The last showers of rain that hit the Mother City has boosted dam levels to 31.8%, a 2.0% increase from the previous week. We can look forward in anticipation to 6 more days of rain, starting this Thursday.
The much-needed rain will bring with it a cold front, which will last until Friday. Thursday’s rain is expected to be exceptionally heavy, and will reach volumes of up to 50mm in a short period of time.
Unlike the rains over this past weekend, the downpours ahead are predicted to drench the entire western coast, with only the Garden Route and Overberg regions missing out on the showers. A full 48 hours of intense rain and gloomy weather is predicted from Thursday to Friday, giving the city a total of 59mm as the weekend approaches. Areas such as Ceres, Paarl and Worcester are expected to receive the bulk of the downpours with volumes reaching up to 110mm.
When it comes to rain the first thing on our minds is always the catchment areas and better news could not come sooner as Theewaterskloof dam (currently at the lowest levels of all the dams) is expected to receive a total of 48mm by the end of the week. Both the Steenbras Upper and Lower dams are to receive between 50 – 60mm, as well as the Clanwilliam dam with 35mm.
Peter Johnson, lecturer at the University of Cape Town and climatologist, said that that the coming rain will cover the catchment areas. “A good amount of rain could fall, which will be very good news for dams,” he said.
MEDIA RELEASE: Please be advised of the intense cold front resulting in wet and cold weather for the WC 14-15 June 2018 and Gauteng, FS + Mpu will be affected in max temp. Visit https://t.co/82W3dwn2P1 for full view of the document. Follow us for updates & Take care. @ReenvalSA pic.twitter.com/MNUGZqk2gS
— SA Weather Service (@SAWeatherServic) June 12, 2018
He warned that intense rains, which fall very quickly, could cause localised flooding this week.
Johnson said there is no guarantee that the rain will increase as winter approaches, and that the current rain fall is very similar to that received in 2016, which was also a drought year. “There are no guarantees about anything, but statistically we don’t expect the rainfall this year to be below normal. We also don’t expect it to be very much above normal,” he said.
Commenting on the iceberg proposal that the government is currently looking into as an option for relief regarding the water crisis.
He said that although the proposal is still in the planning stages, he considers it to be a viable and valuable option.
“I would say that we should certainly consider it in the future and the city should consider the proposal more seriously. I think there needs to be more investigation to the ins and outs as well as the costs of the scheme, but I do think it is a good scheme,” Johnson said. “It is nice because you only use it when you need it, and when the city foresees a shortage of water they can arrange the iceberg. It will arrive in a few months to provide relief, making it a very convenient option.”