First time in 18 years, Port Elizabeth records coldest August day

The snow is expected to last until Wednesday or Thursday, after which it will start to melt. Photo: Martin Schultz

This comes as large areas of the Eastern Cape were battered by a cold front, with disruptive snow falling in high-lying areas.

With a maximum daytime temperature of 10.5 degrees Celsius, it was the coldest August day in Port Elizabeth in years, the SA Weather Service (SAWS) announced on Tuesday evening.

But Garth Sampson, from the Port Elizabeth office of SAWS, said that the record for Port Elizabeth was 9.3 degrees Celsius, measured in August 2002.

This comes as large areas of the Eastern Cape were battered by a cold front, with disruptive snow falling in high-lying areas.

The R61 road between Cradock and Graaff Reinet was closed to traffic on Tuesday morning as snow caused disruptions on the road.

Three trucks were stuck on Tuesday on the opposite ends of the Wapadsberg pass, which is notorious for snowfalls.

Eastern Cape transport authorities were on high alert and monitoring mountain passes as wet and cold weather conditions continued to hit the province, said transport spokesperson Unathi Binqose.

Kevin Rae, of SAWS, said: “In particular, some rainfall along the Southern Cape coast and adjacent interior could be heavy, leading to localised flooding.

“Localities such as George, Plettenberg Bay and Jeffrey’s Bay are likely areas, regarding the risk of heavy rainfall.”

Binqose said vehicles were able to move after the snow melted around midday, but reports indicated that temperatures would plummet sharply overnight.

“We continue keeping a very close eye on our high-lying roads and mountain passes. The temperatures have improved, but we may have to close the road again.”

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