Snow In Johannesburg.

August 9, 2012 JOHANNESBURG, SA — People slowly came outside despite the cold wind Tuesday across South Africa, pointed their mobile phone cameras to the sky and opened their mouths to taste a rare snowfall that fell on much of the country. The snow began Tuesday morning, part of an extreme cold snap now biting into a nation still in its winter months. By mid-afternoon, officials recorded snowfall across most of South Africa. However, forecasters acknowledged snow remains so unusual that they typically aren’t prepared to provide details about snowfall in the nation. The snow closed some roads and at least one high-altitude pass. The snowfall also closed several border posts in the country. As the snow fell, workers at offices in Johannesburg rushed outside. Some twirled and danced as the flakes fell. One man rushed to the top of a snow-covered hill and slid down, using a cardboard box as an improvised toboggan. Despite the cold and the snow, beggars who line traffic lights in the city continued to ask passing motorists for cash. The snow grew heavier in the afternoon in Johannesburg, covering rooftops and slicking roads. Snowflakes are a rare commodity in Johannesburg, even during winter. South African Weather Service records show it has snowed in Johannesburg on only 22 other days in the last 103 years. The last snow fell there in June 2007. In Pretoria, the country’s capital, flurries filled the sky during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. It was the first snowfall there since 1968, the weather service said. The cold weather is expected to last a few days. –HP
Snow event first in recorded history: It is probably the first time ever that snow has fallen in all nine of South Africa’s provinces on the same day. Kenosi Machepa from the SA Weather Service said this when referring to the vast cold front that brought snow to Pretoria for the first time since the late 1960s, reported Beeld. In the Western Cape, snow fell on mountains in the Boland as well as in towns like Richmond and Touws River while snow was lying thick on the Matroosberg in Ceres. In Johannesburg, snow was lying up to 20cm deep in some areas while Golden Gate in the Free State got the most snow in six years. In Bethlehem, snow was up to 70cm deep and schools were closed due to the weather. There was also snow in Mpumalanga and Limpopo while light snow fell in the North West. The weather office said the cold would continue for another day or two. –News 24
Alaska: FAIRBANKS – Heavy snow in the Brooks Range caused difficult conditions for travelers on the Dalton Highway today. The Alaska Department of Transportation issued a travel advisory for Atigun Pass at 243-245 Mile. Four to five inches of snow had fallen Tuesday morning and visibility was limited. Drivers are advised to use caution and keep their headlights on. –Fairbanks DN
Moderate earthquake: ANCHORAGE – A moderate earthquake in western Prince William Sound was felt by residents of Anchorage 95 miles to the northwest. Chris Popham (POP’-ham) of the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center says the earthquake occurred at 8:43 a.m. Thursday and showed a preliminary magnitude of 5.2. The epicenter was 60 miles northeast of Seward. Popham says the center received a series of phone calls reporting the quake had been felt but no reports of damage. –ADN
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