In Johannesburg, residents were surprised by the first snow in over a decade on Monday, with some children seeing snow for the first time. In the Southern Hemisphere, residents regularly experience snowfall during the winter months from June to August, while in Johannesburg this dates back to August 2012.
On social media, Johannesburg residents described the snow as “pure magic”, “frenzied” and “a great start to the week”.
Jennifer Fitchett, a professor of physical geography at the University of the Witwatersrand, told the South African Times that the snow was unlikely to last long because of the sharp rise in humidity, cold temperatures and cold winds.
“It happens about once every 10 years. We’re not an area with a lot of snowfall and that’s partly because we have dry conditions in the winter. We have a strong high-pressure cell, and so we have little to no rain in the winter months. And so we don’t have a lot of moisture in the air.” The last time it snowed was in 2012 and before that in 2007.”
According to climatology professor François Engelbrecht of the University of the Witwatersrand, they experienced heavy snowfall on Monday that falls once every 10 to 20 years. Light snowfall is more frequent, falling every five years on average.
And while snow doesn’t happen very often, the conditions are not exceptional. As a result, this unique event is not due to climate change,” said South African meteorologist Wayne Venter.
“Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert.”