.

It said: “Beautiful morning. Frost on the lawn and sunshine behind the garden. Beautiful winters morning. Nice and fresh outside, working with tools is not recommended until about 9ish.”

Vereeniging recorded Gauteng’s first single digit overnight low of 9°C on Sunday.

The onset of winter may be cause for concern for the country, which is in the middle of a lockdown to fight the spread of Covid-19.

Last week,  Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that the challenge of the winter months stretching ahead could not be discounted in trying to slow the rate of infection, since the virus is known to spread more rapidly and cause more severe symptoms in colder weather.

“Next month the flu season will start and these will flood our hospitals and clinics. This small growth in numbers means we maybe currently experiencing the calm before a heavy and devastating storm. There may not be many warnings before the pounding descends.

“We need each person to make it a personal fight to save our nation,” he added.

According to Storm Report SA, the cold zone has moved from the Cape to the east and northeast, affecting Mpumalanga, central Limpopo, and southeast Zimbabwe.

“The sudden formation of the Low ‘LS’ is being filled with dry air (pale brown shading) so will be unable to generate clouds and showers. However, tomorrow (Thursday) it will begin pulling humid air from the north into northern Cape, Free State and Lesotho where thunder showers will result,” it said.

The South African Weather Service also issued a watch for rain and thunder on Wednesday.

(Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde)

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