25 May 2005

Drakensberg residents braced for heavy snowfalls

Drakensberg residents are bracing themselves for their first snowfalls as well as a long cold winter.

Food and beverage manager Anton Massey, of the Sani Pass Hotel in the Drakensberg, said temperatures last night dropped to a chilly 3°C and on Tuesday morning the mercury registered 5°C, but it is expected to get colder.

"A little snow fell on the mountaintop which can be seen from the hotel, but we are expecting heavier snowfalls this evening."

Massey added that back-up generators have been checked, extra firewood stocked up on and extra blankets requested to cope with the cold.

"Local residents have said we can expect a very long winter this year with heavy snowfalls."

Heavy snowfalls are expected on Friday or Saturday as a cold front hits the province. The Drakensberg will reach a minimum of 4°C and a maximum of 16°C on Wednesday and Thursday with an expected cold front with heavy snowfalls for the weekend.

Meanwhile, Durban residents are trying to stay on their feet on Tuesday and not get blown away by the strong south-westerly winds.

A maximum temperature of 22°C is expected on Tuesday with a 60 percent chance of rain expected on Tuesday night.

Wednesday will be partly cloudy and will reach a minimum of 14°C and a high of 23°C.

Thursday will be partly cloudy becoming fine, reaching a minimum of 14°C and a maximum of 26°C.

A spokesperson for Game at the Pavilion said a mad rush for electric blankets and heaters was expected on Tuesday and would continue in the winter months.

He said customers generally monitor the seriousness of the cold weather before investing in a heater or electric blanket.

"But we are definitely expecting an increase in sales," he said.

Source: www.iol.co.za


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