On Thursday last week, a colleague at work told me that she had heard a severe storm warning including hail in the joburg area. I was a bit skeptical, as the cloud build up to the south didn’t look too bad, but as I was about to leave work I decided to check http://aviation.weathersa.co.za to see what they had to say about it. The radar image showed precipitation to the west of Johannesburg, but nothing to the south. The satellite image showed the clouds moving in from the North West towards the south east. There were warnings issued for both FAOR and FALA, both reporting the storm moving from the North West to the South East (at 72 km/h in the case of FALA and about the same in knots for FAOR). In Johannesburg, thunderstorms almost always move from south to north so I was expecting something different, but when the storm arrived, it came from the south as usual. On my way home (in the rain) the sky was almost completely clear in the north west, but black and raining to the south.
Are there any weather boffins on this site who can explain how this works?
Why do storms in Johannesburg almost always move from south to north even when the wind is from the north west?
Does this happen in other areas?
MET Eish ja!
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