Rain is predicted for much of the country for the weekend ahead. According to the South African Weather Service (Saws), widespread rain is predicted over the eastern half of the country, a welcome relief for the farming community however, the forecaster has warned that this will also lead to flooding and overflowing rivers.
Saws said the weekend's weather will be relatively settled, with just a small chance of thunderstorms over some of the eastern provinces on Friday and Saturday.
"The Western and Eastern Capes will not be directly affected by this weather system. Weather conditions will deteriorate by Sunday as the cut-off low manifests itself over the northern parts of the Northern Cape, introducing marked instability into the atmosphere, to drive widespread showers and thundershowers.
“As tropical air begins to stream southward over Botswana and South Africa, conditions will become progressively cloudy to overcast," the forecaster.
Saws said rain is predicted over the North West, the Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and in KwaZulu-Natal between Friday and Saturday.
"Heavy rainfall is likely to occur in many parts of the above-mentioned provinces, elevating the risk of flooding as well as river flooding," Saws said.
The weekend's weather is due to a cut-off low is expected to develop, in the upper air of the atmosphere, over the central interior during the latter half of the weekend.
According to Saws, a surface trough is expected to begin intensifying, along with the deepening upper-air cut-off low.
Saws explained that the combination of these two features is well-known to have the potential to drive episodes of widespread, often heavy, rain over southern Africa.
“This brings with it a stream of tropically sourced moisture, drawn southwards over the central and eastern interior of South Africa. Under the influence of the circulation associated with the surface trough and upper-air system respectively. Tropically sourced air is well known to be associated with rainfall of a potentially heavy, widespread nature,” Saws said.
Whilst this phenomenon will ultimately lead to increased dam levels, the risk of river flooding and associated road closures and general traffic disruption will remain particularly high.
This system will start clearing from the west, during the course of Tuesday, although areas of heavier rainfall may still linger over KZN, eSwatini and the lowveld regions of Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
There will be light rainfall over the same areas on Wednesday however, the upper air cut-off low will have moved off the country completely by this time.