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South African Temperatures Rise to Record in El Nino Drought

A desiccated maize cob lies on dried soil in a drought affected field in Lichtenburg, North West Province of South Africa.
Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
Updated on

South Africa’s biggest city, Johannesburg, and the capital, Pretoria, recorded their hottest day ever on Tuesday as a drought caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon drains water supplies.

The temperature soared to 39.8 degrees Celsius (103.4 degrees Fahrenheit) at a weather station at the University of South Africa, eclipsing a Feb. 27, 1960 high of 39.7 degrees, the South African Weather Service said in an e-mailed reply to questions on Wednesday. At the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens a temperature of 36 degrees was recorded compared with the previous record of 35.4 degrees in 1973.