Gauteng cooks in heat wave

2011-10-24 14:34

The heat wave stifling Gauteng is expected to last until late on Wednesday, the SA Weather Service said today.

Pretoria was expected to reach a high of 37°C and Johannesburg a high of 36°C today, said forecaster Puseletso Mofokeng.

“Rain is expected for Gauteng on Tuesday, which will help cool temperatures slightly, but the high temperatures are expected to last until the end of Wednesday,” he said.

Gauteng temperatures were expected to reach between 35°C and 38°C until Thursday.

“In order for the current temperatures to be considered as a heat wave they have to be at least 5°C higher than expected temperatures for this time of year, and they have to last for more than three days.”

Usually the highest temperatures seen in Gauteng in January, South Africa’s warmest month, are only around 29°C, he said.

North West, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and north-western parts of KwaZulu-Natal would also be affected by the heat wave.

“Run-away fires are also expected in those provinces and the Free State,” Mofokeng said.

Paramedics were warning people to stay out of direct sunlight and to stay hydrated today.

“Severe headaches, weakness or disorientation, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps and severe thirst are all signs of heat stroke or exhaustion,” said ER24 spokesperson Andre Visser.

“It is important that a person presenting with these signs and symptoms be closely monitored as it could result in the patient losing consciousness or having seizures which could result in death.”

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