Hailstorms hit drought-stricken South Africa


Hail is shown on the N4 between Witbank and Middelburg, Monday, 16 November, 2015.

JOHANNESBURG - Weather forecasters have urged the public to take all necessary precautions as severe hailstorms are expected to hit Gauteng today.



The public has been advised to move their vehicles to undercover parking and to avoid being on the road during the expected downpours.

On Sunday, large hailstones fell in some parts of Limpopo.

Burgersfort and Hoedspruit were the worst hit, with fruit trees and properties decimated.

On Monday, the Witbank/Middelburg region was hit by hail.



The hailstorm later spread to the north of Pretoria.



Thick clouds began enveloping the sky above Midrand in the early afternoon as the storm threatened to continue its trajectory southward.


How to prepare for a hailstorm

South African insurance company, Dialdirect, in a release, issued a series of pointers on how to react to the threat of imminent hailstorms:-

The insurance company&39;s head, Warwick Scott-Rodger, noted, “Although vehicles are usually the hardest hit, major hail storms also result in millions of rands in damages to roofs, windows, sliding doors, skylights, garden and outdoor equipment.

"Make sure that both your vehicle, home owners and household insurance adequately covers you against damage to property caused by hail.”

The company suggested that:-

- people keep a close eye on weather forecasts in order to be aware of hail storms approaching their vicinity.

- if your car is parked under trees, move it, as it is at risk of being damaged by falling trees and debris.

- if you haven&39;t yet begun your journey and are aware of an approaching storm, rather stay off the road until the storm subsides.

If you are caught on the road during the storm, Dialdirect suggests the following:-

- look for cover. This could include a covered car park or a petrol station. Take extreme care when pulling-over, put on your hazard lights, and don’t risk your safety or the safety of others by dashing madly for cover. Stay in your car and only leave the safety of your sheltered spot when the storm has passed.

- if there is no shelter nearby, motorists are urged to pull-over onto the side of the road if it is safe to do so. In an unsheltered spot, hail damage is inevitable but, it is safer not to drive through a storm when visibility is poor, the roads are slick and there is a risk of aquaplaning through deep pools of water and hail.

- with the sudden drop in temperature during a hail storm, your car’s windows will be more prone to fogging up, hampering visibility, so make sure that your car’s defogger is working properly.