FORGET the London Olympics, Nelson Mandela Bay is aiming for a record of its own – that of the second wettest winter on record.
With up to 50mm of rain expected over the next two days, it seems the metro is on track for a silver medal.
"If the 50mm does materialise, we will break the record [of the second wettest winter],” Port Elizabeth weather office spokesman Garth Sampson said yesterday.
There are three weeks left until winter ends, meaning the city could well end up having its wettest winter ever recorded – eclipsing the winter of 1979, when 452mm of rain fell.
Sampson said a deep layer of moisture along the coast was expected to cause heavy rainfalls.
"Only the coastal parts of the province will be affected by the predicted rain.”
The rest of the Eastern Cape is in for severe weather, including gale-force winds, icy conditions and snow.
With reports of snow falling in Cradock, Graaff-Reinet, Hogsback and Queenstown last night, forecasters are expecting snow to also cover the Kouga, Baviaanskloof, Winterberg, Zuurberg and Southern Drakensberg mountain ranges.
Cofimvaba resident Siviwe Feketha said it had started snowing at about 4pm yesterday.
"It started when I was on my way from work and I had to run home, because it was too cold. About five minutes after I got home, the snow was about 30cm deep,” he said.
Bay municipal spokesman Kupido Baron said the city’s Joint Operations Centre would once again be on high alert.
"We have emergency people on standby and ready to assist the areas that are usually badly affected by heavy rainfalls,” he said.
"We are concerned about the people driving to work [today] and request that they drive carefully.”
The minimum and maximum temperatures for today are, respectively, 9°C and 15°C for Port Elizabeth, 3°C and 11°C for Grahamstown, 0°C and 9°C for Cradock, -2°C and 7°C for Graaff- Reinet, 11°C and 15°C for East London, 4°C and 13°C for Mthatha, 4°C and 9°C for Queenstown, and 6°C and 12°C for King William’s Town.
Bay residents wanting updates can follow the municipality on Twitter at @NMBmunicipality