Lily QP

I’m hopefully somewhere up in the hot, dry North, so here’s a moister, more verdant image from a beagle walk last weekend:

For all that the weather is on the turn, Cape Town is still pretty soggy underfoot. The beagle went knee deep into the mud, but that was ok, because we didn’t take my car down to the Green Belt for our wander.

Just a reminder

You occasional/annual (when I remember) reminder that:

“There is snow on the mountains because it is cold.”


“It is cold because there is snow on the mountains.”

It seems to be a Cape Town old wives tale that the snow on the local mountains is somehow responsible for the chilly temperatures in the city.

Here’s the view from our bedroom (long lens, yes) yesterday.

But this isn’t a tricky “chicken or egg” situation. It get cold and then it snows.

Not the other way around.

Wet one

The big cold front which was expected to drop in at about 9pm this evening has – according to the word on the street* – already hit Hout Bay.

It’s horrible here

were the exact words that were used, prompting me to immediately type (and then tactfully delete) my reply:

I know. What’s the weather like?

And I do know.

But looking over that way, it does look as if the apocalypse might finally – mercifully – be upon us.

Thus, tonight will be full on Wuthering Heights stuff. Elemental. Cold, windy and wet, with Catherine’s ghost knocking on the window up to 50mm of rain forecast in the next 24 hours. And there’s another 50 on the way early next week.

This isn’t unusual for Cape Town in late autumn, but it is rather unpleasant. The draining effect of the cold, dreary weather is exacerbated by loadshedding, and in turn exacerbates it right back by increasing demand for more heating and light. In addition (of course), solar panels don’t help at all when there’s no sun, so backup batteries are charged from the grid (when it’s on) and that adds to demand and… er… exacerbates loadshedding.

A recipe for misery.

Except of course that every cloud (and I’m looking specifically about those ones rapidly approaching from the South Atlantic) has a silver lining. It wasn’t so long ago that we didn’t have any water at all in this corner of the continent, and we’d do well to remember the stress that little episode caused.

If (and it is always an if) the forecasts are correct, then we could be looking at anything up to 8 or maybe even 10% added to the dams by this time next week.

So always look on the bright side of life (unless you’re in one of those 4½ hour slots of darkness, during which time, there is no bright available).

* a Whatsapp message from the horse-riding instructor.

Here we go again

Gorgeous pre-frontal skies in Cape Town this morning can only mean one thing: a front is coming.

The hint is in the name, see?

And yes, it does look like tomorrow’s weather is going to be pretty ropey, then we’re in for a couple of very chilly days before Sunday, when… well… it’s looking positively biblical.

The weather apps agree on the timing, but are all at odds over the actual amount of rainfall. We’re looking at anything from 10-20mm tomorrow and anything from 22-50mm on Sunday. It’ll be cold and windy as well, just to add injury to injury.
Don’t expect daily highs of anything more than 15°C*.
Do expect winds gusting to 85+kph.

All of this will put additional strain on the electricity supply, which doesn’t even do well when everything is peachy, so it’s full-on recipe for disaster stuff. Ugh.

Thus, it would seem likely that tomorrow will be our first fire of the season. For the record, our first fire of last winter was 25th April. This is probably the most predictable weather-related thing that’s ever occurred in Cape Town.

* we’ve been down “15 isn’t cold road” many times before. don’t force me to make you to turn right onto “well 30 isn’t hot avenue”.

Cape Town this weekend

I might have been a bit down on Cape Town and SA in my last couple of posts. (They’re here and here.) Potentially justifiably so, but it would be wrong not to balance things up a bit.

Because this weekend, Cape Town hosted the inaugural Cape Town e-prix, hosted the ICC Women’s T20World Cup Final, hosted The Ocean Race in yachting,

EDIT: And the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s Championship

…and had several (or more) cruise ships visiting:

That’s quite literally billions and billions of Rands into going into local businesses. And when all else seems to be against them, that’s got to be a very good thing.

So we continue to exist, survive and even thrive in our little south-western bubble. It’s not all doom and gloom out there, no matter what you might have read.

pic via twitter