Weather Update: Veld fire conditions expected as extremely hot weather continues in Western Cape

2018-01-03 19:36 - Kavitha Pillay
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Cape Town - The South African Weather Service warns of extremely hot conditions once again across the Western and Northern Cape.

SA Weather Service also issued a veld fire alert for Thursday, 4 January, that is expected in places over the western part of the North West, the Northern Cape, north-western areas of the Eastern Cape, as well as over the interior of the Western Cape.

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Fire dangers and beach safety

The City of Cape Town says its Safety and Security Directorate staff will maintain high levels of visibility at beaches and other public areas for the next few weeks until the school holidays wind down.

"Many people are still on holiday and I think they’ll want to make the most of any good weather, considering that both the peak festive season weekends didn’t offer the greatest weather conditions," says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.

Many of the City’s popular beaches were decidedly more quiet on New Year’s day, with an estimated 30 000 people on Muizenberg, 12 000 at Strandfontein Pavilion, 8 000 at Strand and just 3 000 at Monwabisi. 

Between 1 December 2017 and 1 January 2018, 10 drownings were recorded compared to seven during the previous festive season. Three of the incidents happened at Mnandi, four at Strand and one each at Soetwater, Monwabisi and Muizenberg. There were also two false alarms at Strand and Melkbosstrand.

In contrast, more than 3.9 million people visited the stretches of beach on the eThekwini coastline from December 29 to January 1, the eThekwini Municipality says.

Malcolm Canham, chairperson of the municipality's festive season management committee, says even though there were large crowds, people were generally well behaved and there were no major incidents and drownings reported, "except for a few non-abiding members of public". 

Rain

A 30% chance of rain is expected in central parts of SA on Thursday, over eastern Northern Cape, western North West, central and western Free State, all of Lesotho, northern Eastern Cape, and north-eastern Western Cape.

Temperatures

Minimum temperatures on Thursday will be warm along the western coast of SA and mild throughout the rest of the country. The coldest place in SA will be Ermelo in Mpumalanga, dropping to a mild 9°C.

Maximum temperatures will be extremely hot in the Western Cape, very hot in western and southern SA, hot in central parts of the country and warm to cool in the eastern parts. The hottest place in SA will be Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape reaching a scorching 44°C.

Precautions to take during heatwave conditions:

Stay indoors in a cool room near a fan if possible

The old and infirm must take extra care 

Listen to the radio or TV for warnings.

Cease strenuous outdoor activity if advised

Avoid playing sport

Dress in light weight clothes

Drink plenty of liquids NOT alcohol
The temperature in a motor-car can rise to more than 10 degrees higher than the outside temperature in just 10 minutes and 20 C in 30 minutes. Do not leave pets or children in motor-cars, especially in hot conditions.

    

Click here to see the specific forecast for your city over the next few days 

Pretoria in Gauteng will reach a hot 30°C, Johannesburg will be a warm 28°C, while Bloemfontein in the Free State will reach a scorching 33°C.

Along the coastal regions, Cape Town in the Western Cape will see a sizzling 33°C, while KZN's Durban and Eastern Cape's Port Elizabeth will both reach a high of 28°C. 

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