Heatwave hits the central part of South Africa

The South African Weather Service has issued a special weather advisory of heatwave conditions forecasted in central South Africa this week.

A forecaster at the Bloemfontein weather office, Tumi Phatudi, says persistently high temperatures will occur today and are expected to last until Sunday in the Northern Cape, Free State and North West. She says a heatwave warning is issued once high temperatures, which vary from area to area, continue for three consecutive days.

According to her extremely hot conditions for Bloemfontein are when maximum day temperatures are 35 degrees Celsius and higher. In Upington in the Northern Cape temperatures need to be 39 degrees Celsius and higher to qualify for heatwave conditions. She warns people to stay out of the sun during a heatwave.

She says people should stay indoors as far as possible. They need to drink a lot of water to avoid becoming dehydrated. When people are outside they need to apply sunblock to protect their skin.

Phatudi says there is a 30% chance of rain in the north-eastern part of the Free State today and tomorrow. Some rain is predicted for the central part of the Free State, including Bloemfontein, next Monday, which might bring some relief from the extreme heat. – Christal-Lize Muller