Cape Town - The official maximum temperature for Addo Elephant National Park on Monday, 1 February, reached an all-time record, since temperature measurements started in 2005.
The previous record was 45.8°C measured on 9 February 2010. But the Port Elizabeth office of the South African Weather Service confirmed on Tuesday that the mercury rose to a staggering 46.6°C at 15:35 on Monday afternoon, beating the previous record. At that point the Heat Danger Index was at 124.
The heat index is a measure of how hot it really feels when the effects of humidity are added to high temperature.
To alert the public to the dangers of exposure to extended periods of heat and the added effects of humidity a Heat Index table, as explained by euroWEATHER below, is used to correlate measured temperature and humidity into a apparent temperature.
The index ranks a discomfort level of 110 and more as "hazardous to health", which explains the severe discomfort felt on Monday.
The apparent temperature was 51°C. The apparent temperature is the general term for the perceived outdoor temperature, caused by the combined effects of air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed.
Traveller24 reported on Tuesday that the conditions in the Eastern Cape on Monday rose to such unbearable conditions that schoolchildren and labourers were sent home to cool off by midday.
SEE: Heatwave forces parts of SA to down tools
Animals in the Addo Elephant National Park were lucky to have waterholes to cool down in, following good rains in the area over the past three weeks.
A number of visitors to the Park over the past few days have taken to its social media posting pics of elephants, hyenas and other animals wallowing in the waterholes in attempts to gain some relief from the heat.
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