National

Snow in the city delights Jo'burg residents

Nickolaus Bauer

Snowflakes continue to fall across Gauteng as the province experiences its greatest snowfall in recent years.

Snow at Wits University in Johannesburg. (Stephen Hoffe)

The South African Weather Services (SAWS) confirmed snow had fallen across Vereeniging, Pretoria and Johannesburg.

  • For a slideshow of pictures, click here.

"It's difficult to gauge how much snow has fallen as we don't really measure snowfall in South Africa, but it's more than we have had since 2008," Venetia Phakula, forecaster at the South African Weather Service, told the Mail & Guardian.

Snow is a rare occurrence in Gauteng, with snowfall having been experienced in May 1956, August 1962, June 1964, September 1981 and on June 27 2007.

September 1981 has the greatest snowfall on record, with statistics showing snowfall accumulating up to 10 centimetres across the province.

SAWS predicts the snowfall to cease completely during the early hours of Wednesday morning as temperatures marginally rise.

The spectacle saw residents brave the cold weather and head outdoors, snapping images of the spectacle on their digital cameras and mobile phones.

"It's not massively unexpected," environmental journalist Simon Gear told the M&G.

"If you have an extreme cold front uniting with a bit of moisture in the air, science dictates it will snow."

Gear attributed the current snowstorms experienced in Johannesburg to a cold front emanating from the Western Cape and travelling up the escarpment onto the Highveld.

"It's unusual as you can see from the amount of residents gawking at the snow falling, but it's not something to be alarmed about," Gear added.

The frosty weather offered inspiration for a few attempts at humour on Twitter too.

@ComradeAMU: Due to the snowfall in joburg, the ANC has declared a state of emergency. The country is turning white again.

@RianVanHeerden: Snowing ... Or as ANC Youth League calls it "the attack of the miniature whites ... "

@lesterkk: The DA in Cape Town must be investigated for their lack of delivery of snow! This would never happen in Europe!

@themba_m: I am so excited. It is really snowing in Sandton, this is massive. The President must issue a congratulatory message.

@TashJoeZA: Meanwhile, in Narnia, Queen Jadis is rolling her eyes.


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