Fans and air conditioners have been working overtime to keep the heatwave at bay in the Western and Northern Cape this week, but relief is on its way according to the South African Weather Service (SAWS).
Heatwave advisories have been in place since Monday.
SAWS forecaster Edward Engelbrecht said the heatwave over the entire interior of the Western Cape, including the Cape Metropole, and Little Karoo was expected to last until Thursday.
“Rain will come through from Thursday evening and continue into Friday, mostly over the south coast of the Western Cape and adjacent areas, which will cool things down considerably.”
The heatwave, along with persistently high temperatures, over the central and northern interior of the Northern Cape was expected to last until Saturday.
On Wednesday, Upington was expected to reach a maximum of 42 degrees Celsius; Calvinia, 40 degrees; Beaufort West, 42; and Oudtshoorn, 41.
“There is a warning for high fire danger conditions in the central parts of the Northern Cape and Central Karoo of the Western Cape,” said Engelbrecht, with the warning remaining in place for Thursday too.
The Oudtshoorn Municipality’s Disaster Management advised of a total fire ban for the Greater Oudtshoorn Municipal area until Friday.
“During this time, the municipality has asked that people be careful with making open fires. No controlled burnings are allowed during this week, including refuse areas on farms, as the predicted weather conditions may lead to runaway veld fires,” it said.
The Mossel Bay Municipality also warned its residents of the potential for extremely hot conditions between Monday and Thursday.
“Please remember that Mossel Bay Municipality does not allow any controlled burns as per the embargo of 15 November 2019. The situation will be assessed at the end of February 2020,” it said.
Engelbrecht said that preliminary forecasting information suggested that hot conditions were expected to return to parts of the Western Cape and Northern Cape on Tuesday. Updated information, however, would be provided by SAWS closer to the time.