Parts of South Africa hit by a severe hail storm

Photo: Twitter

Parts of South Africa hit by a severe hail storm [PHOTOS]

Photos of large hail were shared on social media on Thursday after a severe hail storm hit several parts of South Africa.

Parts of South Africa hit by a severe hail storm

Photo: Twitter

Several parts of South Africa were hit by a severe hail storm on Thursday. 


Large hail was reported in Burgersdorp, in the Eastern Cape, and Mpumulanga. 

The South African Weather Services (SAWS) has warned that more thunderstorms were expected on Thursday evening.

“Thunderstorms currently observed over the central interior of the country resulting in heavy downpours, strong to damaging winds and hail. Cloudy and cool with rain in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, south coast of Western Cape, and the escarpment of Mpumalanga.”

It furthermore said impact-based warnings are still valid for tonight.

“Showery and cooler weather conditions are expected to continue over parts of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and the south coast and adjacent interior of the Western Cape from Wednesday to Friday, while also spreading to the central and eastern interior on Thursday.

“Minor localized flooding is possible in the Thabo Mofutsanyane municipality and the eastern areas of the Gariep District municipalities of the Free State, Alfred Nzo, OR Tambo, Joe Gqabi, and Chris Hani District municipalities of the Eastern Cape, and in places over the southern parts of KwaZulu- Natal (Ethekwini Metro, Ugu, Harry Gwala, Umgungundlovu, and Ilembe District Municipalities) on Wednesday and Thursday.”

The SAWS earlier this week said severe thunderstorms with hail and strong damaging winds were expected over the eastern half of the Northern Cape as well as the western half of both the Free State and North West provinces on Thursday afternoon.

Hail storms can leave devastating damage in their wake. The best way to deal with a hail storm is to know when one is approaching.

ALSO READ: Weather WARNING: Severe thunderstorms and hail expected in KZN

How to protect yourself from hail

Hail tips when driving

  • The best protection for your car is under cover, but this is not always possible. Stay calm and look for cover, such as at a petrol station or a bridge. Be careful when pulling over; don’t put yourself or others at risk by making a mad dash for shelter.
  • Don’t park under trees as there is the danger of falling branches and debris.
  • If there’s no shelter close by, pull over on to the side of the road if it is safe to do so. Hail causes more damage to moving vehicles. You also don’t want to be driving in poor visibility or on slick roads.
  • Keep your radio on and follow weather updates closely to reduce the risk of being caught in heavy rains and storms.
  • If there is no undercover parking area to protect your car, put thick blankets on your car to help minimise the impact of hailstones and reduce the need for car dent repair.

Hail tips at home

  • Maintain your trees by removing branches and taking out trees that could fall on your home during a hailstorm. Falling trees and blowing debris often cause fatalities and severe structural damage.
  • Check the downpipes and make sure they are not blocked so water can flow through. Watch for large pools of water as this can damage the foundation of the house
  • Keep the curtains or blinds closed – this will prevent broken window glass and hail stones from entering your home or injuring you or your family.  
  • If your home doesn’t have a garage, cover your car with any unused blankets, comforters or large towels that you may have.
  • Keep the gutters clean – It is important to regularly clear gutters of leaves, twigs and any other debris. Hail takes a while to melt and an overflowing gutter could lead to a leaking roof and further damage. 

Hail tips for your garden

If you have patio furniture or expensive outdoor equipment like portable braais, bring them inside or move them to a sheltered area on your patio. Your fragile plants will also need a little extra attention to make sure they survive the hailstorm. There are ways to protect them:

  • Plant extra soil around them to help keep them upright and stop the soil from washing away.
  • Place heavy objects like pots and even garbage bins over them before the storm hits, and add extra weight by placing bricks on top to weigh them down.
  • Cover plants with plastic sheeting by placing stakes in the ground and draping the sheeting over them, securing the sheeting to the stakes.

Hail tips for your pets

Bring your pets inside. If you can’t make sure they have a safe, dry, covered area to take shelter. Should your pet be afraid of noise and storms, it is vital that they are brought in.