Jeepers! Cape Town and other parts of the Western Cape recently emerged from the mother of all heatwaves, but it seems residents need to brace themselves for maybe even hotter days as February approaches, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned.
IOL has cited University of Cape Town (UCT) Climate System Analysis Group (CSAG) deputy director Christopher Jack as saying that the extremely hot weather parts of the Western Cape experienced was far from over and could occur more regularly, possibly yet another sign of climate change.
The past weekend saw Cape Town experience sky high temperatures as a result of the heatwave, which also affected other parts of the Western Cape. The Mother City recorded temperatures on 42 degrees on Saturday 22 January – a number which would have smashed the previous record by almost three degrees. One station in Robertson also picked up a reading of 45.9C, which was another potential local record.
However, these claims have been dashed by the SA Weather Service. They have confirmed that “locally induced heat” gave off values that were higher than the true temperature of the day.
“Due to certain environmental factors at these sites around the Automatic Weather Station (AWS) equipment, SAWS can confirm that these factors could have resulted in locally induced heat, which influenced the temperature readings of both stations. For this reason, these values will not be accepted into the SAWS Climate Database as new records,” the Weather Service said.
“This past weekend’s weather was a typical summer circulation and since we are approaching February which is the hottest month on average for South Africa, there is a possibility that the Western Cape can experience hotter days, even though the seasonal outlook is indicating normal to below-normal maximum temperatures for most of the country,”The Cape Town Weather Office
The Cape Town Weather Office says while South Africa keeps getting warmer, there can be cooler years in the future.