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After experiencing a heatwave that sent temperatures rocketing to over 40ºC in parts of the country, South Africa may be in for some relief as the national weather forecaster predicts a cooler and wetter week ahead.

This comes after parts of the country experienced what the South African Weather Service termed “high fire danger conditions” over the weekend due to the extremely hot, dry and windy conditions.

While several parts of the country had experienced sweltering temperatures, according to reports these were nowhere near the temperature in a village in the Northern Cape, Vioolsdrif, that allegedly reached a record-breaking 54ºC.

However, the service later released a statement saying the temperature reading was preliminary and upon investigation found to be invalid.

According to reports, the station where this sweltering temperature was measured had recently had its sensors replaced, and they had not been fully reliable, thus the record-breaking temperature was invalid.

Vioolsdrif had in the past, however, hit temperatures as high as 46.2°C.

Forecaster Kumsa Masizana said relief from the heatwave was well on its way as it was expected to have left the eastern parts of the Northern Cape, parts of the Free State and North West by yesterday.

However, she said it would only completely dissipate from the other parts of the country – particularly the northeastern provinces – today as a cold front was expected to come into the country and make landfall.

She added that the cold front would only touch the southern provinces before making its exit from the country, leaving behind cool air.

As a result of the cold front, she said: “There will be a 30%-60% chance of rain over the central and eastern parts of the country and an 80% chance in southern eastern parts including the eastern parts of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal”.

She warned that there could be severe thunderstorms and localised flooding while the rest of the country would have cooler temperatures.

She said the cooling temperature would go on for the rest of the week until Friday, with a 30% to 60% chance of isolated to scattered thunder showers expected in the central and eastern parts of the country.

According to weather website ventusky.com, the temperature in Gauteng could dip to as low as 13°C at 2pm on Wednesday.

jenniffero@citizen.co.za

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