July 27, 2011. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that a rather serious cold front has arrived in Durban and the western parts of KwaZulu-Natal in particular.
Latest!: Weather will clear up and a warm a bit tomorrow, according to SA Weather website (see more below) But it isn’t going to be baggies and bikini weather. High for the rest of the week of 23C in Durban.
N11 alternative route from KZN to Gauteng getting jammed up as motorists seek an alternative route, hoping to avoid Van Reenen’s Pass.
The front made landfall in the Western Cape at the weekend and moved up to cover KwaZulu-Natal, with snow expected even in parts of south Gauteng and snow blanketing Nottingham Road, Mooi River and Newcastle in the Midlands, while Van Reenen’s Pass is snowed in.
Meanwhile motorists who were trying to get over Van Reenen’s Pass on Tuesday (July 26) were stranded in their vehicles and were stuck overnight. The AA has advised the motorists to stay in their vehicles and try to stay warm. They have been urged not to get out of their vehicles and try to walk to a warmer place, as hypothermia will set in quickly in sub zero temperatures.
It’s hoped that this vital link road will be reopened later today (27th), although more cold weather and heavy rains are predicted for large parts of KZN.
In the picture: Rawdons Hotel near Nottingham Road in the KZN Midlands.
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Comments from Mooi River resident Casey Harvey on Tuesday, July 26: “The snow started to fall yesterday around lunch time and by 5pm it was falling thick on the ground . . . It’s’ very thick on the farms, around knee deep and ankle deep in town. Slowly starting to melt now, but it looks like a fairytale . . . A Winter wonderland! Everyone is outside building snowmen in their gardens and having snowball fights . . . It’s amazing and so much fun!! Just freeeeezing.”
Kate Raath: “My hubby is in Mooi River. Says it looks like switzerland where he was a few weeks ago.”
See our picture gallery from Nottingham Road and the KZN Midlands below.
Reports in of a ship that drifted north from Durban after breaking its mooring in the extreme weather and is now stranded really close to Ballito. Read our report for pictures, video and reports on the rescue operation of The Phoenix at Sheffield Beach.
The Ridge Online has first-hand accounts of the most violent snowstorm to have hit the Eastern Cape in decades . . . this weather system then moved north, impacting on roads and traffic at Van Reenen’s Pass and in the section of road between Kokstad and Mount Ayliff, and between Nottingham Road and Van Reenen’s in particular.
On Sunday there was wind, Monday there was rain . . . and reports of snow at Nottingham Road, from that well-known social centre of the Notties Hotel. Hope Charlotte keeps herself nicely wrapped up. (For those unsure about just who Charlotte is, follow the link here for more info).
From the SA Weather website
Weather forecast for Durban
Tuesday, July 26: Thunderclouds, max temp of 18C, min temp 11C
Wednesday, July 27: Cloudy and rain, max temp 20C, min temp 9C
Thursday, July 28: Sunny, max temp 22C, min temp 9C
More picture galleries: The Ridge at the Durban July 2011.
The poor old traffic cops and emergency services will no doubt be kept well on their toes as the wet weather takes its toll on the province’s roads.
The temperature will dip to -5C at Underberg tonight. Forecast says very cold with snowfalls.
Heavy rainfall is expected to blanket the greater Durban area for much of Tuesday, July 26 and Wednesday 27.