We were warned it was going to be cold. The days leading up to Tuesday our local radio and news station reported a cold front was about to hit the country. We didn’t think much of it, we were in the midst of Winter after-all? Tuesday morning we woke up to a very noticeable chill in the air. It was overcast, the wind was icy and the garden frosty. Strict instructions were given to the dad to dress our little girl like a mini Eskimo for the preschool run. The Polar Bear Swim was scheduled to take place at Ethan’s school that day and he packed his swimming gear with much gusto. I on the other hand was a little doubtful it was even going to take place. I pulled on my very thickest red jacket, scarf and tights and set off for work.
The sky was filled with ominous grey clouds for most of the drive and when I eventually arrived at work I was met with the news. It was snowing in Vanderbijlpark, a little Industrial town south of Johannesburg almost 100 kilometres away from where I work. Then more news came came in. It was snowing in Alberton, a little suburb south of Jobannesburg almost 40 kilometres away from where I work. Germiston, Boksburg, Bedfordview, Oxford Road and Rosebank followed. Our Facebook pages, BBM feeds and Twitter were crammed with friends updates of snow reaching their town. The atmosphere on social networks and in the office was energized, and when those magical little flakes starting hitting our pavements in Midrand we flocked outside to join in the snow frenzy. People gathered in the parking lot excited to join in the cheer by our surprise snowfall, on an average day in August.
Snow in Gauteng is such a rare occurrence, so when it happens it’s normally greeted with great excitement. And those tiny little snowflakes made history on Tuesday. It closed border posts, cars were stuck on the N3 Toll road and certain roads were closed altogether. And the Polar Bear swim was cancelled too.
And in true Joburg fashion, the cold front that hit Joburg this week has left as quick as it arrived.
My favourite snow pic taken by Lorna Fuller at the Jhb Zoo