Christmas heatwave predicted for Gauteng, as Vaal Dam water levels drop

2018-12-24 12:33

Information supplied by Rand Water and the Department of Water and Sanitation shows the Vaal Dam levels have dipped below 75%, as the South African Weather Services (SAWS) warning of a heat wave in Gauteng and several other provinces over the Christmas holiday period.

"A heat wave with persistently high temperatures is expected in Gauteng, western Highveld of Mpumalanga, SW Bushveld of Limpopo, North West, Free State, northern and north-eastern parts of the Northern Cape until at least Wednesday," The South African Weather Services said on Sunday.

In July, SAWS forecaster Edward Engelbrecht said that South Africa was likely to experience a delay in rainfall patterns this summer. He said temperatures were also expected to be higher than normal.

ALSO READ: El Nino to bring less rain and more heat for SA: 5 things you need to know

In addition to the heatwave, residents can expect a 70% chance of an El Nino occurrence, which began mid-spring and will continue into summer.

"It causes below normal rainfall in summer rainfall areas and higher than normal temperatures from December to February," explained Engelbrecht.

"It occurs mostly in the northeastern parts of the country. There will definitely be above normal [high] temperatures in the northern parts of South Africa."

El Nino is the warming of sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, which influences atmospheric circulation, and consequently rainfall and temperature in specific areas around the world, according to SAWS.

South Africans spending their festive season in Gauteng should expect temperatures to rise to its highest on Wednesday with 35°C in Johannesburg and 37°C in Tshwane.

Johannesburg Water has urged residents to use water sparingly, as Level 1 water restrictions are still in place. The utility has urged residents to use water sparingly and report all leaks.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  weather
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