News Column

Bitter winter

July 8, 2014

The good news is that no rain is expected until Friday - but the bad is that minimum temperatures in the city will be pretty minimal.

Yesterday morning's low was a chilly 6oC, and tomorrow should be 7oC, but the afternoons will get warmer, with 14oC today, 16oC tomorrow, and an almost tropical 19oC on Thursday.

Yesterday's minimum also dropped to 6oC, and in some areas there was a hoar frost, with ice crystals forming on car windscreens and grass blades. This type of frost forms on cold, clear nights when heat is lost into the open sky, causing objects to become colder than the surrounding air.

Forecaster Stella Nake, from the Cape Town Weather Office, said rain was expected on Friday afternoon into early Saturday. There might even be snow.

Over the weekend the city's disaster risk management centre worked around the clock to provide relief to those affected by heavy downpours and plummeting temperatures.

"While water levels were a challenge as a result of high levels of rain in a very short period, no structures were flooded and no evacuations were necessary," said disaster risk management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes.

About 25 689 people from 6 904 households in Delft, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, Nyanga, Philippi, Old Crossroads, Somerset West, Strand and Valhalla Park were helped during the city's relief efforts.

More than 25 000 meals, 16 904 blankets and 945 baby packs were distributed to affected families.

While residents in Delft, Philippi and Wallacedene mopped up water in their dwellings on Sunday afternoon, it remained cold and damp.

Families lit fires to ward off the cold, with some sharing one duvet between a family of three.

Heavy downpours last Friday brought flooding to parts of the Civic Centre. Chapman'sPeak Drive and the Table Mountain Cableway were closed for safety reasons on Saturday.

There were 24 road accidents reported from the start of Friday until Sunday. Cape Town Traffic Services spokeswoman Maxine Jordaan said the driver of a Toyota died at 7.15pm on Friday and three others were seriously injured after their car collided with a bus between Robert Sobukwe Road and Symphony Way in Bellville.

The Ghost Squad arrested a woman for reckless and negligent driving after she was clocked at 240km/h on the N2 on Saturday.

Cape Argus

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Source: Cape Argus (South Africa)

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