The South African Weather Service (Saws) is monitoring the situation after scorching conditions fuelled by a high-pressure system, resulted in South Africa experiencing unprecedented heat waves, smashing temperature records across the country.
Saws issued extended advisories as hot conditions persist, breaking November records in multiple provinces.
According to data from the Saws, peak temperatures on November 27 (Monday), reached a new high of 46.7°C.
The weather service said: "Following the heat wave conditions that prevailed from November 19, 2023, for a number of days in most parts of the country, November records were broken in both the maximum and minimum temperature measurements.
“Hot to very hot conditions were experienced in most parts of the country, with isolated areas having extremely hot conditions for several days in a row. Hot conditions reached their peak on 27 November 2023, when extremely hot conditions were experienced in large parts of the Northern Cape, extending to adjacent areas of North West and the Free State.
"Preliminary data indicates new temperature records for November over the Northern Cape, Free State and North West provinces. More than 10 stations recorded the highest temperature records on the 27th, with the Automatic Weather Station at Augrabies Falls recording the highest maximum temperature of 46,7°C, breaking its previous record of 46,2°C (2019-11-28).
“It must be noted that the highest maximum temperature record for Augrabies Falls remains at 48,6°C, measured on 2016-01-05, and the 46,7°C is the new record for the month of November."
The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently in an El Niño state and according to the latest predictions is expected to persist through most of the summer months, Saws said.
ENSO’s typical impact on Southern Africa is in favour of generally drier and warmer conditions during the spring and summer months from October to March. However, current global forecasts indicate a great deal of uncertainty for the typical drier conditions that South Africa experiences during typical El Niño seasons, over the eastern parts of the country.
Saws cautioned that weather extremes would continue to occur from time to time during the summer season as much as drier conditions are expected.
"Caution is advised at this point, as the El Niño effect might still manifest its influence in the next few months and change the outlook of the rainfall forecast for mid- and late-summer. Minimum and maximum temperatures are expected to be mostly above-normal countrywide for the forecast period."