A significant heatwave is forecasted to affect multiple provinces in South Africa, including Northern Cape, Free State, North West, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, and Eastern Cape, on Thursday, 23 November 2023.
Heatwave conditions expected in these parts of South Africa on Thursday, 23 November 2023
In a statement, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) confirmed the weather phenomenon is expected to bring intense heat, posing potential health risks to both humans and animals.
The heatwave may trigger various health issues, such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke, faintness, and dehydration.
Additionally, strong winds accompanying the heatwave could cause dust storms, topple trees, and create challenging driving conditions.
In response, authorities have advised the public to wear light and loose-fitting clothes, drink water regularly, seek shade, and avoid prolonged sun exposure and strenuous outdoor activities.
Regions including the Northern Cape, Western Cape, North West, Free State, Eastern Cape, Limpopo, and KwaZulu-Natal are facing extremely high fire conditions due to the heatwave.
This raises concerns about potential wildfires and the need for heightened fire safety measures.
Quoted in a recent SABC News article, climate expert Professor Guy Midgley explained that the heatwave is a result of multiple factors, including the El Niño effect, long-term warming due to greenhouse gases, and a rise in atmospheric methane.
He emphasised that the planet’s temperature regime is increasingly shifting higher, leading to more frequent hot records and fewer cold records.