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[UPDATE] Storm hits Gauteng, paramedics & metro cops on alert

The service says storms have already become severe in Modimolle in Limpopo.

The South African Weather Service issued a warning for severe storms with hail, damaging winds & heavy downpours in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo on Tuesday 9 January 2018. Picture: Twitter/ @tWeatherSA

JOHANNESBURG - As rain falls in large parts of Gauteng on Tuesday afternoon, the South African Weather Service is warning of severe thunderstorms as well as hail and strong winds.

The weather service earlier elevated its storm watch to a warning, with severe thunderstorms expected in some parts of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo on Tuesday afternoon.

The service says storms have already become severe in Modimolle in Limpopo.

It is also keeping an eye on the rain that's started in some parts of Gauteng.

Forecaster Bransby Bulo says people should be vigilant while driving or walking.

“People must be careful because the thunderstorm is very dangerous, it is being accompanied by lightning and hail is also dangerous even for those who are driving. And rain, it affects the visibility. And strong winds as well, it is dangerous even for the pedestrians.”

Severe wind and hail which accompanied a heavy storm less than two weeks ago killed two people, left houses in Soweto damaged and a number of residents homeless.

Meanwhile, teams from the Johannesburg Metro Police Department, City Power and emergency services are on standby as a storm moves over parts of Gauteng.

The rains have broken a heatwave that saw temperatures soar to record highs in some areas on Monday.

But weather forecasters warn that the storm could lead to flash flooding, as well as damaging winds and hailstorms.

Tshwane is expected to bear the brunt of the severe weather, with Ekurhuleni also affected.

The SA Weather Service's Wayne Venter said: “We do have that warning out its valid for the city of Tshwane, that will be up until around 7 o’ clock, with the possibility of hail that’s possible in these storms. But looking more at heavy rainfall and localized or flash flooding.”

Metro police say if you haven't hit the road yet, it's best to wait out the storm if possible.

The JMPD's Edna Mamonyane said: “Please be careful out there on the road. Especially where the areas that you drive in and you find that the is water on the road surface, know that sometimes you underestimate the level of the water.”