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Storm Brewing in Gauteng - Later Early Hours Next Day A Tornado Hits Free State South Africa
Outside My House - Kibler Park Gauteng 18H45 02/10/11
The birds had stop chirping and talking away at about 16H00, which was a bit unusual, as the sun has only been setting at about 18H55, I thought nothing of this as my parrots often go quiet, either eating or preening and settling down for the night.
It grew steadily darker and we assumed it was another storm brewing. We had a thunderstorm the previous night. However we are quite used to having heavy thunderstorms usually during the day.
I went to feed the dogs, looked out over the Eastern Side side of our skyine and saw the sun starting to set, painting the sky with its afternoon clouded pallet of colours. Then glanced casually to the North, this grey to black ominous mass of clouds was rolling steadily Southwards.
I rushed to get my camera, mounted it on the tripod and set up, this must have taken a couple of minutes. In this time the mass of clouds had encroached even further into the South Western side of our property.
I manged to capture a few photos, without repeating only small movements of the storm, due to my relative position.
The Strange Weather Pattern
Ever since I can remember, we in Johannesburg, and its surrounding areas, has the majority of its rain originating from the South Western area. The storm that exploded on Sunday evening, had its origins in the North Eastern Side.
As long as I can remember, when storms brew and bubble in the North East, it usually bodes for a heavy rain storm, and if there is hail, then you can expect them to be golf ball sized, I remember one storm, a good 20 odd years ago, I was living in Edenvale a suburb east of Johannesburg. It was Christmas Eve, being in spirit of the season, I was singing, "I've been dreaming of a White Christmas", let me remind you that in South Africa it is Mid Summer and the temperatures are around 28°Celsius, so there was much grinning from the family.
Three hours later, however, I was forbidden to dare sign that song again, with dire threats being leveled my personal safety.
There was at around about three thirty, a hail storm, one of those devastating hail storms, this was not only limited to Edenvale, Johannesburg and other surrounding areas, but parts of Pretoria's Northern and Western Suburbs as well.
There was flooding in low lying areas, houses roofs, shop fronts lost there windows. Several people we new had brand new cars (Christmas Presents) which where badly damaged, windscreens broken roof, front and back bonnets. Pockmarked by hail stones, some of which were recorded as being as large as tennis balls.
We do have tornadoes in South Africa, however these are infrequent, but just as devastating, when one considers the damage and losses that is left behind after its passing.
Was the build up of those ominous clouds part of the gathering mass that joined forces and wreaked havoc, further down South, many kilometers from here?