Old video resurfaces in claims of major April snowfall in South Africa

Copyright © AFP 2017-2023. All rights reserved.

A video circulating mainly on WhatsApp in South Africa shows a recording of a weather map forecasting extremely cold weather in and around the country. The video’s narrator claims that the map shows a "major snowfall" coming in the next 10 days that is expected to impact several regions in South Africa. The claim is misleading; the video was recorded three years ago and its creator, a meteorological enthusiast, has previously made statements clarifying that this is an old video that regularly resurfaces.

The 90-second video shows blue, green, and yellow weather patterns south of the African continent. The blue indicates cold airflow.

The narrator introduces himself as “Juandre from Severe Weather Alert, your weather hooligan” and describes the “big masses of polar air” that are forecasted in 10 days.

He adds that South Africans can expect major snowfall in a number of places, including Johannesburg.

A screenshot of the video sent on WhatsApp, taken on April 11, 2023

The video also appeared on TikTok on April 12, 2023, along with text suggesting the predicted snowfall in South Africa is a fact.

On Facebook, a user asked the Severe Weather and Information Centre SA (SWAICSA) community group if it was “false or old news”.

A screenshot of the Facebook post, taken on April 12, 2023

The group administrator responded (archived here) and directed the user to a Facebook post he made in 2022 to show that this is not the first time he has had to clarify the facts about this video.

A screenshot of the Facebook post, taken on April 12, 2023

“Please be advised that this video by my brother from another mother, The Weather Hooligan, is an old video. This video was not fake when it was shared. Snow did fall over large parts of SA,” read the post.

Local media debunked the same video in April 2022 after it started making the rounds again.

Weather Hooligan

AFP Fact Check conducted a keyword search of “weather hooligan South Africa” and found a July 2022 article that introduced the video’s narrator as Juandre Vorster, a South African weather enthusiast who incorporates comedy into his forecasts.

A screenshot of the article about the Weather Hooligan in July 2022

Vorster posted a video on April 10, 2023, joking that the snow forecast video will haunt him for thousands of years.

"Just letting you know that it's old news, because every winter for the next 10,000 years, it's gonna go around, for the rest of my life,” said Voster. “It's old, get over it, delete it, and get on with your life.”

The South African Weather Service also addressed the old video in a statement on April 11, 2023.

“There is no snowfall expected in the next 10 days in the regions mentioned in the video,” read the statement, which added that some rain and a cold front were being anticipated.