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Icy weather grips Northern Cape

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The South African Weather Service has issued warnings about the potential loss of livestock and crops, as well as disruptions to traffic due to cold weather affecting large areas of the Northern Cape.

Snow has been predicted to fall in Calvinia, Sutherland, De Aar, Victoria West, Noupoort and Vanwyksvlei. File picture: Brendan Magaar, Independent Newspapers

THE SOUTH African Weather Service has issued warnings of the loss of livestock and crops and disruptions to traffic as cold weather grips large areas of the Northern Cape.

Snow is predicted to fall in Calvinia, Sutherland, De Aar, Victoria West, Noupoort and Vanwyksvlei.

Roads and railways will be closed where traffic is likely to be disrupted due to the cold, wet and windy conditions.

Roads in the Province may be obstructed by fallen trees while several mountain passes have been closed.

Residents woke up to sub-zero temperatures on Monday morning, while schools prepared to reopen for the third term on Tuesday.

The maximum temperature will rise to 8 degrees Celsius in Kimberley, with night-time temperatures dropping to an icy -3°C.

Tuesday’s temperatures are predicted to rise to daytime highs of 16°C and -4°C overnight.

Warmer weather is expected from Wednesday with a maximum of 22°C and a minimum of 1°C. A further drop in temperatures is forecast from Sunday.

Sutherland is experiencing temperatures of -7°C today and a maximum of 3°C. It is predicted that Tuesday will reach a maximum of 4°C and -8°C during the evening.

There is a high risk of hypothermia due to very cold conditions and snow in the Karoo Hoogland and the mountain peaks near Victoria West, Noupoort and Vanwyksvlei.

The weather service also warned of damaging winds in the Ubuntu, Umsobomvu, Richmond and Renosterberg areas where loose debris, dust storms and localised runaway fires could cause widespread damage.

An advisory was issued for wet, windy and cold conditions in Garies, Calvinia, Sutherland, Alexander Bay and Springbok with the possible flooding of roads and low-lying settlements due to expected heavy rains.

The public has been urged to avoid going to the beach because of high waves, strong winds and difficulty in navigation at sea.

Small harbours, ports and coastal infrastructure are at risk of damage in Kleinzee, Hondeklip Bay and Port Nolloth where there is a risk to medium to large vessels of dragging anchors and breaking mooring lines.

Farmers have been encouraged to safeguard vulnerable livestock and crops in Kimberley, Hotazel, Upington, Warrenton, Noupoort, Kuruman, Barkly West, Jan Kempdorp, De Aar, Groblershoop, Augrabies Falls, Hopetown, Victoria West, Petrusville, Noupoort, Vanwyksvlei and Griquastad due to cold-related illness.

There is also a danger of high-sided motor vehicles rolling over in the Karoo because of strong winds.

Significant damage to informal settlements and temporary structures is expected.

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