snow Joburg 2012 Johannesburg snowfall
Johannesburg, South Africa - August, 7th 2012: Petrol attendants enjoying the snow for the first time with Ponte City apartment in the background. Snow was previously last seen in Johannesburg in September 11th 1981. No snow in Joburg is expected this year. Photo: iStockPhoto

The SA Weather Service (SAWS) has advised South Africans to ignore the Tik Tok video doing the rounds at the moment, warning of major snowfall in South Africa… but it seems not everyone got the memo. People in Johannesburg and Pretoria have been getting excited about the ‘imminent’ snowfall. The video claims that all provinces in SA – including Gauteng – are going to be blanketed with snow.

This is not true. Senior SAWS Forecaster Jacqueline Modika took to social media to kill the rumour… BUT she did add that it’s going to be very cold this weekend with snow on high-lying areas in other parts of the country.

The last time it did snow in Joburg was 7 August 2012. There had not been snow in the city since 11 September 1981.

Modika said an intense cold front is expected to affect the Western and Northern Cape from tomorrow, Thursday, spreading to the Eastern Cape, KZN and the central interior during Friday evening into Saturday (26-28 August 2021). Cold, wet and windy conditions with snow on the high ground can be expected, SAWS said in a statement.


SAWS said the intense cold front is associated with a steep upper-air trough, currently developing over the western Atlantic Ocean.

“Widespread rainfall will set in over the western parts of the Western Cape on Thursday afternoon, spreading to the western and southern parts of the Northern Cape overnight. Rainfall accumulations of 20 to 30 mm can be expected, with heavier falls, of the order of 40 to 50 mm expected over the south-western Cape. This rainfall may lead to localised flooding of informal settlements,” said SAWS. Locals are advised to adhere to safe driving.

“Very cold conditions are expected from Friday over the south-western quadrant of the country, spreading to include much of the southern and central interior regions of South Africa by Saturday, 28 August 2021.”

Snowfall is expected over the high-lying areas of the Western Cape and the southern and western high- lying areas of the Northern Cape, mainly from Friday spreading to the high-lying areas of the Eastern Cape and the Drakensberg region of KwaZulu-Natal during Saturday.

“Significant lowering of local atmospheric freezing levels is anticipated over the aforementioned areas, allowing for disruptive snowfall in some places. This may result in the closure of some mountain passes and cause traffic disruptions. Small stock farmers are advised to move their smaller livestock to shelter at an early stage to mitigate losses, ahead of the arrival of the winter weather,” said SAWS. (More below the video.)

WATCH SAWS on the Snowfall Hoax

SAWS said that prior to landfall of the approaching cold front, strong winds (40 to 60 km/h) are likely to occur over parts of the interior of South Africa. Motorists are advised to exercise caution, and the public is asked to refrain from lighting fires in the open or discarding cigarettes.

SAWS promises to issue a further media release regarding this rapidly developing weather system, particularly when and where the more significant snowfalls can be anticipated.

Visit www.weathersa.co.za as well as via the SA Weather Service Twitter account @SAWeatherServ