Cold front sweeps across SA, Lesotho

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Cold weather in South Africa, and Lesotho

by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SEVERELY cold weather is forecast across Lesotho and South Africa as the two countries battle extreme weather patterns.

The countries are in the Southern African region that is among the regions worst impacted by the climate change crisis in the world.

In recent months, Lesotho and South Africa as well as other countries in the southern regional bloc have been suffering heatwaves, characterised by excessively high temperatures.

In an extreme turn of events, cold fronts are sweeping through.

Subzero weather is forecast across parts of central, southern and western South Africa and the entire Lesotho.

The South African Weather Service has warned of the front effective Sunday (yesterday) bringing alongside chilly conditions, heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, strong winds and rough seas across much of the region, as well as some snowfall over higher ground.

The Lesotho Meteorological Service has warned of possible snowfall in elevated parts of the country through at least July 10.

Cold temperatures are likely across Lesotho over the coming days.

Meanwhile, in the two countries, it is feared sustained heavy rainfall could trigger flooding in low-lying communities near rivers, streams, and creeks.

Urban flooding is also possible in developed areas with easily overwhelmed stormwater drainage systems. Flooding was reported in parts of Cape Town on Sunday. More than 4 000 people were left homeless and about 1 000 homes destroyed.

In both countries, it is feared floodwaters and debris flows may render some bridges, rail networks, or roadways impassable, impacting overland travel in and around affected areas.

The Eastern, Northern and Western Cape provinces of South Africa are projected to bear the brunt.

Meanwhile, some countries in Southern Africa, mostly Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe are enduring their worst droughts in years.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reports that the lean season is expected to begin earlier than normal across the Southern African region.

In some countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a combination of extremely high temperatures-induced drought, and heavy rainfall, disrupted the agricultural sector.

Also in the region, conflict perpetrated by Islamist insurgents is contributing to the food crisis.

– CAJ News

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