Sun, 31 May 2020

Residents of Gauteng and other surrounding inland provinces should brace themselves for a scorcher as the heatwave that has plagued the area since the weekend is expected to peak on Monday afternoon.

Temperatures are expected to soar to 37C in Pretoria, 35C in Johannesburg and 38C in Hammanskraal.

According to the South African Weather Service (SAWS), temperatures in Limpopo could reach levels of up to 40C.

"A heatwave with persistently high temperatures is expected over Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Free State, North West, western parts of KwaZulu-Natal and parts of the Northern Cape until at least Monday, as well as until Tuesday, over the southwestern bushveld of Limpopo," the SAWS said in a statement.

But the end is nigh, says SAWS forecaster Edward Engelbrecht. "By Tuesday, it should cool down a bit," Engelbrecht told News24, "but it will still be quite warm".

Emergency services provider ER24 has warned people to be cautious when venturing outdoors, to keep hydrated and to avoid exposure to the sun. ER24 spokesperson Russell Meiring said extreme heat can result in exhaustion and sunstroke.

"If you are out during peak times, which is generally hotter, we recommend you use high SPF sunscreen, [a] sun hat and make sure you're hydrated," Meiring said.

In a statement, ER24 provided the following tips:

- Stay well hydrated by drinking a lot of water.

- Keep a close eye on babies, the elderly and children. Ensure that they also stay well hydrated.

- Remember to ensure pets have a cool place to relax and cool clean water to drink.

- Try to stay out of direct sunlight.

- Wear the appropriate clothing and ensure you use sunscreen.

- Limit participation in outdoor activities. If you plan on participating in outdoor activities, ensure you rest and keep hydrated.

- If you are going to spend time in a pool, ensure your safety and that of children around you. Ensure that they are supervised while around and in the pool.

- Do not leave children and pets in a vehicle, even with a window open.

Engelbrecht earlier explained that a heatwave occurs when temperatures are 5C higher than the average temperature of the warmest month - which is January - for three consecutive days.

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