The South African Weather Service is predicting cold and wet weather, as well as snow in certain parts, in the latter half of the week, starting today (SUBS:: 16 August).
The Weather Service says temperatures could plummet to as low as 5 degrees Celsius in parts, with the rain and snow possibly leading to the closure of some mountain passes, and roads, and cause a disruption to traffic.
The Automobile Association (AA) advises all motorists to monitor the weather, especially if they are planning a longer trip, and to adjust their plans, or their routes, accordingly.
“Many people regard the prospect of snow as an opportunity to experience an adventure with their families. But things can wrong very quickly in such circumstances, particularly if drivers are unfamiliar with how to drive in these conditions. We therefore advise motorists to steer clear of these areas unless there is a compelling reason why they should be travelling there,” the AA warns.
The Association says drivers must keep abreast of the latest weather reports in their area, and keep tabs on the conditions of the roads they are planning on using. It urges all motorists to monitor radio traffic bulletins, and social media, to ensure they know what to expect when they get on the road.
It says motorists caught up in bad weather, or who are stuck in traffic because roads are closed, must remain calm, and not attempt to get around the delays by taking unnecessary risks.
“If you are planning on a longer trip through areas which have been identified as possible “cold” spots, take extra blankets, water, and perhaps even food in your vehicle in case you are stuck for an indeterminate period. Also make sure your cellphone is charged, in case you need to call for help. However, our most important piece of advice is to avoid travelling on these routes if you can,” the AA says.
The AA adds that in areas where there won’t be snow or rain, temperatures are also expected to drop significantly. Motorists must ensure items such as their air-condition systems, windscreen wipers, and defoggers are working properly.
“Only a short cold snap is being predicted, but a vehicle that isn’t properly geared to deal with the cold, can become problematic even in the shortest period so ensure you, and your vehicle, are well prepared before heading out,” the AA concludes.