Thu, 27 June 2019

A barrage of winter storms are lining up the Cape for a pummelling, with one about to strike, and another two to make landfall within the next five days, writes Spike.


WEST MEETS EAST: A solid east swell will collide with an oncoming SW swell. Photo Windy

Gee. It never rains, but it pours, the saying goes. Basically that means too much of a good thing can be bad, so to speak. Well for Capetonians, in terms of the rain, too much is good for the dams.

And at last, we can say that the Cape winter is finally living up to its name. Over the next week, we are getting a proper spurt of what we used to expect of our weather in these here parts. We're getting back-to-back frontal blitzes and a deluge of rain that engorges the dams with intravaneous rations of rainwater from tonight right through next week.

The big storm last weekend caused widespread damage and flooding and a huge swell (okay it peaked in the night so hard to say how big it actually got!). But there was enough rain in that tempest - and consistent runoff in the days after it - to push the Cape Town dam levels up by three percent, from 48 percent to 51 percent (this morning).


GOOD RAIN AHEAD: The storm tonight brings a solid burst of rain to the Cape Town catchment.

Accumulative rainfall over the next 10 days, which includes tonight's heavy burst of rain some time after 10pm and straddling midnight, is a promising 50mm in the catchment areas, with a front on Sunday afternoon and another on Tuesday adding to the total. So hold thumbs that come Friday next week, we'll be closing in on 60% total dam levels, and yet another front due next weekend.

In terms of swell, we are about to get smashed by day after day of solid surf. In fact, after it builds from a small 3-4' swell this morning, to a solid 8 foot windswell tonight, the surf does not drop below eight foot for the next week!

The biggest days ahead are tomorrow (10-15ft), while the weekend is dik too, at least 8-10ft both days. Tuesday next week is solid too. Sadly for Kapenaars, you get howling NW winds pretty much every day, so it's a bit miff although Muizenberg is about to enter a purple patch of waves.


MORE PURPLE: The storm today is not quite as strong as last weekend, but it's staunch enough.

And of course, further afield, east of Agulhas and up into the Eastern Cape, the surf pumps for a week straight, punctuated by a couple of harsh Westerly busters and plummeting temperatures to keep you on your toes. In the lead up to the Corona JBay Open, there is an absolute glut of surf, with waves every day, and some solid ones - even at JBay, when the rest of the coast washes out in a wild and woolly burst of mangled ocean.

The other curious thing is a huge east swell that is hitting the east coast. In the Eastern Cape, for example, particularly towards Slumtown East London and well up the Wild Coast into KZN, there are swells in the 8-10ft range at short period 10-11 second periods from a huge burst of High pressure winds out to sea. Sadly, the further up the coast you go, the more unfavourable the winds are, with stiff onshores today and tomorrow in KZN, a fresh S going SE on Saturday and more stiff onshore on Sunday, which nullifies the chance to enjoy that east swell.

But ooooh, next Tuesday and Wednesday? Now we're talking. Clean long range SW swell and kiff winds for KZN and perhaps the Kei. Happy days!

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