Its getting hotter – new temperature records set in South Africa

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  • Following the heatwave conditions that prevailed for a number of days in most parts of the country, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) says November records were broken in both the maximum and minimum temperature measurements.

Heatwave conditions prevailed from 19 November 2023 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 country. 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,” SAWS said on Thursday.

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.

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. Weather extremes will 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,” SAWS said.

The weather service will continue to monitor the weather and climate conditions and provide updates on any future assessments that may provide more clarity on the current expectations for the coming season.

Furthermore, the public is urged and encouraged to regularly follow weather forecasts on television and radio.

Updated information in this regard will regularly be available at as well as via the SA Weather Service X account. @SAWeatherService.



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