Cape Town rain joy short-lived as Western Cape winter rainfall expected late

2017-03-15 09:42 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Cape Town - Capetonians are delighting in the rainfall experienced since the early hours of Wednesday, 15 March, but the "situation in the Western Cape remains critical", warns the SA Weather Service. 

According to Kate Turner at the South African Weather Service in Cape Town, Wednesday's cold front will move over Cape Town towards the South Coast of the Western Cape by lunchtime. 

SEE PICS: Rain falls in drought-hit Cape Town, caution advised as traffic takes a beating

The chances of rain in the Western Cape will be gone by Wednesday evening, while the central and eastern parts of the country can still expect afternoon thundershowers. 

SEE THE FULL WEATHER UPDATE HERE: Weather Update: Gale force winds and severe thunderstorms expected in SA

Water shortage threatening 

Of more concern says Turner, is the fact that the seasonal winter rainfall for the Western Cape is only expected to hit SA in mid-winter this year, following an "average to below-average dry season leading up to winter". 

Turner says she fears that "the amount of rain expected in the season before the Western Cape's winter rainfall season might not be enough to carry us through."

The worry from the SA Weather Service comes as the City of Cape Town has announced that there remains about 105 days of usable water left in the Western Cape's dams at current consumption levels. 

The City on Monday, 13 March, warned that dam levels have dropped to 30%, which is 1,5% down from a week ago.

SEE: Drought Crisis: Western Cape countdown to winter as 105 days of usable water left

According to the winter rain forecast and the water consumption date, there is a strong concern that the Western Cape might run out of usable water by the end of June, since the winter rainfall is only expected to arrive mid-July.  

"The situation is critical," Turner says. 

The autumn rainfall on Wednesday is certainly welcomed in the drought-stricken province but is likely to only amount to 2.5mm to 5mm. "The mountainous areas might see up to 10mm," Turner told Traveller24. 

She says the SA Weather Service remains hopeful that the dry conditions ahead might change to bring more rain than what they are expecting at the moment. 

This is what the rain looked like on Wednesday morning - 

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