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Gale force winds, icy weather : Cold front hits western and southern coast

A cold front has hit the western and southern coasts, bringing with it gale force winds, icy weather and rough seas, with gigantic swells, that are expected to last the weekend. The cold front made landfall on Saturday afternoon.

On Friday night, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) warned of wave heights of six to nine meters (20 to 30 feet) between Lambert’s Bay and Plettenberg Bay. According to the weather service, gale force winds of 80- 85 km/h are expected along the south-west and south coasts and adjacent interior. High seas are expected to continue until Sunday evening.

It predicted heavy rain, which may lead to localised flooding in places over the western mountains, where rain of between 25 and 35mm is expected. As much as 50 mm is expected in some places.

Marine forecaster and Wavescapes founder Steve Pike told News24 on Saturday that residents could expect to see massive swells on Saturday night and into Sunday morning. He estimated waves of around nine to 12 meters (30 to 40 foot), and some as high as 18 meters (60 foot) in certain areas.

“The storm behind the swell is a million square miles of wind. It’s double the size of South Africa and it’s coming right onto us,” he said.

Because of this, the waves are likely to be of immense power and size. Pike suggested that ships or boats take shelter before conditions peak overnight.

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