Wed. Oct 28th, 2020

Relentless heat wave across six provinces to persist into Sunday

The SAWS warns of a heat wave that will last from Sunday 18 October 2020 through to Tuesday 20 October 2020.

relentless heat wave across six provinces to persist into sunday - Relentless heat wave across six provinces to persist into Sunday

A fall heat wave is hitting six provinces of South Africa on Sunday 18 October, as per a warning issued by the South African Weather Service. Here’s how to prepare for a heat wave.

South African weather update for Sunday 18 October: Heat wave

The South African Weather Service issued an advisory on Saturday, warning of a “heat wave with persistently high temperatures” expected across large parts of the country on Sunday 18 October 2020.

The heat wave is expected in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Lowveld of Limpopo from Sunday until Tuesday, 20 October. A second advisory was issued for the North West, Free State and eastern parts of the Northern Cape.

The SAWS advises that South Africans stay hydrated, keep your family and pets cool and hydrated, check up on the elderly and stay indoors.

Temperatures for Gauteng on 18 October 2020

The South African Weather Service warns that residents in Gauteng can expect temperatures of 32 degrees Celcius on Sunday, followed by 33 degrees on both Monday and Tuesday 20 October.

Vereeniging temperatures will range between 32 and 34 degrees, while Pretoria is said to be the hottest of all three: 35 degrees Celsius on Sunday, followed by 36 degrees on both Monday and Tuesday.

How to prepare for a heat wave

The SAWS advises South Africans to “stay hydrated with water, never leave pets and children alone in a vehicle, and to limit physical outdoor activity between 11:00 15:00 from Sunday through to Tuesday”.

In addition, wear light clothes and don’t forget to check up on the elderly. If you have air conditioning, make sure everything is in order and the filters aren’t clogged. Clean it out and remove any dust or particles.

heat wave south africa sunday 18 october - Relentless heat wave across six provinces to persist into Sunday
Image via Adobe Stock

Most South Africans don’t have air conditioning, so make sure your ceiling fans are turning counterclockwise to push cool air downwards. However, take note of the following warning from the American Weather service:

“Do not direct the flow of portable electric fans toward yourself when the room temperature is hotter than [32 degrees Celcius]. The dry blowing air will dehydrate you faster, endangering your health”.

You should also:

  • Ensure pets are cared for and kept cool
  • Cover windows and keep curtains closed
  • Ensure you have enough water stocked in the fridge
  • Eat “cool” foods, such as cucumbers, watermelon, and lettuce
  • Use icepacks on your head and armpits to help lower body temperature

The problem with heat

According to The Conversation, humans “can take the heat”, in most cases, as we are able to keep our “body temperature in the range where we function best in a wide range of conditions”. The problem is humidity.

“Normally sweat evaporates off your skin and you cool down. But with high humidity, the air is already saturated with water vapour, and so evaporative cooling stops. However, you keep sweating anyway, threatening dehydration”.

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