A heat wave expected from Wednesday in the Free State, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and North West will make residents in these provinces sweat.
According to Kgoloselo Mahlangu, a weather forecaster attached to the South African Weather Service (SAWD), heatwave conditions over the southern parts of Gauteng, eastern parts of the North West and Free State, and the northeastern parts of the Eastern Cape are expected to continue until Friday.
Temperatures are expected to return to normal from Saturday.
“Maximum temperatures of up to 36 °C can be expected in Rustenburg and Potchefstroom in the North West for the week,” says Mahlangu.
“In the southern parts of Gauteng, the mercury will rise to 34 °C, while a maximum temperature of 33 °C is expected in Bethlehem in the Free State. In the north-eastern parts of the Eastern Cape, the maximum temperatures are expected to reach 33 °C.”
In contrast to the heat, rain and thunderstorms are expected until Friday on the south coast, the Garden Route, the eastern parts of the Western Cape, southern parts of the Northern Cape and the western and southern parts of the Eastern Cape.
The weather service appealed to residents in the relevant provinces to be vigilant; high temperatures and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can pose health risks.
“Very hot temperatures affect one’s ability to cool one’s body by sweating. This can pose a real risk to people’s health and often leads to heat exhaustion and respiratory conditions,” warns the weather service.
According to Mahlangu, the weather models at this stage cannot yet give any indication as to whether above-average high temperatures can be expected for the coming summer.
“The weather service will be able to give more information about this in a month.”