Snow often falls in the region where AfriSki Mountain Resort in Lesotho is located.
But the current cold front sending shivers throughout South Africa and Lesotho means the resort bracing for below-freezing temperatures of between -14°C and -15°C, said AfriSki slopes, snowmaking and lifts manager Martin Schultz.
Schultz said the region experienced light snowfall from Monday night to around 3am on Tuesday morning. Snowfall was accompanied by severe winds of up to 80km/h, at an elevation of 3,000m.
Due to this, not much snow stuck to the ground. But Schultz’s definition of “not much snow” and that of a Joburg resident is quite different, judging by the video he took while crunching through fresh snow on Tuesday morning.
The snow is expected to last until Wednesday or Thursday, after which it will start to melt.
As soon as the cold front passes, temperatures are expected to drop significantly, which Schultz said would make “a fresh night up in the mountains of Lesotho”.
Don’t pack away your jackets – yet
Although the country is itching to welcome warmer weather, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) advised not to spring clean closets just yet.
SAWS forecaster Celeste Fourie told The Citizen that there is a 30% chance of rainfall expected on Tuesday, but from this evening onwards, skies are expected to clear quickly.
Gauteng will experience slightly colder temperatures as the cold front moves on, but the threat of rain was more of flash in the pan for Johannesburg.
The cold front has hit parts of the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape in full force, but Fourie explained that by the time it reached Gauteng, it lost a lot of momentum.
A second cold front started developing on Tuesday morning, she added, but data indicates that this too will mostly affect coastal regions, and the second cold front is not expected to bring any extra snow. It will mostly affect the Eastern Cape, she said.
“Usually we do get a final last cold snap with cool temperatures in the first week of September. But I would say people mustn’t be too eager to pack jackets in the back of the closet.”