Heat wave forecast in these provinces

Henry

If your heart beats hot on Valentine’s Day, it’s probably not (only) because of love. A heat wave currently has large parts of the country in its grip. In addition, things could get really hot in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga by Friday.

According to the South African Weather Service (SAWD), parts of all three Cape provinces, as well as the Free State, are currently experiencing temperatures higher than 40 °C.

In the Eastern Cape, residents of Cradock have braved temperatures of around 43 °C in the past few days.

Residents of Augrabies and Upington in the Northern Cape have had to endure temperatures of 43 °C and even hotter in the past few days. So are residents of Vanwyksvlei (40 °C), Prieska (41 °C), Kathu (40 °C) and Vanzylsrus (41 °C).

Jan Vermeulen, a forecaster attached to the weather service, says Gauteng can already start feeling the heat on Thursday, with Pretoria expected to reach 33 °C. By Friday, the temperatures in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga will also start to rise.

The Tshwane metro’s emergency services on Wednesday appealed to residents to take note of the warning regarding the heat wave issued by the SAWD.

Charles Mabaso, spokesperson for the Tshwane emergency services, says residents must be aware of the adverse effects that can be caused by prolonged exposure to extreme heat.

“The effects can include dehydration, heat exhaustion and, in severe cases, sunstroke. Residents are also advised to be on their guard as the risk of wildfires during this period is significantly higher.”

The following precautions can be taken:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Limit outdoor activities (especially during the hottest time of the day).
  • Wear loose clothing and avoid dark clothing if possible.
  • Stay in the shade if possible.
  • Keep an eye on vulnerable individuals.
  • Make sure that children or animals are not left in parked vehicles.
  • Avoid vigorous physical activity if possible (if you must do vigorous activity, do it in the coolest part of the day, which is usually between 4am and 7am in the morning).

Mabaso emphasized that residents must be vigilant and report any fire or rescue incidents immediately to 107 toll free or to 012 358 6300/6400. For ambulance services, call 112 toll free.

“Residents are also encouraged to monitor warnings issued by SAWD and other government agencies and to immediately follow recommended safety tips.”